NFL Draft Prospect Cooper DeJean Shows Off Impressive Hops in High School Basketball Highlights

The former Iowa cornerback is an excellent athlete, as evidenced by his ability to dunk over anybody.
Cooper DeJean
Cooper DeJean / Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Iowa Hawkeyes cornerback Cooper DeJean is projected to be a first round pick during Thursday's NFL draft, and for good reason. He was tremendous as a senior last fall, recording 41 tackles and five passes defended to go along with two interceptions. In a draft class overflowing with offensive talent DeJean is seen as one of the few defenders worthy of a selection in the first round.

Football fans know the draft is ultimately a bit of a crapshoot and it's anybody's guess if DeJean will succeed at the next level. But he definitively checks one box that is often a good indicator of future NFL success— an electric high school basketball mixtape.

Check out the highlights from DeJean's days as point guard at Battle Creek-Ida Grove High School in Iowa. The man can jump.

Not every professional football player played basketball in high school. But the ones that did, like former No. 1 pick Myles Garrett, always have a highlight reel exhibiting just how far out of everyone else's league they are in terms of sheer athleticism. It's a good sign for DeJean that his mixtape looks like that because, to play in the NFL, absolutely elite athleticism is a prerequisite.

It's a good sign for DeJean that his mixtape looks the same because, to play in the NFL, absolutely elite athleticism is a prerequisite. Does this video prove he's that sort of athlete? No. But it is a strong piece of evidence pointing to that conclusion. In the more concrete realm, DeJean ran a 4.42 40-yard dash at his Pro Day. He's no doubt a great athlete.

DeJean should hear his name called on Thursday night. Whichever team calls him up to the podium will be getting, at the very least, an elite pick-up basketball teammate.

Liam McKeone


Liam McKeone is a Senior Writer for the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. In addition to his role as a writer, he collaborates with other teams across Minute Media to help define his team’s content strategy. He has been in the industry as a content creator since 2017, and prior to joining SI in 2024, Liam worked for NBC Sports Boston and The Big Lead. In addition to his work as a writer, he has hosted the Press Pass Podcast covering sports media and The Big Stream covering pop culture. A graduate of Fordham University, Liam is always up for a good debate and enjoys loudly arguing about sports, rap music, books, and video games. Liam has been a member of the National Sports Media Association (NSMA) since 2020.