Sam Cooper is the son of Forrest High School graduate David Cooper (1976) and grandson of two Forrest graduates, Chapel Hill Mayor Carl Cooper (1950) and Beverly Cooper (1953).
Cooper, a four-year letterman for the Eagles and 2011 District 10-A-AA Defensive MVP played on both sides of the ball for NCS as a lineman, recording 82 tackles in 2011, including 23 tackles for losses, while racking up more than 130 tackles for the Eagles in his career.
Austin Peay coach Rick Christophel recruited Cooper (6-4, 220 pounds) to play tight end for the Ohio Valley Conference (OVC) member school.
Cooper caught 18 passes for 216 yards at the tight end position during his career at NCS.
"I enjoy playing the tight end position," said Sam Cooper. "I can still get some big hits in the blocking scheme and I feel I have really good strength, good hands, and will be a valuable asset on offense for Austin Peay."
In his four years at NCS, Cooper's Eagles posted an overall mark of 17-27, but made the TSSAA playoffs the last two seasons, losing in the second round both times, while going a combined 14-10 in the 2010 and 2011 campaigns.
"In my first two years we won one game, but we stuck with it and I learned a lot from that," said Cooper. "If you get the right people around you and do the right things, you can accomplish good things."
Cooper, an honor student, sports a 3.6 G.P.A. at NCS and plans on majoring in business at Austin Peay.
The Governors compete in the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS/D1-AA) in the OVC with Tennessee Tech, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville St., Murray St., TSU, UT Martin, SE Missouri St., and Eastern Illinois.
"Being close to home is great," said Cooper. "My family and friends are a big part of my life and I am excited that they will all be able to come and see me play in state."