Riley Cooper

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Riley Cooper
Riley Cooper Eagles vs Redskins.jpg
Cooper playing for the Eagles in 2011
No. 14     Philadelphia Eagles
Wide receiver
Personal information
Date of birth: (1987-09-09) September 9, 1987 (age 26)
Place of birth: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 222 lb (101 kg)
Career information
High school: Clearwater (FL) Central Catholic
College: Florida
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 5 / Pick: 159
Debuted in 2010 for the Philadelphia Eagles
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2013
Receptions 93
Receiving yards 1,514
Average 16.3
Receiving TDs 13
Stats at NFL.com

Riley Thomas Cooper (born September 9, 1987) is an American football wide receiver for the Philadelphia Eagles of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the University of Florida, where he was a member of two BCS National Championship teams. He was drafted by the Eagles in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL Draft.

Early years[edit]

Cooper was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, the son of Larry and Monica Cooper.[1] He grew up in Clearwater, Florida, where he attended Clearwater Central Catholic High School and played high school football and baseball for the Central Catholic Marauders.[1] Cooper was a three-time all-county selection, received all-state honors as a wide receiver and free safety after his junior and senior seasons, and was his football team's captain as a senior.[1] Rivals.com ranked him as the tenth-best athlete in the 2006 college football signing class.[2] Cooper was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies in the 15th round (457 overall pick) of the 2006 Major League Baseball Draft.[3] He did not sign with the Phillies because he chose to attend the University of Florida to play football.

Cooper's younger sister, Lindsey, also attended the University of Florida, where she played for the Florida Gators women's soccer team.[4]

College career[edit]

Cooper accepted an athletic scholarship to attend the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where he played for coach Urban Meyer's Florida Gators football team from 2006 to 2009.

During his freshman season in 2006, Cooper served as the "gunner" on special teams and played in 13 of the 14 games for the Gators. He established a then-career-high with three receptions (all touchdowns) in the romp over Western Carolina. Cooper was nominated SEC Freshman of the Week following his performance. He was the first Gator freshman wide receiver to have three touchdown catches in a game since Jabar Gaffney accomplished the feat in 2000. Cooper saw action in Florida's triumphs over Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky, mostly on special teams. He made collegiate debut with one reception for 10 yards against Central Florida. Cooper gained 92 yards on four receptions, three of which went for touchdowns, on the season.[5]

As a sophomore, Cooper appeared in 10 games during the year with two starts in home contests against Tennessee and Auburn. He missed games against Georgia and Vanderbilt as a result of a broken finger suffered in the first quarter at Kentucky. He dressed but did not compete in the Capital One Bowl against Michigan, which the Gators lost. Cooper hauled in a career-high and team-best four catches for 122 yards and two touchdowns, including a career-long 59-yard grab in his 2007 debut against Western Kentucky. Cooper caught eight passes, gaining 182 yards and scoring two total touchdowns in 2007.[5]

Cooper batting for the Florida Gators baseball team

Cooper appeared in three games for the Gators in his junior season, starting all but two (against Hawaii and Florida State). He hauled in a key touchdown, along with a season-high 51-yard reception, that put Florida in scoring position during the SEC Championship Game against Alabama. He totaled 28 yards on two receptions in the BCS National Championship Game, including a crucial 17-yard catch on 3rd-and-12. Cooper amassed 261 total yards on 18 receptions, three of which were touchdowns.[5]

Cooper totaled 961 yards on 51 receptions, with nine touchdowns and an average of 18.8 yards per catch.[6]

Baseball[edit]

Cooper was drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies out of high school in the 15th round of the 2006 MLB Draft. Cooper passed on the contract and played college baseball for the Florida Gators baseball team as an outfielder. He signed a deal to play baseball for the Texas Rangers of Major League Baseball but decided to delay his MLB career and returned to play football for the Gators football team in 2009. He was scheduled to get a physical and receive half of his $250,000 signing bonus on January 17, but declined and told the Rangers that his focus was football, thus voiding his baseball contract.[citation needed]

Professional career[edit]

Philadelphia Eagles[edit]

Cooper was selected by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fifth round (159th overall) of the 2010 NFL Draft. He was signed to a four-year contract on July 13, 2010.[7]

2010[edit]

Cooper caught his first NFL touchdown in a game against the Tennessee Titans on October 24, 2010.

He ended his first season with 7 receptions for 116 yards and 1 TD.

Riley Cooper catches a pass vs. the Redskins during the Eagles 24-16 victory on November 17, 2013.

2011[edit]

He scored his second touchdown of his career against the New York Giants in week 10 of the 2011 NFL season on an 8-yard completion from Vince Young.

Coming off the bench, he posted 16 reception for 315 yards and a TD.

2012[edit]

He broke his collarbone on July 28, 2012 and missed time,[8] but did return mid-season and made a one-handed catch for a touchdown against the Dallas Cowboys. He scored again in the second meeting of the season against the Cowboys, again on a one-handed catch.

While mostly a reserve, he ended the season with 23 reception for 248 yards and 3 touchdowns.

2013[edit]

Overall, this was Coopers breakthrough season. In his last year of his rookie contract, he started the season used mostly for his blocking, rather than for his receiving ability. In the first 5 weeks, he posted 8 catches for 93 yards and 1 TD with Michael Vick at quarterback.

Cooper had a career game on Week 9 against the Oakland Raiders, where he posted 5 receptions for 139 yards (27.8 avg) and 3 touchdowns.

After a slow start, Cooper put together a solid season with 47 reception for 835 yards and 8 touchdowns, all career highs. He ended the season tied for third in the NFL with 17.8 yards per catch.[9]

2014[edit]

On February 27, Cooper signed an extension deal valued at $25 million over five years, with $8 million fully guaranteed.[10]

Off the field[edit]

July 2013 concert incident[edit]

A video surfaced in July 2013 of Cooper being denied backstage access at a Kenny Chesney concert and using the word "nigger" in reference to the bouncers.[11] He apologized and was fined an undisclosed amount by the Philadelphia Eagles.[12] Afterward, Cooper expressed support for "penalties for racial slurs," saying, "I think it's a good rule," when questioned.[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c GatorZone.com, Football, Roster, Riley Cooper. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  2. ^ Rivals.com, Prospect Rankings, 2006 Athletes. Retrieved August 23, 2010.
  3. ^ baseball-reference.com, 2006 MLB Draft 2006 MLB Draft 15 Round. Retrieved May 21, 2013.
  4. ^ "Gator Soccer Roster/Bios". GatorZone.com. 2012-06-06. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  5. ^ a b c "NCAA College Football Player Rosters". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  6. ^ "Riley Cooper Stats". ESPN. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  7. ^ McPherson, Chris (July 13, 2010). "WR Cooper Agrees To Terms". philadelphiaeagles.com. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  8. ^ Smith, Michael David. "Eagles WR Riley cooper suffers broken collarbone". ProFootballTalk. NBC Sports. Retrieved 11 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Philly.com, Eagles Must Decide, [1]. Retrieved January 9, 2014.
  10. ^ http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000329568/article/eagles-riley-cooper-jason-kelce-strike-new-contracts
  11. ^ Corbett, Jim (July 31, 2013). "Riley Cooper vows apology to black teammates after slur". USA Today. 
  12. ^ Ley, Tom (July 30, 2013). "Eagles WR Riley Cooper At Concert: "I Will Fight Every Nigger Here"". Deadspin. Retrieved 2013-08-01. 
  13. ^ http://tracking.si.com/2014/02/27/riley-cooper-penalties-racial-slurs-good-rule/

External links[edit]