August 4, 2009

Florida Gators WR Riley Cooper returns for senior year

The Florida Gators football team got more great news at the wide receiver position on Tuesday, just one day after Stephen Alli decided to enroll early at Florida.

Senior wide receiver Riley Cooper told coach Urban Meyer that he would return to the Florida Gators football team for his senior season despite signing a professional contract with the Texas Rangers baseball team.

Cooper will now play as a walk-on for the football team, according to NCAA rules, and will join the Rangers organization following the season in January.

His return should greatly bolster a Florida receiving corps that lost it's top two targets from a year ago, after both junior Percy Harvin and senior Louis Murphy made the jump to the NFL.

I can't say enough about Cooper's blocking ability and having him back this year for the Gators will be a huge asset to the entire offense. Cooper very well may be one of the best downfield blocking wide receivers in college football, and many of Percy Harvin, Jeff Demps, and Chris Rainey's long touchdown runs a year ago were due to a great downfield block by Cooper.

Not only that, but Cooper also has 4.4 second speed in the 40 yard dash and runs terrific routes. Urban Meyer really thinks he will be the go-to guy for the Gators this year and I'm inclined to agree.

Tebow has a natural chemistry with Cooper, who is his roommate, and that should greatly aid the two in the fall. Cooper's presence alone will provide some veteran leadership and lessen some of the pressure on the younger wide receivers to step up.

Here's to seeing Cooper on the field in 2009, we're sure going to need him.

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