Cleveland Drafts WSU's Cooper - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Cleveland Drafts WSU's Cooper

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Former WSU defensive tackle Xavier Cooper was taken in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday. (Photo: WSU) Former WSU defensive tackle Xavier Cooper was taken in the third round of the NFL Draft on Friday. (Photo: WSU)

by WSU Athletics

PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State defensive lineman Xavier Cooper was selected in the third round 2015 National Football League Draft by the Cleveland Browns Friday.

Cooper, the No. 96 overall pick, is the second Cougar defensive player to be drafted in the past two seasons after safety Deone Bucannon was selected in the first round by the Arizona Cardinals last year. Cooper is the first WSU defensive lineman drafted since Rien Long was taken in the fourth round by the Tennessee Titans in 2003 and is the highest Cougar defensive lineman draft pick since Dorian Boose was taken No. 56 overall in the second round by the New York Jets in 1998.

Cooper appeared in 36 games for the Cougars, starting the final 34 and recorded 121 career tackles including 31.5 for loss, eighth-most in school history. The Tacoma, Wash. native tallied 13 career sacks, forced three fumbles, recovered two fumbles and returned one for a touchdown.

As a redshirt-junior this past season, Cooper made 37 tackles including a team-best 9.5 for loss and finished second on the team with five sacks highlighted by 1.5 sacks in a near-upset of No. 2 Oregon. Cooper led Washington State in tackles-for-loss in each of his final two seasons, also recording 13.5 for loss in 2013 and earned All-Pac-12 Conference honorable mention as redshirt-freshman in 2012.

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