Tag Archives: Deontae Cooper

Your 2014 UW Husky Offensive Preview

Hey readers, long time no write! New content here has been next to non-existent for a while, but college football season always inspires The Good Guys. I can’t promise the inspiration will last, but we’ll at least get the season started right.

With Seahawk fever now a permanent Seattle epidemic, the Huskies aren’t getting a lot of attention yet.  I don’t know whether that will change at all, but they deserve some buzz. This team has the potential to be the best Husky squad since the Tui-led Rose Bowl team. That’s not saying a ton, and this team has questions, but there’s the chance of something special on Montlake.

I debated what type of preview to write, but I think I’m going with a good old position-by-position write-up. While a lot of these players have been around, some of the focus is shifting from the departed offensive stars to lesser-known guys. I’ll start with the offense tonight. Here we go!

Quarterback

Most fans would say this position is the key to the Huskies season, and it’s hard to disagree. I don’t know that the Dawgs need elite QB play this year, but they need an unproved guy to be dependable and reasonably mistake-free. Who the QB will be is still somewhat in doubt. Jeff Lindquist gets the opening start in Hawaii. He’s big and athletic with a good arm but next to no experience. There’s no reason he can’t be effective, but game action is the only true determiner. Lindquist narrowly beat out freshman Troy Williams, who has maybe the biggest arm and most potential of the group, but the least experience. Should Lindquist struggle, Williams could see some time. Hopefully more likely, he’ll see mop-up duty in Hawaii.

Lurking behind these two is Cyler Miles, suspended for the opener for his off-season shenanigans. The common assumption is Miles will take over week two, but I don’t consider that a fait accompli. Miles brings a bit more experience and excellent running ability, but he’s generally considered to have the weakest arm on the roster and missed all of spring practice. Should Lindquist impress at Hawaii, it’s no given he’ll lose the spot just because Miles is available.

Running Back

Replacing Bishop Sankey is impossible, but the Dawgs have the talent to maintain an elite running game. Dwayne Washington will get the first carries. He’s taller for a back and fast, but runs with a good amount of power and violence. Fumbling issues held him down early last year, but he recovered to log the most yards of any back besides Sankey. His time as a receiver should theoretically be of benefit in the passing game. RS freshman Lavon Coleman has garnered raves since arriving in Seattle. He’s a big back with star potential.

Deontae Cooper and Jesse Callier are still around and should see plenty of carries. I’ve never been a huge Callier fan, but he’s a dependable change of pace from the bigger Washington and Coleman. It’s hard not to continue to hope for Cooper to regain everything he was rumored to have before his injuries. If he were to do so, he could easily take over the starting job and be one of the best in the conference. More likely, he’ll get a decent share of carries but not quite have the burst to be a star. No matter what, he’s one of the great stories of perseverance the Huskies will ever have.

Shaq Thompson looms in the shadows, awaiting the day the Dawgsignal summons him to the offensive backfield to deliver justice and retribution to Ducks and Bruins alike. 

Receivers

This is a talented and fairly deep group, but how dominant they are could depend on how effectively Kasen Williams returns from last year’s injury. He’s not yet at full strength, but he’s close enough to play this week. Kasen’s size and experience is needed as a counterpoint to the speed of Jaydon Mickens, John Ross and friends.  Mickens matured into a go-to receiver last year, and he could be a monster in 2014 if he can diversify his game a bit. Ross is the most electric player on the roster and could make a huge jump himself. There are capable bodies behind the three, but a breakout or two would be welcome.

Tight end is a little hard to figure, due to Austin Seferian-Jenkins departure and questions as to how a new staff will use the position. Josh Perkins showed himself capable of making big catches a year ago. Michael Hartvigson has never had the impact many expected, but he’s valuable as a blocker and might catch a few more passes this year. Darrell Daniels is easily the most talented guy here and one of the better athletes on the team. Hopefully he can translate all that into football skills. If he can catch the ball, he could be huge as a bigger threat to complement Kasen. 

Offensive Line

For the first time in a long time, UW is deep, talented and experienced on the O Line. Six guys have extensive starting experience, and there’s some young talent behind them. Tackles Micah Hatchie and Ben Riva are dependable if unspectacular. LG Dexter Charles, the lone junior starter, has been considered an awards candidate in waiting since his freshman year. Colin Tanigawa supplanted Mike Criste at C this fall, potentially a good sign since Criste was a solid starter all of last year. That move could be largely about getting mammoth James Atoe into the line-up at RG. This line might not be as dominant as some of the great lines of Husky days past, but they should be better than anything the Dawgs have had lately. Count me as one who believes the coaching change could have a huge effect here too, both in performance and recruiting. Dan Cozetto’s lines never seemed to reach their expected level, and new guy Chris Strausser is renowned as a teacher.

That’s enough for tonight. Defense is next in a day or two. Go Dawgs!

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Moments

Deontae Cooper came to Seattle in January of 2010.  He was one of the crown jewels of Steve Sarkisian’s first full recruiting class.  His legend had spread among Husky fans before he even stepped on to the practice field.  He was the guy who ran for 7,450 yards in high school.  He was the guy who ran for 388 yards in one game.  When he did step on the practice field later that spring it was easy to see how he racked up those gaudy numbers.  Every practice he would break off an unbelievable run.  He was the talk of camp.  Husky insiders mentioned Cooper, who would have been a true freshman, stealing away carries from Chris Polk, who turned out to be one of the best running backs in school history.

Hype and expectations for a player tend to grow when people don’t have anything better to talk about.  That’s exactly what happened that off-season.  Entering Fall Camp of 2010, Cooper could have passed as Superman to some Husky fans.  Were there unreasonable expectations for a 17 year-old?  Yes.  But, some people were made to entertain with their talent and Cooper seemed destined for that.

A few days into Fall Camp, Cooper was running hard, planted on his left knee and made a cut.  No one tackled him but something was off.  He tore his ACL.  He worked hard and came back in time ready for 2011’s Fall Camp.  A few days in, the same thing happened.  The next year?  Lather, rinse, repeat (just switch knees).  He vowed to work hard and come back.  He said that he would tear his ACL 5 more times and still try to come back.  He went from legend to folk hero.  His perseverance was strong but most people realized that he would never see the field at U-Dub in a meaningful game.

***********************************************************************

Felix Hernandez was signed as a 16 year-old Venezuelan by the Seattle Mariners organization.  He threw fireballs and was said to have a hammer of a curve.  As Felix advanced through the minor league system, his legend grew.  He earned the nickname ‘King Felix’ before pitching in a major league baseball game.  He eventually made his debut, still a teenager, and eventually lived up to the expectations that were, probably unfairly, placed on his broad 16 year-old shoulders when he signed with the team.

For years, he was the lone shining star on a team that celebrated mediocrity.  He loved Seattle and gave the team and fans everything he had when he’d step out on the mound.  It didn’t matter that his offense probably wouldn’t score runs or that the bullpen would eventually blow his shutouts, Felix pitched, and still pitches, like he’s leaving everything he has in him on the field.

On August 15th, 2012, I watched from a rented beach house as Felix threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays.  It was a performance that Mariner fans will never forget.  A perfect moment that showed Felix’s perseverance against a ball club’s continual mediocrity.

By the end of the year, the Mariners were 77-85.  They finished last place in their division, a place that was all too familiar.

***********************************************************************

The other day, I was in a McDonald’s, with my wife, about to order some breakfast.  We were in a rougher part of Seattle, a block or so away from a Methadone clinic.  I know we were that close to the clinic because the guy in front of us in line told us he had come from there.  He was dressed in some worn down clothes and seemed like a guy who had gone through his share of struggles.  I noticed he was holding a dollar and a few coins.  He was studying the menu intently, trying to find something that fit his budget.

In front of him was a lady who had seemed like she might haven’t gotten caught up in the wrong part of town.  She seemed a bit frazzled, to put it lightly.  She was frantically looking through her purse, trying to find the money that would pay for her meal.  Amongst the scramble, a few belongings from her purse had fallen on to the ground without her noticing.  By the time she had noticed, the gentleman in front of me had picked them up and hurriedly gave them back to her, in a nervous and shy sort of way.  It was a moment of genuine kindness from a person that the world usually doesn’t expect to see kindness from.

She said, “Thank you.”  They both went on with the rest of their day.

***********************************************************************

I’m not sure why we all get caught up in the pessimism.  None of us watch the news to see what’s going right with the world.  Even in sports, ESPN and other sports outlets are generally leading with stories about someone cheating or getting cut from the team instead of the feel-good moments.  In the media’s defense, that’s what the consumer demands.

This isn’t a call to always be positive, the Mariners will probably keep sucking and people do bad things.  Life isn’t easy.  But, I think we all owe it to ourselves to enjoy the moments.  Soak in the little things that aren’t ordinary.  There are plenty of things in our day that aren’t ordinary, no matter how big or small.  It’s just a matter of us choosing to see them before our routine sets in again.

***********************************************************************

Last Saturday night, in the second quarter of Washington’s 2013 season opener, Deontae Cooper jogged on to the field.  The center snapped the ball and the quarterback handed it off to Cooper.  He barreled up the middle for a one yard gain, showing a little less zip than what he used to have but a determination that I wish we all had.  The play would be called back because of a penalty.

Deontae Cooper flashing the smile, and optimism, he's famous for among Husky fans.

Deontae Cooper flashing the smile, and optimism, he’s famous for among Husky fans. 

It was a moment that I’m sure he cherished.  A moment he had waited and worked so hard for.  Fans stood up and cheered.  Cooper received an ovation that he was more than worthy of.  Then, everyone sat down and the next play began.

– Andrew

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Looking At The Dawgs – Offense

In past years, I’ve tried to do position previews before Husky football season kicked off.  Usually these previews fizzled out somewhere between the linebackers and the secondary.  In an attempt to end this, I have simplified the previews this year.  I will be previewing the offense in one post and the defense in the next.  I will do a general overview of each side of the ball first and then break down the position groups (although I’m not going to make those all that in-depth).  I don’t plan on listing all 90-plus guys on the roster over these but I will try to give an idea of what I think about the starters and the depth at each position.  With these things in mind, let’s get started with the offense!130318123323-keith-price-top-single-image-cut

Offensive Overview:

Heading in to 2012, the Husky offense was thought to be a strong point of the team.  They had lost their top receivers and one of the great Husky running backs of all time but they had a stud tight-end, a few exciting prospects at running back, a returning offensive line, a decent receiving group, and a Heisman contender at quarterback.  Things didn’t exactly go to plan.

Before the season began, the Huskies were already down a few offensive linemen.  That continued throughout the season and caused the offense to fall apart.  The tight-end was great.  A star was found at running back.  But, the offensive line couldn’t pass block, a second, third and fourth receiving option was never found, and Keith Price went from a Heisman dark horse to a guy that some people wanted benched.  The offense was a disappointment, but it was one that people could make excuses for.

In the spring, the Huskies started to implement a no-huddle offense.  This has continued and will be used this season.  Apparently, the playbook is close to the same.  While they may have simplified it some, Sark has not moved to a spread offense.  I will talk about how this affects the defense in the next post but it has yet to be seen how it will affect the offense.  If the playbook really hasn’t changed much, I think the offense has a chance to special.  Sark has always been good at taking advantage of match-ups on the offensive side and as long as this is the focus of the offense and not just ‘going fast’ I feel confident in what the team can do.  The offensive line returns almost everyone and the depth of the whole offense could make running the no-huddle effective.

Position Previews –

Quarterback:
Starter – Keith Price (RSr.)
Keith Price was extremely efficient and productive in his first year as a starter in 2011.  Last year, he was a shadow of himself.  Price couldn’t move around very well, was constantly pressured, and made questionable decisions.  His efficiency in the red-zone, which was what made him great in 2011, slipped dramatically.  Price seemed to want to be too perfect at times and played scared at other times.  I’m hopeful that playing in the no-huddle offense will limit his thinking and get him back to just playing ‘Keith Price’ football.  He is only a few touchdown passes short of breaking the UW career record.  He’s had an amazing career, regardless of the last two games of 2012.  Here’s hoping he gets back to his improvising, accurate ways.  I’m glad he’s our quarterback.
The Depth – Cyler Miles (RFr.), Jeff Lindquist (RFr.), Troy Williams (Fr.)
It seems like what is listed above is the pecking order.  Miles has separated himself as the backup.  He is a good athlete and a play-maker.  His weakness seems to be his arm strength.  Lindquist came in with Miles and, while he may have fallen behind him now, appears to be in the running for the starting job next year.  Jeff is from Mercer Island and has a stronger arm but maybe not the big play ability of Miles.  Williams is a true freshman and was highly recruited around the country.  He is mobile and said to throw the best ball out of all of the quarterbacks (maybe not the most accurate, but the strongest and best spiral).  Expect Williams to redshirt unless everything falls apart.  Unlike last year, the quarterback depth appears to be in solid shape and they seem to be capable backups.   Continue reading

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Wide Receiver

Camp is almost half over and the first game is 2 weeks away.  It seems as if training camp has brought a new injury with it everyday.  When you list everything out (which I will do after I run through the wide receivers) it doesn’t look as bad as what the perception is.

I’ve written about quarterbacks, running backs, and fullbacks so far in this series and I move on to receiver today.  The position is going through what seems to be a little bit of a face lift this year, with Jermaine Kearse and Devin Aguilar graduating.  Those two had very good careers at U-Dub, although they both came with their fair share of frustrations.  Most fans agree that, while the 2012 group is young, they have a good amount of talent and shouldn’t see a huge drop off in production.  On to the names!  I’ll include most players (I will probably leave off some walk-ons who I don’t see as contributors this year).  The order I list them is in the order I perceive as the current depth chart.

Kasen Williams (SO.)

I was just reading Ted Miller’s blog (which is fantastic) and he was asked to compare Kasen Williams and Marquess Wilson.  He said that it wasn’t a fair comparison in comparing someone who is an All-American and someone who is mostly based on potential at this point.  This is exactly right.  Kasen Williams has as much potential as any receiver in the Pac-12 and maybe the country.  No, really he does.  He flashed it at times last year but he has hardly proven himself.  He’s not in the Pac-12 elite but I would be surprised if he wasn’t in that group by the end of the season.  Every Husky fan (and a few WSU fans) have the picture of Kasen leaping over a defensive back in the Apple Cup cemented into their memory bank and these are the type of plays that we hope to see all year.  Last year, Kasen caught 36 passes for 427 yards.  I expect him to double those yards.  By all accounts, Williams should be a star at some point, the question is if that will happen this year.  I sure hope so.

James Johnson (SR.) 

James Johnson has had an interesting career as a Husky.  He scored the first touchdown of the Sark era, as a true freshman.  Johnson then went on to have a great freshman year (39 catches for 422 yards), particularly in the first half.  He was then injured before his sophomore year and somehow got lost in the mix at the position.  He never really saw the field, aside from a few plays here and there.  Last year brought something of a comeback for Johnson (28 receptions for 366 yards).  He would have a few great games (Nebraska comes to mind) and then disappear for a game it seemed.  He did miss a few games due to injury.  This year is off to an ominous start, as he’s suffered a dislocated wrist and a few torn ligaments.  Sarkisian said that he’ll be out 4-6 weeks.  This is a blow to the Dawgs for the first few games as most people had James penciled in as the number 2 receiver.

Cody Bruns (RS SR.)

Speaking of interesting careers, I’m not sure any player could top Bruns in that category.  Cody Bruns played in his first game half way through his freshman year because Ty wanted to run some trick plays.  Cody would get on the field for about 3 plays a game and it wasn’t usually to catch passes.  Bruns was a bit lost in the depth his sophomore year and then played a little more his junior year.  He’s been labeled as a player who could do everything from holding on field goals, to passing the ball, to punt coverage, to actually receiving.  Last year, he was dealt an emotional blow as his father passed away.  The coaches and Bruns decided that a redshirt year would be best for all involved.  Now Bruns enters his last year and figures to be an integral part in the receiving corps.  He may be used in a more conventional way than usual but don’t be surprised to see him be on the field in many different capacities.  He has surprising speed and is said to be a sharp route runner.

Kevin Smith (JR.)

It’s easy to forget that Kevin Smith didn’t play all 4 years of high school football.  He started later but his athletic ability made up for however raw he was.  Now he’s an upper class-man who could be a pretty big contributor (208 yards receiving last year).  Smith is still recovering from an ACL injury and could be limited for the first month of the season.  If he does come back to 100% healthy, there’s no doubt in my mind that he’s one of the Huskies 4 best receivers.  You may also see him back returning kicks and showing off his speed.

Jaydon Mickens (FR.)

Mickens was rated as a four-star recruit coming out of California and has been turning heads in the first 2 weeks of camp.  He has even been running with the starters in the last couple of days due to injuries ahead of him and his good play.  Mickens is the smallest of the receivers (5-10, 170) but has a ton of speed.  He’s almost assured to play this year and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him start in 2 weeks.

Kendyl Taylor (FR.)

Much of what I said about Mickens rings true for Taylor.  He was a highly rated recruit coming out of Arizona who has been making plenty of plays thus far in camp.  He’s also 5-10 but a little bulkier than Mickens.  His high school mascot was a Husky so that’s cool, I guess.  Taylor will see plenty of playing time, especially as Johnson and Smith work their way back as the season progresses.  Sure, these 2 freshmen probably have their best days a few years down the road but we don’t have the luxury to wait for that since the Dawgs need them now.  I’m guessing they’ll come through with only a few hiccups along the way.

A few more guys and notes after the jump. Continue reading

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Fullback

Just in case anyone missed Matthew’s post below, here is the link.  I can’t say enough about the post.  If you haven’t read it, go do that now.

Today we get to know our Dawgs who play fullback.  This falls at a convenient time since there are two of them and I’m on vacation so I don’t really want to write that much.  Suckers.  With that being said, there is a few notes after the jump about the first week of the Huskies training camp.

Jonathan Amosa (SR)

Who scored the first touchdown of the 2011 Husky football season?  If you had Jonathan Amosa in that pool, you were probably the only one.  You were also correct.  Amosa was thrust into the starting role last season after Zach Fogerson retired due to injury.  The word I’d use to describe Amosa’s play is adequate.  He got the job done but nothing too much more.  He seemed like he blocked pretty well but he’s nowhere near the Stanley Havili type player that Sark had at USC.  He came to U-Dub as a walk-on but was awarded a scholarship two years ago and has since became a regular.  He seems like a good guy to root for.  I would expect him to be on the field about half of the offensive plays, splitting time with Dezden Petty and off the field when the Dawgs go with a one-back formation.

Psalm Wooching (FR)

Psalm has the best name on the team.  That’s a quality that really can’t be looked over.  While Amosa is adequate, Wooching has a chance to be something more.  He could be more of the Stanley Havili type I had mentioned above.  With that being said, it looks as if this Hawaiian is headed for a redshirt year.  I’m excited to see what Psalm could become but that might not come for another year or two.

More notes after the jump. Continue reading

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Deontae Cooper Out For Season

News has broken tonight from Coach Sark that Deontae Cooper has torn his ACL, once again, and will miss this year.  At this point, I expect him to retire.  This is his third knee injury in as many years for the young man.  He came into U-Dub with all the promise in the world but it hasn’t worked out for him due to injuries.  Our thoughts and prayers are with him, as I’m sure this is a struggle for him.

As for what this means to the Huskies, not much.  Anyone expecting Cooper to make a significant impact this year was being unreasonable.  More than anything, this is just heartbreaking news.  Get well soon, Deontae!

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Getting To Know Your Dawgs – Running Back

Fall camp started yesterday for the Huskies and the Good Guys will keep track of any major news that breaks.  At this point in time, the only news that would be of major significance is an injury so hopefully we won’t have to update on any of those.  I started a series about the Huskies position groups about a week ago, talking about the quarterbacks.  Today I’ll move on to the running backs.

The running back position has been filled over the last 3 years by one of the most successful backs in school history, Chris Polk.  He ended his career as the second leading rusher in school history and has since moved on to the NFL. This year brings us the first year of uncertainty at tailback in the Sark era.  There seems to be plenty of talent available but talent and proven talent are two different things.  I’ll order these guys in what I think the depth chart looks like right now.

Jesse Callier (Jr.)

Callier has been Polk’s backup for the last 2 years and has done pretty well in that role.  Sark made up ways to get him the ball (the fly sweep is the main way that comes to mind) and he usually succeeded with the ball.  The question about Callier is if he’d be able to handle running between the tackles and picking up the tough yards.  I tend to think that he can’t but I don’t have a ton of conviction in that thought.  Jesse did run in between the tackles in high school and was given an enormous amount of carries (43 in one game).  He doesn’t seem to have a huge history of injuries, so it’s not that I don’t think Callier couldn’t handle being the feature back.  He hasn’t shown that he can pick up yards after contact and that’s what Husky fans have grown used to.  Maybe he can but that’s yet to be seen.

Bishop Sankey (So.)

I’m a little higher on The Bishop.  He’s quick, strong and looks the part of a feature back to me.  Again, I don’t have a ton of evidence in these thoughts but it’s just what I lean-to.  Sankey played sparingly as a true freshman but showed flashes of potential.  Sark often put him in when the team ran a toss sweep play.  That speaks to Sankey’s speed.  He’s short, like Callier, and weighs about 200 pounds so the question of endurance comes up with Sankey.

Deontae Cooper (RS So.)

Matthew wrote about Cooper last night and I don’t have a lot to add.  I saw him before his two knee surgeries in almost every practice of the spring and he was every bit the legend that people have conjured up.  If he comes back and is that guy, the Huskies will have found their running back for this year and the next 2 years.  At this point, that would be close to a miracle.  But, it seems like the Huskies are due for a break as far as these things go.

Dezden Petty (RS Fr.)

Remember how the USC Trojans used  Lendale White back in their glory days?  This was the role Dezden Petty was billed to be in.  He’s a large back at 225 pounds and, if the Dawgs go with a running back by committee approach, will probably have some sort of role on this team.  I could see Petty coming in during goal line situations and he could also line up at fullback.

Erich Wilson (Fr.)

Wilson is the freshman of this group.  He didn’t come in with a bunch of hype and I don’t expect him to make an impact this year.  The depth in this group is lacking though, so who knows what could happen.  We probably won’t know much about Wilson for another year or two.

I left off Cole Sager and Willis Wilson but they are walk-ons who probably won’t be used outside of special teams and mop-up duty.  The group is young, talented and unproven.  It will be interesting to watch in camp and see if anyone claims the job.

Thanks for reading,

Andrew

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Here’s To Hoping

In the best sports news of the summer, college football is back!  The UW Huskies started their fall camp today and will play their first game in less than a month.  It’s hard to know what to expect from a Husky team with a bunch of new coaches and a still young roster.  They should be better, but maybe not enough to result in significantly more wins.  We’ll have a lot more coverage as the Mariners and summer winds down.

For tonight, let’s talk for a second about Deontae Cooper.  If you aren’t aware of the legend of Deontae, here’s the short version.  A running back in the 2010 recruiting class, Cooper took about two practices to whip Husky Nation into a frenzy.  Chris Polk had yet to become the unstoppable force he would be that year.  Running back was a bit of a question mark, as was the rest of the team, and Cooper looked like he might get a lot of snaps, if not challenge to be the starter.  He was extremely touted coming out of high school, with decent size, lightning speed and quickness, and excellent running instincts.  Hugh Millen is on record as saying he was the most talented running back to enter the UW since Corey Dillon.  Corey Dillon had 252 yards in one quarter, if you’ve forgotten.

Unfortunately, before the season ever started, Cooper blew out a knee.  It was disappointing, of course, but it happens.  He’d be back the next year, hopefully at full speed.  And then, before last season, he blew another knee.  When a running back has two knee surgeries, it’s hard to expect a lot from him in the future.  Even if he heals right, the explosiveness and speed might be gone.  It was entirely possible Deontae Cooper would never play a down in Husky Stadium.

Since the second surgery, most fans and media have stopped hoping for anything from Deontae.  It’s just too unlikely.  But still, there are whispers: “If Deontae could ever get healthy…”  and “Look out for Deontae.  If he can ever get on the field, he might run right past Callier and Sankey.”  The whispers grew louder as the season approached and he progressed in his recovery.  Several days ago, Steve Sarkisian said Deontae has been cleared for full participation.  Today, he took part in his first practice in what feels like years.  He’ll be limited for a while as they get him up to speed and used to playing football again, but the doctors have said he’s all clear, which is a bit of a miracle in itself.

It’s easy and appropriate to say that it’s great just to see him playing again, that any snaps he gets will be great, whether he has his old flash or not.  By all accounts, he is a great kid who has worked hard to come back when others might have given up.  Any reward would be deserved.  He’s a long way from actual game action, of course.  It’s possible that his knees don’t hold up and he is injured again or just becomes a bench player.  Everyone is hoping for the best, but anyone saying he’s a guarantee to be star or even a contributor is ignorant or naive.

This is the first day of camp, though, so let your imagination go for a minute.  Imagine that Deontae Cooper is back to the legendary skills he had coming out of high school.  Picture him slowly building up strength, and then, maybe in Eugene or Los Angeles, erupting for 200 yards and leading the Huskies to a huge upset.  It’s been a long time since the Huskies had lightning at tailback.  For everything Chris Polk did, that was not his game.  There’s something different about a running back flying around the tackle, bouncing outside, freezing a linebacker with a cut and outrunning the safety to the end zone.  Deontae Cooper can be that guy.

It’s likely that he won’t be that guy.  I hate to say it, but he faces an uphill battle until he actually plays half a season and sees how his knees hold up.  Sometimes these miracle comebacks actually happen, though.  Watch this one, because it has all the makings of a legendary story.

Here’s to hoping.

-Matthew

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