With spring ball approaching, I thought I’d update the recovery of UW running back Deontae Cooper, who missed last season with an ACL injury to his left knee.
As you can read, he won’t be full go this spring, but will be out on the field at times doing individual work, some drills, etc. But don’t read into that news that there are any issues with his rehab. Both Cooper, pictured at right, and UW coach Steve Sarkisian say that if anything, he is ahead of schedule, and should be just fine for the fall. Such injuries are essentially a nine-month recovery and Sarkisian said there is no reason to put Cooper at risk of re-injury now, so they’ll likely wait to really get him out there until the fall.
In a few notes that didn’t make the story:
— Cooper said he is up to about 200 pounds from the 190 he played at in high school.
— Cooper, who had been acknowledged as already emergint into a team leader after arriving in Jan., 2010, said he thinks the team has had a good off-season. “The Holiday Bowl was just a taste,” he said. “A lot of our players want more than that and they are anxious, ready for the season to kick off again. There will be a lot of competing this spring and fall so we are all looking forward to it.”
— Running backs coach Joel Thomas said there would definitely be a role for Cooper once he gets healthy alongside Chris Polk and Jesse Callier in the backfield. “To compare the three, (Cooper) is more of a slasher, if that makes sense,” Thomas said. “He gets very skinny going through certain holes. He’s got pretty good vision, just like the other two guys do, too. I feel like I’m a pitcher and I’ve got three different pitches with those three guys — I’ve got a curve, a slider and I can bring the heat when I want to. I think he is just another pitch. He does some really nice things but he just offers a little different variety than the other two. … They are all different and I think that’s what is unique about them in a sense that we’ve got three different backs. Chris is much more physical than those two guys, but chris showed his home run hitting ability. Jesse has a really unique feel, kind of a slithery feel and good route running and a lot of the specialty stuff. Deontae is really a home run hitter — he has the ability to go the distance at any time. So all three bring different aspects to the running back position so we could use all of them.”
— Of Cooper’s recovery he said: “Just being back in the football mode will be the biggest hurdle to overcome. He is an explosive player. That’s what we saw in the fall, the ability for that home run, he showed that during the spring also last year. But he’s done awesome. Coach (Sarkisian) talked about it back in the fall when it happened — if there’s a guy that can overcome it it’s Deontae Cooper, and he has done nothing but support that comment. He has been nothing but full go with his mind the entire time. He has been a pleasure. I know the trainers have enjoyed working with him as much as you can enjoy rehab — they have enjoyed his work ethic. We’ll see when the time comes.”
IN OTHER NEWS. …
— ESPN.com’s Ted Miller looks at early commitments throughout the Pac-12, noting that only five schools have any.
— The Sporting News examines which teams might be most interested in drafting a QB such as Jake Locker.
All for now.