NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Graduate student and Merrimack College football team captain Sam Cooper is primed to compete in the Hula Bowl this Sunday evening as the star offensive lineman continues to work towards playing at the professional level.
The Hula Bowl – considered one of the top showcases for NFL draft prospects – kicks off at 9:30 p.m. EST on Sunday from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii. The game will be broadcast nationally on CBS Sports Network.
Cooper is coming off a successful week at the Tropical Bowl, where he practiced and played in front of 30 professional organizations. The offensive lineman has made headlines in recent weeks as his draft stock continues to rise. In addition to this weekend’s Hula Bowl, Cooper has accepted invitations to the East-West Shrine Bowl and the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. The Warriors’ starting left guard is only the second program in program history to earn an invitation to the East-West Shrine Bowl. The multi-year Merrimack team captain was also recently profiled by the Eagle Tribune, detailing his background, upbringing and what motivates him to play professionally.
.@MerrimackFB @DACOOP66 at LG v @LehighFootball in 2019. Here at the #HulaBowl 2021. Come along ways from Lagos, Nigeria and has much bigger aspirations. Excited to watch him compete on Sunday for Team Kai pic.twitter.com/xXzhzYgFUC
— Brian Baldinger (@BaldyNFL) January 30, 2021
Fellow team captain and Phil Steele Preseason All-NEC selection Jovan Grant has also earned positive reviews as he works to play professionally as well. Grant competed earlier this month at the College Gridiron Showcase (Jan. 17-21) in Fort Worth, Texas, playing in front of scouts from the NFL as well as the CFL. Merrimack’s starting safety in 2019 finished second on the team in tackles with 49.
“We have had all 32 NFL teams come through this fall to evaluate both Sam and Jovan and there have been a number of teams that have come back a second and third time which is always a good sign. Sam and Jovan have both performed well in their post season all-star games and showcases and there is no question that their draft stock has improved dramatically as the buzz continues to grow for both guys. As a program we couldn’t be more excited and proud of both Sam and Jovan, and we look forward to continuing to support their goal of playing at the next level.”