Glacier Peak High School junior Cooper Jensen announced earlier this week that he has committed to play football at Oregon State University.
The 6-foot-5, 210-pound tight end recruit chose the Beavers over offers from Tennessee and Arizona.
Jensen, a three-star recruit, is ranked by 247Sports as the No. 24 junior tight end in the nation. He’s also ranked as the No. 11 overall junior recruit in the state.
“It feels great knowing that I’m gonna go play college football… (and am) going to a great program,” Jensen said. “It just feels great.”
Jensen received his first Division I offer from Oregon State this past spring. He said he’s visited the school three times, including for the Beavers’ win over Hawaii on Sept. 11 and their victory over Washington this past Saturday. Oregon State is off to a 4-1 start this season, including a 2-0 mark in Pac-12 play.
“I went down there three times,” Jensen said. “The first time, I really liked it. And then the second time, I went down for a game, and that’s when I really knew I wanted to go there. I loved the atmosphere and everything. And then the third time I went down was this past weekend, and that’s when it really set it off with me.”
Jensen plays wide receiver and defensive end for the Grizzlies, but he’s been recruited as a tight end for college. Glacier Peak coach Shane Keck said Jensen’s combination of talent, size and ability to be “such a nimble athlete” is what’s made him a big-time recruit.
“That’s what makes him unique,” Keck said. “He’s 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, and (has the) ability to go stretch the field and run by guys, but also be a really physical blocker as well. So I think a lot of schools like that in him.
“And he’s got really good grades, takes care of business in the classroom and has just been a really good teammate. We couldn’t be more excited for him.”
During this past spring’s abbreviated season, Jensen caught 13 passes for 158 yards and four touchdowns. This fall, he has 14 catches for 141 yards and one score.
Jensen primarily played as an outside receiver in the spring. But this fall, he’s also spent time inside as a slot receiver.
“He’s kind of doing a mix of both this year,” Keck said. “Some of that’s to find some matchups. If we can get him on a linebacker or a safety who maybe is not as fast as a corner, that can be good for us. Or if they have a smaller corner outside, obviously (we can use) his height and all that stuff on the edge. We also squeeze him down toward the box and let him block some linebackers.”
Jensen is the son of former Archbishop Murphy High School football coach Jerry Jensen, who was an All-Pac-10 linebacker at the University of Washington. Jerry Jensen was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the fifth round of the 1998 NFL draft and appeared in 10 games with the Panthers that season.
But in playing for one of his father’s former Pac-10 rivals, Cooper Jensen is blazing his own path.
“It’s my choice, my path,” the younger Jensen said. “But obviously, looking up to my dad, I’m gonna have to follow his footsteps and be great at the next level.”