Max Cooper is hoping to make an impact in his senior season for the Iowa Hawkeyes as we continue our countdown to the beginning of the abbreviated 2020 football season.
Max Cooper, Senior
Waukesha, WI (Catholic Memorial)
6’0”, 192 lbs
2020 Projection: Reserve WR, Special teams
Four years after being one of just a handful of true freshman to see playing time for the Iowa Hawkeyes, Max Cooper unfortunately doesn’t have to show for it. Cooper has one more chance to really prove his worth heading into the 2020 season as a senior, but unfortunately, he’s competing against one of the best Iowa football receiving corps in recent memory. Headlined by Ihmir Smith-Marette, who hit his stride in the 2019 season, along with Brandon Smith and Nico Ragaini, along with the receiving ability of running back Tyrone Tracy, it’s tough to imagine Cooper will see a ton of playing time, but who knows?
Statistically, things haven’t been great for Cooper. He only saw 3 receptions for 15 total yards in 2018, which at least is literally positive yards. 2019 wasn’t as kind. On the receiving end, Cooper had a single reception that tallied -3 yards. Oof.
Cooper’s main contributions last season came on special teams. He returned 17 total punts over the course of the year, including a career high for 16 yards against Illinois. While the number is low, he did prove himself as a capable punt returner on special teams, and capability is really something that Kirk Ferentz looks for on that end. Cooper doesn’t need to be flashy in the role, he needs to be consistent, and he showed exactly that, including two punt returns in the Holiday Bowl win over USC.
We’ll probably see Cooper in that same role this year, maybe in a great capacity. As far as his presence on the wide receiver end goes, it will probably remain limited, at least injury notwithstanding. But it’s probably safe to say that Cooper has found his place on the team on special teams, and he’ll have one more season — albeit a shortened one — to end his career on a high note.