Photo given to me by Cooper Felger.
Cooper Felger is a class of 2023 defensive lineman out of Chardon High School in Chardon, Ohio. Standing at 6’1″ and weighing 245 pounds with a 3.8 GPA, the senior can bench 350 pounds and squat 485 pounds. Feldger has been described as a dominant force on the defensive line. Earlier this week, I had the pleasant ability to speak with Felger.
Q: Why do you play the game?
“One of the reasons I play the game of football is because I love the intensity and violence that comes with the game. I also love how my coaches push me, and I overall love being around the people on my team.”
Q: Where do you see football going in your life?
“I’m not exactly sure yet, but I feel that I’ll know when my time of playing football is over. I’m not exactly sure yet if I would want to play at the next level, but feel that I will know by the time this season is over if I would want to continue my football career.”
Q: What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned playing football?
“Through football I’ve learned how to be a leader, how to persevere through adversity, how to set goals and work towards them, and what hard work truly looks like. [I’ve learned these through experiences] of being in uncomfortable situations in games and practices. Also, watching seniors before me.”
Q: What does football mean to you?
“Football means so much to me. My best friends all play it, my life and day revolves around it, and I love how the community comes around us and supports us in so many ways.”
Q: What challenges have you overcome?
“I’ve had to overcome challenges of having to step in a leadership role after losing almost every single starter the previous year, having to lead and mentor a varsity team full of freshman and sophomores, and having to find ways to overcome adversity. I overcame these through relying on my teammates to have my back and to keep going, even if things get tough or after failing something.”
Q: What motivates you to keep playing, especially after those injuries?
“The fact that I don’t want to let my teammates, coaches, and family down is what motivates. Also the thought that they’re depending on me. All that motivates me.”
Q: How do you balance sports with your other responsibilities?
“My life pretty much revolves around sports, but I make sure I have a healthy balance of everything so I don’t get too overwhelmed with sports.”
Q: Do you have a favorite football memory?
“Winning the 2021 state championship… I felt a sense of joy because of all the hard work and tough times payed off. I also felt a sense of relief that we accomplished something that we were working so long for.”
Q: How do you stay trained and in football-shape during the offseason?
“In the off-season I live in the weight room. It’s a huge passion of mine, and I love seeing my progress. I also play lacrosse which keeps my endurance up.”
Q: How are you looking to improve your (football) game?
“I’m constantly looking to improve my game by watching lots of film, getting extra work in, and living in the weight room. [When I’m watching film,] I’m constantly looking to improve my pass rush skills, and technique. I think technique is a huge part of being successful, so that’s currently what I’m looking to improve.”
Q: On the other side, what is the strongest aspect of your game?
“I think my run stopping game is the strongest. I have a fast get off, and read keys well.”
Q: Do you try to model your game after any players, pro or collegiate?
“I love the way Aaron Donald, TJ Watt, and Joey Bosa play. I would say I try to model my play style like them.”
Q: What are some goals you’ve set for yourself?
“Some goals I have set are being a team captain, being a great leader for my teammates, improving from last year, and winning another state championship with my team.”
Q: What is your favorite part of playing on the defensive line?
“My favorite part of the D-line is how physical it is. You get to hit someone on every single play. I also love my Defensive line coach and he has taught me everything I know about the position. Another thing is I love being involved in every play.”
Q: Do you consider football to be more physically challenging, mentally challenging, or a bit of both?
“I would say overall football is a more physically challenging sport. By the end of the week most people are very soar and bruised. At the same time, you have to have a ton of mental toughness in order to keep your mind right when things start to go bad. If you don’t have that, you won’t be successful.”
Q: What is something you want your coaches to know about you, past, present, or future?
“I would want them to know that I am a super hard worker, and will do everything in my capability to be the best I can possibly be.”
You can view his highlights here.