On the heels of a three-touchdown, 82-yard performance against Western Carolina, University of Florida wide receiver Riley Cooper (Clearwater, Fla.) has been named the Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, the league office announced Monday. The selection is the first conference honor of Cooper’s career, and marks the ninth weekly SEC accolade for the Gators this season.
Cooper’s three receptions, three touchdowns and 82 yards against the Catamounts all represent career highs, while the three scores tie UF’s single-game freshman record that was set twice by Jabar Gaffney in the 2000 season. His first touchdown came on a seven-yard strike from senior quarterback Chris Leak (Charlotte, N.C.) with just under seven minutes to play in the first half, extending Florida’s lead to 20-0. He added a pair of fourth-quarter scoring passes from freshman signal caller Tim Tebow (Jacksonville, Fla.), including a 55-yard connection that ranks as the Gators’ second-longest pass play of the season.
The Clearwater, Fla., native has seen action in 10 games this season, catching four passes for 92 yards and three touchdowns, while contributing three tackles as a gunner on the UF special teams forces. He is one of eight Florida players who have combined to earn nine SEC weekly honors this season. This week’s recognition gives Florida an SEC Player of the Week for the fourth-consecutive week, as junior defensive end Jarvis Moss (Denton, Texas) claimed SEC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after the South Carolina game, and Moss and senior defensive lineman Ray McDonald (Belle Glade, Fla.) took conference Defensive Lineman of the Week honors following the Vanderbilt and Georgia games, respectively.