2011 - Freshman: Saw action in 10 games overall, the season's first nine games and in Illinois' win over UCLA in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, primarily on special teams ... Had one solo tackle in Illini debut against Arkansas State.
High School: Three-star recruit by Rivals ... Was a running back and safety in high school ... As a senior, carried the ball 94 times for 906 yards and 12 touchdowns, while catching four passes for 48 yards ... Defensively, registered 25 tackles, three for loss, two pass breakups, two fumble recoveries and one interception ... Also returned six kickoffs, including two for touchdowns, for an average of 48.8 yards per return ... Returned five punts for 25.6 average and one TD ... Runs a sub-4.4 40-yard dash ... Earned three medals in the Class 3-A Georgia state track championships as a junior, winning the long jump, finishing third in the 110 hurdles and was fourth in the triple jump ... Class AA All-State pick in 2010 ...High school coach was Sid Fritts.
Personal: Full name is Valdon Monroe Cooper Jr. ... The son of Danyell Hardman and Valdon Cooper Sr. ... Enrolled in the general curriculum ... Has four brothers ... Born on Oct. 5, 1992 ... Graduated high school with a 3.7 GPA ... Hobbies include reading and drawing ... Favorite athlete is Devin Hester ... An outstanding student, chose Illinois over Air Force, the Naval Academy and West Virginia ... Also had a track scholarship offer from Clemson.