With a plethora of offensive weapons at its disposal, the Reynoldsburg High School football team scored more than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time in coach Buddy White's six-year tenure.

With a plethora of offensive weapons at its disposal, the Reynoldsburg High School football team scored more than 50 points in back-to-back games for the first time in coach Buddy White's six-year tenure.

One of the most important members of the arsenal is a player one of the Raiders coaches describes as a "quiet assassin."

That the coach in question also happens to be the father of senior wide receiver J.J. Cooper doesn't mean the perspective should be discredited.

During the Raiders' 3-1 start, which included a 55-14 victory over Central Crossing on Sept. 16, Cooper has scored touchdowns on five of his 11 receptions for 295 yards. He's averaging an impressive 26.8 yards per catch.

Cooper also blocked a punt that was recovered in the end zone for a touchdown during a 52-51 loss to Olentangy on Sept. 8, and he has about a dozen tackles at defensive back.

His father is Joe Cooper Sr., who played for Ohio State from 1998-2001 and is in his second year as the Raiders' defensive coordinator.

"He's quiet but at the same time he works hard," Cooper Sr. said. "It's very exciting to see as a dad and as a coach. He has that determination that you're not going to beat him. This kid is a very humble kid who's going to graduate with a 3.9 (GPA). He's taken some classes at Columbus State. He's a loving kid but he's got that competition and drive."

In Reynoldsburg's 35-28 victory over New Albany on Aug. 26, J.J. Cooper broke free for a 68-yard touchdown catch from Nathan Barko for the game-winning score midway through the fourth quarter. He finished with five catches for 134 yards.

He also was tough to stop when he had the ball against Olentangy, scoring on three of his four receptions for 126 yards, and adding five tackles on defense.

A special mention all-OCC-Ohio Division selection on defense last season, J.J. Cooper is hoping his increased role on offense will continue when the Raiders play host to Westerville Central on Friday, Sept. 23. The Warhawks are 1-3.

"I just like being on the field," Cooper said. "I'm more of a leader by example. I don't say too many words. It's just the type of person I am."

Cooper Sr. was a standout in basketball for Independence and found his niche in football during his final two prep seasons before graduating in 1997.

After being the Division II state Defensive Player of the Year for the 76ers as a senior at defensive back, Cooper Sr. was recruited as a linebacker by the Buckeyes. He made third-team All-America in 2000.

Cooper Sr. was signed by the New York Jets in 2002 and by the St. Louis Rams in 2003 but was cut shortly before each of those NFL seasons started. He played for the Calgary Stampeders of the CFL in 2002.

"For a long time I just tried to be a dad and didn't coach," Cooper Sr. said. "One day I thought I wouldn't mind giving some of the knowledge I learned back to kids, and (Reynoldsburg) is the only place I'd coach."

Cooper Sr. served as linebackers coach for the Raiders in 2010 under former coach Steve Evans and also has experience coaching at the junior varsity and junior high levels.

"He's always been very helpful," J.J. Cooper said of his father. "It's kind of cool hearing (his stories)."

In addition to having his father serve as a coach, J.J. Cooper has two first cousins on the team in senior Sam Cooper (DB) and sophomore Dezman Cooper (LB/RB). Dezman Cooper rushed for a touchdown against Central Crossing.

J.J. Cooper has offers from Boston College, Marshall, Buffalo, Akron and Toledo as a wide receiver, and he said Miami University has expressed interest in him for his abilities on both sides of the ball.

"We're just really ecstatic with how he's progressed as a football player," White said. "He's playing with a lot of pride. His dad is very knowledgeable and brings a lot of excitement to the kids on the defensive side of the ball. His dad can get fired up sometimes, but J.J.'s pretty quiet. He's cool and calm."

The 6-foot-4, 190-pound J.J. Cooper, who is about four inches taller than his father, is excited about what he and his team can accomplish during his final prep season.

"We've just been getting better every day and making each other better," he said. "We're so focused on the goal."

julrey@thisweeknews.com

@UlreyThisWeek