Each week during the college football season we will feature a player who is an officer for an Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
Name: Cooper Gardner
College: University of Pennsylvania
Height, weight, class, position: 6-1, 270 pounds, senior, defensive line
High School: Broomfield HS in Broomfield, Colorado
About Gardner: A mainstay on the defensive line, Gardner is in his fourth season of being a regular up front on the DL for the Quakers. By starting all six games this season, Gardner now has started 26 games for Penn and appeared in 35 games since he first cracked the lineup in 2015. … Leader of the Penn Chapter of Uplifting Athletes. … This season has a career-high four sacks through six games to lead the team. … Now has 55 tackles for his career mostly playing nose tackle. … Majoring in the biological basics of behavior, also known as neuroscience. He plans to go to medical school to become a surgeon.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Gardner: My sophomore year we played Harvard and won in a super tight game. The defense was playing lights out that game despite being in bad position most of the game.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes?
Gardner: What drove me was the older guys on the team who were a part of it and all of the good things they had to say as well as our team having some personal connections with the Rare Disease Community.
What have you learned from your experience with Uplifting Athletes?
Gardner: I have learned a lot about the work that goes into running these organizations but that great amounts can be accomplished by determined individuals.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
Gardner: What I love about game day at Franklin Field is that all of the flags are put up on top of the whole stadium. It is a pretty awesome site and I love taking it all in during warm ups.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Gardner: J.J. Watt because not only does he dominate on the field, but he also is an incredible person in the other aspects of his life. Also, we both rock No. 99 so that doesn’t hurt.
If you could have lunch with any one person (dead or alive), who would you choose and why?
Gardner: Teddy Roosevelt because he is my favorite president and his story always amazes me. He is the epitome of grit and toughness.
What is your favorite road stadium you ever played in and why?
Gardner: Dartmouth because that is where my Dad played football in college and the away locker room is the old home locker room. It is pretty cool to get geared up and play in the same place my Dad did but a generation later.
HOT SEAT QUESTIONS
What is your perfect pizza?
Gardner: Classic Pepperoni
Last 3 songs you added to your playlist?
Gardner: Can’t Say – Travis Scott; Honey-070 Shake; Missed Calls-Earthgang
What is your go-to fast food restaurant?
Gardner: Since being Philly, I’ll have to go with Wawa
Favorite sports team (any sport)?
Gardner: Denver Broncos!
What is the most used app on your phone?
Gardner: Twitter probably
No. 1 goal for yourself in 5 years?
Gardner: To graduate from Medical School