NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – On Saturday evening, recent graduates Sam Cooper and Jovan Grant of the Merrimack College football program signed contracts as undrafted free agents in the National Football League, inking deals with the Baltimore Ravens and Los Angeles Rams respectively.
Both players joined their respective franchises shortly after the conclusion of the three-day NFL Draft, which wrapped up last night in Cleveland, Ohio. Grant’s signing with the Rams was reported first while Cooper’s deal came through next, after he spoke with a number of teams before deciding on Baltimore.
“Sam and Jovan are great examples of what hard work and dedication can truly do for an individual. A lot of guys have dreams of playing at the next level, but not everyone is willing to fully commit themselves and make the necessary sacrifices it takes to get there. Both Sam and Jovan’s commitment level were off the charts, and it’s a big reason why they are in the position they are today,” commented head coach Dan Curran. “They both continued to improve each and every year they were at Merrimack and that process continued right up through their post season All-Star games and their Pro Day. We couldn’t be more proud of everything that Sam and Jovan have accomplished on and off the field during their time here at Merrimack and we look forward to watching them both compete in the NFL.”
Former Merrimack College G Sam Cooper is signing with the #Ravens, per source. A great story.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) May 2, 2021
Cooper appeared in 16 games for the Warriors over two seasons after transferring to the program from the University of Maine, and quickly ascended to become one of the team leaders as team captain. He had a significant impact during the 2019 campaign as Merrimack played its first season at the Division I FCS level, starting in every game he appeared in at left guard. The lineman was a mainstay for the number two scoring offense in the NEC, and his physical style of play helped Merrimack become one of the top rushing offenses in the conference. This past spring Cooper was selected to a number of prestigious All-Star games; East/West Shrine Game, NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Hula Bowl, and the Tropical Bowl where he competed against the top College Football players in the country.
Let’s get to work, fellas!
We’ve agreed to terms with 9 UDFAs!
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) May 2, 2021
Grant’s career featured 155 tackles over 30 games from 2017-19 as one of the top members of Merrimack’s secondary. The Boston, Mass. native filled up the stat sheet during his Warrior career, totaling three interceptions, eight PBU’s, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, two blocked kicks and a pair of sacks. In 2019, he served as the team’s starting safety and finished second with 49 total tackles. This past spring Grant was selected to compete in the Gridiron Showcase down in Texas with some of the top draft eligible prospects in the country.
The duo join a group of Merrimack Football alumni who were given the opportunity to play at the next level. Cooper and Grant are now alongside Tony Johnson ’12, Shawn Loiseau ’12, James Suozzo 12′, Isaiah Voegeli ’13, and Dillon Salva ’18 as former Warriors who boast NFL experience following their playing careers at Merrimack.