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Ralph Cooper Wants To Prove Doubters Wrong

Ralph Cooper (Jack Lyman)

The Fighting Illini football team is known historically for linebackers, including the great Dick Butkus. Some of their best have been short of stature but long on determination and instincts. Freshman Ralph Cooper wasn't highly recruited due to lack of height, but he has the makings of a standout inside linebacker. He is already seeing playing time as a freshman.

Illinois believed in Ralph Cooper when others didn't. The graduate of Fairfield Central High School in Winnsboro, South Carolina, was considered an inch or two shorter than ideal by local powerhouses, so he chose the Illini. He is determined to prove the naysayers wrong. "It gives me a huge chip on my shoulder. I feel like I'm an underdog since my high school years. I have an underdog...

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