ESPN’s re-rank of 2021 top recruits shines on Iowa Hawkeyes’ Cooper DeJean

Like many greats who have passed through the Iowa Hawkeyes’ program, Cooper DeJean is another who was under-recruited and has exceeded even the highest expectations. He has been a star for Iowa the last two seasons and has been a game-changing player in the defensive secondary.

Coming out of high school, DeJean was viewed as ESPN’s No. 88 overall athlete and a three-star recruit. He was not highly touted, yet he has performed like a five-star recruit. His production has him clearly among the top players in ESPN’s re-ranking of the top 2021 recruits (subscription required). DeJean has been re-ranked as the No. 16 player in the 2021 class.

Cooper was a consensus three-star out of high school but has posted five-star production in his two seasons starting at Iowa. He already has seven interceptions during that span and returned three for touchdowns in 2022, which is a program record. The 6-1 corner is also strong against the run, making 59 solo tackles last year.

DeJean has played 309 snaps this season in coverage without giving up a touchdown, and he returned a punt for a touchdown against Michigan State. He leads the conference in return yard average aside from shutting down the opposing team’s top receiver. – Billy Tucker, Craig Haubert, ESPN

Durig his three years at Iowa, Cooper DeJean has tallied 88 total tackles, 13 pass breakups, and seven interceptions and has consistently eliminated half of the field when locking down top receivers.

When you add in DeJean’s electric ability with the football in his hands, it ups his ranking quite a bit. He has a knack for finding the end zone and has proven so by returning three interceptions for touchdowns and one punt return for a score, with many more inches away from finding pay dirt.

A tale as old as time is the Iowa Hawkeyes finding hidden gems and developing them into top-tier talent. Cooper DeJean is the next in a long list that is certain to continue.

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Story originally appeared on Hawkeyes Wire