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COMMIT: Georgia adds elite 2026 prospect Derrek Cooper

Palmber-Thombsby:Palmer Thombs06/06/24

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Georgia added the commitment of one of the nation’s top players in the Class of 2026 on Thursday night. Chaminade-Madonna (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) Prep athlete Derrek Cooper took to social media and announced his pledge to the Bulldogs.

Ranked the No. 2 athlete in the country according to both the On3 Industry Ranking (No. 25 overall) and On3’s in-house On300 (No 17 overall), the 6-foot, 190-pounder chose Georgia over the likes of Miami, Florida State and Alabama.

Cooper is expected to play running back at the collegiate level. He told On3’s Chad Simmons after an April visit: “The new RB coach is what’s really making UGA feel like home. He is hard on his running backs and is an excellent coach. I learned something just from being there today. My interest in UGA now is very high, maybe even my favorite.”

Cooper marks the first commitment for new running backs coach Josh Crawford, who was hired in February. Georgia has six running backs on roster for the 2024 season including Trevor Etienne, Branson Robionson, Roderick Robinson, Nate Frazier, Chauncey Bowens and Dwight Phillips. The Bulldogs also have one committed for the Class of 2025, four-star Bo Walker out of Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.) High School.

In 2023 playing both ways at his elite Florida school, one that produced the nation’s No. 1 overall player in the Class of 2024 Jeremiah Smith and won their state championship, Cooper had 49 tackles including one for loss and four interceptions. He also totaled nine catches, 71 yards and a touchdown on offense with seven kickoff returns for 267 yards on special teams.

Cooper also ran track for the Lions this past spring and recorded a 10.88 100-meter and a 22.21 200-meter, also recording impressive numbers in the triple jump (38′ 11.5″) and long jump (22′ 7.75″).

Cooper is Georgia’s second commitment for the Class of 2026, joining the nation’s top quarterback Jared Curtis. Currently in the Class of 2025 – a group ranked No. 6 in the nation – Georgia has 10 commitments: five-star tight end Elyiss Williams, five-star linebacker Zayden Walker, four-star EDGE Darren Ikinnagbon, four-star linebacker Jadon Perlotte, four-star tight end Ethan Barbour, four-star quarterback Ryan Montgomery, four-star offensive lineman Mason Short, four-star athlete/wide receiver Thomas Blackshear, four-star running back Bo Walker and three-star defensive lineman Stephon Shivers.

Georgia Recruiting Results Under Kirby Smart

2024: No. 1 national, No. 1 SEC
2023: No. 2 national, No. 2 SEC
2022: No. 3 national, No. 3 SEC
2021: No. 3 national, No. 2 SEC
2020: No. 1 national, No. 1 SEC
2019: No. 2 national, No. 2 SEC
2018: No. 1 national, No. 1 SEC
2017: No. 3 national, No. 2 SEC
2016: No. 11 national, No. 5 SEC

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