Louisville Football continues blazing on the recruiting trail. The staff has been looking to add to its stable of RBs in this class. They were able to do so by getting the commitment of 4 Star RB Trevion Cooley.
The 5’11 205 lbs RB chose the Cards over a ton of offers that included Duke, Florida, NC State, Georgia Tech, Mississippi State, Tennessee, Maryland, and Virginia Tech, among others. 247sports have him ranked as the 19th best RB in the country. Louisville Running Backs Coach Norvell McKenzie was the lead recruiter for Cooley. Cooley has just started to see his recruitment blossom as many of his biggest offers have been recent.
Cooley has been a very productive back for Knightdale High School in his hometown of Knightdale, NC. His sophomore year, Cooley rushed for 931 yards and 7 TDs. He averaged 7.4 yards per rush and rushed for 84.6 yards per game in 11 games. He did have 2 fumbles and 1 of those he lost. However, last season saw Cooley really take off. He rushed for 986 yards and 14 TDs. He averaged 10 yards a rush and 123.3 rush yards per game in just 8 games. He also had 4 receptions for 40 yards, helping out in the field passing game.
Trevion Cooley is exactly the kind of RB I imagine in Scott Satterfield’s system. 5’11, powerfully built, and fast. He’s a patient runner with excellent acceleration and speed. Cooley can run between the tackles or attack the edge. In the open, field he can make little jukes and cuts to make defenders miss or use his frame to punish them and run over them. He’s very adept at breaking tackles and getting lots of yards after contact. As a receiver, he can be an outlet for his QB in the flat and a threat to get big yards. His vision to see the hole is one of his best assets. Cooley is a threat to break off big runs any time he has the football in his hands.
The patience and vision Cooley has are amazing. Though, don’t take the word patience as meaning it takes him a minute to see his running lanes. No, he sees holes very quickly and bursts through them. He really likes to make one cut and go, if possible. I enjoy his ability to cutback when he sees the defense over-pursue and make them pay. His ability to see blocks develop quickly and see his running lane open should serve him well in Coach Satterfield’s offense. All of Cooley’s other skills flow from his ability to see holes and accelerate through them quickly.
Whether running between the tackles or attacking the edge, Cooley is a menace to defenses. He’s very good at letting the hole develop when running between the tackles. He doesn’t try to bounce a run outside when it’s designed inside. Instead, he patiently waits for his lane and then accelerates through it. When running to the outside, he will set up his edge blocks well and break off big runs. Sometimes, he hardly needs any blocking as he uses his speed to beat everyone to the edge and get around it. With Coach Satterfield utilizing stretch run as a bread-and-butter play, a guy like Cooley should really help make it a potentially lethal play. I can imagine him stringing out the defense until a hole opens and bursting through for good yards.
The reason Cooley is a home run back is his blend of speed and power. Cooley at top speed runs a 4.4 according to 247sports. That’s incredibly fast especially for a RB. You can see it in the highlights. Many times, once he gets into the secondary, he can win foot races against DBs. He can get around the edge without the benefit of blocking sometimes because of his speed. Outrunning pursuit angles isn’t out of the question for Cooley because of his speed. However, he’s not a scat back. Oh no, Cooley has power as well. You would expect it for a player with his size and frame. He constantly keeps his legs churning when hit. His power allows him to run through arm tackles attempted at the legs or waist with ease and hardly be slowed. If defenders get a clean shot, quite a few bounce off Cooley like a rubber ball does a wall; Cooley just flattens them. Cooley always has his momentum going forward. The power he possesses makes him a guy that will rack up YAC (yards after contact) yards. I wish there was a breakdown of this stat for him because his highlights show his YAC yards would likely be very high. He’s just an incredibly difficult back to bring to the turf.
In the open field, Cooley can make second level defenders miss with cuts or jukes. While not as flexible as, say, Lamar Jackson is, Cooley is excellent at making quick cuts and cutbacks. He can plant his foot and come almost to a complete stop, cut, accelerate, and be at top speed immediately.
Cooley is utilized in the passing game as well. They leak him into the flat as a check down. His hands are incredibly soft, but strong. This is likely why he rarely fumbles. Once he gets the ball on the edge of the defense with likely only one defender, he’s a threat to break of a big play. It’ll be interesting to see if Louisville will sometimes line him up in the slot or on the outside in certain sets to get him in a mismatch with a LB. I don’t think a LB can cover him. It is important to note his high school team doesn’t use him in this capacity, but I think he is capable of doing this.
At 5’11 Cooley is deceptively strong, especially in the lower body. He looks like he could be built in the mold of former Penn State star and current New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. Like Barkley and Hawkins, Cooley rarely gets tackled in the backfield or on first contact. When he gets his 205 pound frame going he’s hard to tackle and most tacklers just bounce right off of him. Cooley reminds me a lot of Javian Hawkins coming out of high school with his patience, running style, and the way he finishes runs.
Cooley rarely falls backwards when getting tackled; that has a lot to do with his lower body strength and his ability to finish runs strong, sometimes lower the boom on the defender. As strong as Cooley is, he doesn’t seem to sacrifice much speed. Perhaps the most underrated or least talked about skill of Cooley are his hands. Cooley is an above average pass catcher out of the backfield, and once he gets the ball in his hands he’s usually off to the endzone.
With a reported 4.40 speed he can run away from most defenders. Cooley’s speed, exceptional vision, great patience, and his ability to get skinny between blockers are all reasons why I think he’ll have a phenomenal senior year. They are also why I believe he’ll be a consensus 4 Star, close to 5 star recruit by the time he gets on Louisville’s campus.
This is a huge get for the University of Louisville, as there is no doubt in my mind that last year’s success of Javian Hawkins, coupled with Coach Satterfield’s impressive track record with running backs, helped seal the deal with Cooley. Hawkins is known as ‘Playstation’ mainly because of his spin moves. With Cooley’s ability to juke defenders out of the picture maybe Cooley should be ‘Xbox’. With Cooley’s patience, ability to make the quick cut and accelerate through holes he’s a perfect fit for coach Satterfield’s zone blocking scheme.
Trevion Cooley is a Satterfield RB. He isn’t one-dimensional as a runner. You can use him like a battering ram against the middle of a defense or let him use his speed to get the edge and get big gains. Equally adept at outrunning or running over defenders, Cooley is a nightmare for the opposition. In fact, he is nearly identical in size and running style to former Appalachian State RB Darrynton Evans. Evans was a Coach Satterfield. recruit and player that excelled during his time at App State and became a 3rd NFL Draft pick. If Cooley can be as good as or better than Evans, he will be a star in the ACC.
With Trevion Cooley’s commitment, Louisville Football now has 12 commitments for the 2021 class. The class is ranked 27th in the country according to 247sports. We now wait to see who will be the next to join the flock and become a member of #FlyVille21.
*all stats courtesy of MaxPreps