Secdrick Cooper ready to take the lead in the LA Tech defense

August 9, 2017 GMT

Throughout the Skip Holtz era at Louisiana Tech, the Bulldogs have had no problem lighting up the scoreboard. But with some big names gone off the defense, Tech knows that side of the ball needs to step up even more this season.

All-conference safety Xavier Woods no longer roams the secondary for LA Tech, but the Bulldogs feel Secdrick Cooper was the right stuff to fill his shoes.

“It’s going to be hard to play without him, but I do think Secdrick Cooper is a better player because he played next to Xavier Woods because Xavier taught him how to make a commitment, how to watch film, how to do things the right way on and off the field. He was a great role model and a great example for him to follow,’ said LA Tech head coach Skip Holtz.

“The most important thing Xavier imparted on me was his work ethic. That guy, he’s a stud. He does everything right and I try to take that from his game and just be the best that I can be,” added Cooper.

Even with a talented safety group last season, LA Tech gave up a conference worst 33 passing touchdowns and were near the bottom in passing defense efficiency. Cooper says they have an idea on how to reverse those numbers.

“The challenge is getting off the field. That’s the biggest challenge because you know you can stop a team first and second down and they’ll complete a third down and you’re back on the field and they’re bringing their fresh legs and without any depth there’s not really too much you can bring in so that’s our big goal. Just bringing in depth right now and making sure everyone is on the same page,” explained Cooper.

Defensive coordinator Blake Baker has helped mold Copper into his current form and says he’s noticed a big change in his senior safety even when he’s not at full strength.

“Really, really impressed with is vocal leadership and his command of the entire defense, not just the secondary and I think that’s the challenge. I think we’ve had some really good unit leaders as far as position groups, but now we’ve got to get three, four or five guys to really lead the defense and he’s definitely probably been the most vocal and once he went down it didn’t stop him, which I was really proud to see. He was on the sideline coaching up the youngsters and really encouraging them so that’s always a positive,” described Cooper.