Cooper DeJean’s College Stats: Iowa Defender Used Versatility, Athleticism to Devastating Effect

    Cooper DeJean's college stats show the Iowa defender's athleticism and versatility, two traits that will make him a first-round draft pick.

    Cooper DeJean is one of those players who could succeed at any number of defensive alignments in the NFL. While a broken leg shortened his senior year and ultimately cut his college career short, he was still incredibly productive when on the field.

    Despite spending just three years at Iowa, DeJean made an impact for the Iowa Hawkeyes, as demonstrated by his college stats.

    Cooper DeJean’s Slow Build to Stardom

    DeJean was a talented four-star recruit and one of the top safeties in the 2021 class. As a high school senior, he also threw for over 3,000 yards. However, his impact on the field was not immediate when he arrived at the college level.

    Sitting behind talented defensive backs in 2021, DeJean only saw the field in the final three contests of the season. In that time, he racked up just four tackles and no coverage statistics in games against Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky.

    However, in his redshirt freshman season, he became a star.

    In 2022, DeJean picked up a few tackles in a crazy 7-3 win over the South Dakota State Jack Rabbits (yes, the game where Iowa scored a field goal and two safeties) before breaking out against FBS competition.

    He picked off a pass against Iowa State, Nevada, and Rutgers, returning the last 45 yards for a touchdown. He also racked up 20 tackles and five pass deflections in that three-game stretch.

    He’d go on to pick off passes against Wisconsin and Kentucky, returning both for touchdowns and totaled 75 tackles on the year.

    Tackles: 75
    Pass Deflections: 8
    Total Touchdowns:
    Punt Returns: 10
    Punt Return Yards: 165

    Leg Injury Cuts Short Strong Season

    In 2023, DeJean got off to a great start, making 19 tackles in his first three games. With their playmaking cornerback at the heart of it, the Iowa defense was dominant all year.

    He logged interceptions against Michigan State and Purdue and five pass deflections across the year.

    Against Minnesota, DeJean scored the game-winning punt return touchdown only to have it called back due to a questionable call. He excelled in multiple alignments, taking snaps at boundary corner, field corner, slot, safety and even linebacker.

    In addition to his defensive qualities, DeJean was one of the best punt returners in the country, averaging 11.5 yards a return and scoring a touchdown.

    KEEP READING: Iowa Hawkeyes’ Top 10 Returning Players in 2024

    Unfortunately, the Hawkeyes standout broke his leg early against Rutgers, missing the rest of the season and most pre-draft workouts. Still, DeJean should be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

    Tackles: 41
    Pass Deflections: 5
    Total Touchdowns:
    Punt Returns: 21
    Punt Return Yards: 241
    Punt Return Touchdowns: 1

    DeJean’s Final College Stats

    Tackles: 120
    Pass Deflections: 13
    Total Touchdowns:
    Punt Returns: 31
    Punt Return Yards: 31
    Punt Return Touchdowns: 1

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