Running back Deontae Cooper , who had already verbally committed to play for the University of Washington , is now enrolled in the winter quarter. This will make him available for spring practice. Cooper is a four star running back out of Perris, California.
With the opportunity to participate in spring practice, and the fact that Chris Polk carried the load by himself last year, Cooper is setting himself up for playing time his freshman season.
Cooper is a 6' 200 pound running back with a 4.7 40-yard dash. He is rated the 17th best running back per Scout , and the ninth on Rivals . Deontae was highly recruited, with offers from three other Pac-10 Schools, as well as two Big 12 schools.
With Deontae’s arrival and subsequent signing of his letter of intent to play at Washington; the first member of the 2010 class has arrived. Classes began January 4, so the young man has already started his transition into the college world.
The Official Husky Website has a short video interview with Cooper about his experiences thus far. He sounds like he is enjoying the transition to school and they are making him feel "at home." Which is important for a player from out of state, and Cooper notes he has yet to start to feel homesick, although it is the first week.
He also commented on the workouts being more intense, and that was one of his driving factors to enroll early, to prepare for the transition. You can watch the video for yourself at the official Husky website .
With this early start Cooper is looking to help carry the load his freshman year. Carrying the load is something Cooper knows all about, as he set the California state record with 59 carries in a single game this season. He has been a very productive runner putting up 7,450 rushing yards with 107 touchdowns during his high school career.
That yardage is No. 2 in Inland Empire history behind only Toby Gerhart, who was a Heisman finalist for Stanford this season. During his senior season put up 2,863 yards and 34 touchdowns at nine yards a carry.
In addition to his production as a runner Cooper has a reputation as a solid receiver out of the back field. He is considered to be one of the most versatile running backs in the 2010 class. His skill set should fit in well in Sarkisian’s system that asks a running back to catch passes as well as run the ball. Because of that, and his early arrival, look for Cooper to get some playing time as a true freshman.