2004: Tallied 28 tackles, two sacks, two PBU and a forced fumble in 11 games ... Switched to defensive back in spring practice ... Had four tackles including his first career sack in the victory over Western Michigan ... Made a career-high five solo tackles vs. Northwestern ... Totaled a career-high six tackles in the season-opener vs. Florida A&M ... Had a sack, a forced fumble and a PBU at Wisconsin ... Collected four solo tackles vs. Purdue.
2003: Played in 10 games at running back and on special teams ... Had one carry for two yards at Iowa.
2002: Saw action in five games at running back and on special teams ... Got carries vs. Arkansas State and Indiana ... Had career highs in carries (5) and yards (29) vs. Arkansas State ... Also had two carries for three yards vs. Indiana.
2001: Redshirted the 2001 season ... Was a sprinter for the Illinois track team during the offseason.
High School: Football letterwinner under coach Bill Mosel at Thornton Township High School ... Chicago Sun-Times Top-100 All-Area athlete ... Totaled 27 tackles and one interception as a junior as well as 667 yards rushing, five touchdowns and a kickoff return for a touchdown ... An All-Area performer ... Helped lead his team to the 6A state playoffs in 2000 and tallied four tackles and one deflection in the game.
Personal: Full name is James Edward Cooper ... Born June 5, 1983 ... The son of Byron and Sheryl Ellis ... An honor roll student at Thornton High School ... Graduated in May 2005 with a degree in sport management ... Biggest thrill in sports was winning the 2000 homecoming game on a 40-yard touchdown pass with two seconds remaining in the game ... Member of the church choir.
Career Highs Carries: 5 vs. Arkansas State, 9/14/02 Yards: 29 vs. Arkansas State, 9/14/02 Long Rush: 14 vs. Arkansas State, 9/14/02 Tackles: 7 vs. MSU, 9/24/05 Solos: 6 vs. MSU, 9/24/05 Sacks: 1. twice (last time at Wisconsin, 10/2/04) TFL: 1. twice (last time at Wisconsin, 10/2/04) QBH: 1 vs. SJSU, 9/10/05 PBU: 1, four times (last time at Indiana, 10/8/05) FR: 1 at Indiana, 10/8/05