Merrimack
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A Pair of Merrimack Football Players Sign With NFL Teams

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With the 2023 NFL draft now concluded, teams are putting the final touches on their rosters for training camp in the summer. That means players that were not drafted get one more shot to sign as a free agent. At Merrimack College, two players have been given the opportunity to pursue their dream by signing such deals. Sam Cooper and Jovan Grant have inked deals with the Baltimore Ravens and the Los Angeles Rams over this past weekend. Both players will be attending rookie camp which should begin later this week.

Sam Cooper’s journey to an NFL training camp has taken several turns. It began in Maine with the Black Bears where for three seasons he was a part of the team. During his stay with the Black Bears playing time was a bit of an issue. Yet, despite the lack of time, the 6-2, 305 lb offensive lineman was a two-time CAA-Athletic selection. He decided to transfer out of Maine and landed in North Andover, Ma. with the Merrimack College Warriors. Cooper appeared in 16 games for Merrimack and was named one of the team captains. He started every game at left guard and helped the Warriors’ offense to become the number two-ranked offense in the Northeast Conference. After the season was over, Cooper was invited to play in several all-star bowl games, the East/West Shrine Game, the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, the Hula Bowl, and the Tropical Bowl. Cooper was also taken in the XFL draft in the fourth round of the offensive phase by the D.C. Defenders, who then traded him to the Houston Roughnecks where he spent the rest of the spring playing.

Jovan Grant was one of nine players signed after the draft by the Rams. The 6-1, 205 lbs safety played 30 games as a defensive back for Merrimack. For his career, Grant had 97 solo tackles, 58 assisted tackles for a total of 155. He had 7.5 tackles for losses, totaling 26 yards, sacked the quarterback twice for 19 yards in losses, and had three interceptions for his career. His best game was at Saint Francis in October of 2019 where he totaled 14 tackles for the game. In 2019, he ranked second on the team with 49 tackles and finished three games with at least six tackles. Grant, like a lot of other players, has bounced around a bit trying to find the right spot for his skill set. Maybe he has found a home in Los Angeles. Over the summer we shall find out.

 

Their head coach, Dan Curran talked about the commitment that both players have to get to the next level. That commitment shows up in their All-Star games and in their pro days. Now comes the hard part, which is finding a way to stick on an NFL roster.

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