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Keanon Cooper is ready to go.
The senior linebacker enters his final season at Minnesota feeling more prepared for the upcoming season than ever before.
"These are the best practices we have had since I have been here," said Cooper. "A lot of that is because of the summer captain's practices we had. A lot of guys know what we want to do. A lot of people are running around a lot faster. People are doing a lot less thinking and a lot more running and are making more plays."
As a senior, Cooper has also taken on a leadership role on the team. Whether it is on the field during practice situations or off the field dealing with life situations, Cooper is there for his teammates.
"I will pull them to the side and let them know this is how we do it (at Minnesota)," said Cooper. "All of them have done a great job of listening so far. If it gets to coach Kill; that is something you do not want. If you get in the doghouse with coach Kill then it is going to be hard to get out."
Although the linebacker corps is expected to be led by upperclassmen this season, the overall Minnesota team is young and inexperienced. Cooper, who expects the linebackers to have a big year, said that only means one thing.
"There are a lot of guys who are going to be young this year, so next year there will be even more experience on the field," said Cooper. "I am pretty sure they will be even better than us this year."