NEW YORK (WECT) - Hoggard graduate Jonathan Cooper was selected by the Arizona Cardinals as the seventh overall pick in the first round of Thursday's NFL Draft.
"I'm excited to be picked and have it over with but it can't last long so I'm going to try and enjoy it tonight." Cooper said Thursday night.
With the selection Cooper becomes the highest drafted player out of Wilmington since Roman Gabriel was taken number two in 1962.
"I really didn't have any contact with Arizona leading up to the draft." Cooper said. "I really wasn't necessarily expecting to be picked by them."
"I knew the tackles would be taken really high and a couple defensive ends so my goal was to be prepared to go as early as seventh or eighth but also to still be there at number 32."
The selection is just the latest of what has been a year full of honors for the former North Carolina offensive guard.
Earlier this year Cooper earned consensus All-America honors. He also was named a first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association, the Football Writers Association of America, the Walter Camp Football Foundation, ESPN.com and Sports Illustrated.
Cooper graded out at 90 percent on the season and had double digits in knockdown blocks in nine of 12 games this season helping the Tar Heels to the highest per game rushing average since 1994.
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