Defenseman Cooper becomes third Force player to commit to Nebraska-Omaha
Tanner Lane got bragging rights. Dean Blais got a highly rated prospect and Jason Herter watched one of his players do the right thing. In short, there were a lot of winners when Fargo Force junior hockey team defenseman Brian Cooper committed to...
Tanner Lane got bragging rights. Dean Blais got a highly rated prospect and Jason Herter watched one of his players do the right thing.
In short, there were a lot of winners when Fargo Force junior hockey team defenseman Brian Cooper committed to play college hockey at Nebraska-Omaha. The 17-year-old defenseman becomes the 14th Force player to commit to playing college hockey.
"You don't have that problem just leaning over your shoulder anymore," said Cooper, who is in his second year with the Force. "You can only brush it off for so long and it feels good knowing this is where I wanted to go."
Cooper said his main options were UNO, Colorado College, Denver and Minnesota. Cooper said he knew he wanted to attend UNO following a visit there a few weeks ago. He said waiting to visit Colorado College and Denver at the end of the year would have been unfair to those two schools, which could have been out recruiting another player.
He becomes the third Force player to commit to UNO, joining goaltender Ryan Massa and Lane, the Detroit Lakes product and former Minnesota scoring champ.
Lane said he and Massa had been recruiting Cooper for a while and were quite pleased with his choice.
"Right when he walked into the locker room, I gave him a big hug," Lane said. "With Ian Young going to CC, he wanted Cooper with him while Ryan and I were trying to get him to go to UNO."
Cooper is the Force's fourth leading scorer with 23 points (10 goals, 13 assists) and can do more than just score. The Mavericks, which are fourth in the WCHA this season, are getting a bruising defenseman who can deliver the big hit, shut down a forward and quarterback a power play.
Herter said he advised Cooper to make a decision that would benefit him for more than just hockey. Cooper wants to attend medical school to be an anesthesiologist, and Herter suggested he should attend a school that can help him get there. Cooper said his plan is to do pre-med at Nebraska-Omaha and then attend medical school at nearby Creighton University.
Herter, who was heavily recruited before attending college at North Dakota, also told Cooper to be straightforward with recruiters while making his decision.
"College is a ways and means to get to where you want to go in life and there isn't a bad college to choose," Herter said. "He has to look at things that appeal to him and that's what he did."
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