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Reserve Husker OLB Niko Cooper entering NCAA transfer portal

Reserve Husker OLB Niko Cooper entering NCAA transfer portal

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Illinois vs. Nebraska, 11.21

Illinois' Alec McEachern (46) and Nebraska's Niko Cooper (32) reach for a fumble on a kickoff return in the second quarter Nov. 21 at Memorial Stadium.

A reserve Nebraska outside linebacker is transferring.

Sophomore Niko Cooper, a former junior college transfer who joined the program a year ago, is putting his name in the NCAA transfer portal, the Journal Star confirmed Friday. 

Cooper arrived at NU last year as a rare juco transfer with three years of eligibility remaining, but he wasn't able to find his way up the depth chart during his first season on campus. At 6-foot-5 and 225 pounds, he has the prototypical length and frame that the Huskers look for at the position.

He appeared in Nebraska's final seven games of the 2020 season, but mostly in a special teams role, where he registered three tackles. 

A Memphis, Tennessee, native, Cooper redshirted at Hutchinson (Kansas) Community College in 2018 and then recorded 24 tackles in 2019 before signing with Nebraska as part of its 2020 recruiting class. 

The Huskers have several contributors at outside linebacker returning in 2021, including senior JoJo Domann and other regulars in Garrett Nelson and Caleb Tannor, and multi-position players such as Pheldarius Payne and Nick Henrich. 

By the Journal Star's count, NU now has 88 scholarship players on its roster. The Huskers can still add up to two scholarship players this offseason as part of their 2021 recruiting class. 

Contact the writer at or 402-473-7439. On Twitter @HuskerExtraPG.


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Husker football reporter

Parker joined the Journal Star as the University of Nebraska football beat writer in August 2017. He previously covered Montana State athletics for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle and graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 2012.

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