Outland Trophy national player of the week Anez Cooper talks with media after Tuesday practice

Outland Trophy national player of the week Anez Cooper talks with media after Tuesday practice

Peter Ariz

Anez Cooper, the team's rock-solid Offensive Lineman who was honored as the Outland Trophy National Player of the Week, spoke to the media on Tuesday afternoon. Cooper touched upon various aspects— from the team's offseason grind to individual growth— highlighting that the Hurricanes' O-Line is a force to be reckoned with.

Steady Progress But Room for More​

When asked about the performance of the offensive line, Cooper humbly noted, "I thought we did very well." He emphasized the collective efforts, stating, "The whole offensive line group grinded very hard in the summer, learning everything." While he praised the unit's improvement, he was also quick to add that there's room for growth. "There's always room to get better," he asserted, contradicting the notion that they have already perfected their skill set.

An Unassailable Wall: Mastery in Pass Blocking​

The offensive line has been particularly effective in pass blocking, a critical skill in protecting the quarterback and allowing offensive plays to unfold. When asked about what makes the unit so successful in this area, Cooper had a straightforward answer: "The whole unit knows all the assignments." He further credited the practice against their own defense for their success. "Our defense runs a lot of defenses that other teams run. So, just doing that and repping them out has made us way better."

Mindset Over Mechanics​

Cooper mentioned that while there might have been a noticeable improvement from game one to game two, his approach remained consistent. "I treat every game like it's the same," he said, indicating that it was his mental preparedness that made the difference rather than any significant change in technique.

Team Synergy: Playing Alongside Matt Lee and CC​

Anez Cooper had high praise for his teammates, particularly center Matt Lee. He noted Lee's intelligence and quick decision-making as standout qualities. "Matt Lee is very smart. He makes all his calls clear," Cooper observed. As for playing next freshman Francis Mauigoa, he offered advice: "Don't think about it, just be yourself.Last year, I was going in the game and thinking too much."

Focused on the Future​

Last year wasn't the best season for the Hurricanes, but this year, they've come out swinging. "We've got to keep improving," Cooper emphasized when talking about maintaining focus amidst rising expectations. He expressed confidence in the team's future, especially quarterback Tyler Van Dyke, who appears to be in peak form this year. "He’s very healthy now He’s been stepping up big time and he’s going to be a very good quarterback by the end of the season," Cooper said.

Concluding Thoughts​

The Miami Hurricanes have set high expectations, and according to Cooper, they haven't even played their best game yet. As they look ahead, they know they have the talent, the work ethic, and the unity to take them where they aim to go. If Cooper’s words are anything to go by, the Hurricanes have a bright future ahead— and so does he, as a key player in a rapidly improving offensive line.

Comments (10)

I think all 5 are playing their way into being high draft picks.
i feel rivers is more of a mid-round guy who will settle in at guard in the nfl. lee might be similar just because centers tend to be underdrafted. of course mauigoa has a chance to be a top 5 type player, just an alien, and cohen is playing really well too. all in all regardless of draft position, they'll almost certainly all play on sundays, which is a pretty incredible turnaround.
Watching what this dude has done in 18 months or so is nothing short of amazing. Total body transformation and a complete menace on the field. He plays nasty, is athletic and can move. I love watching him play.

I know someone will say I'm nuts, but he reminds me a LOT of Larry Allen. Not there yet. Not saying he will have that success in the pros. Not saying he will bench 700. But if you watched Larry Allen play and you watch Anez play, they're similar.

One of my favorite dudes on the team. Just works his a$$ off and plays with fire and passion.

I remember when Mario and Mirabel went super hard after him when they got here. The kid was MASSIVE but I felt with some hard work in the gym and around the training table/eating right, he could be an All-ACC OL. I think by the team he leaves here, he might just surpass that and be an All-American!!