Sophomore wide receiver Riley Cooper was an impact player for the Gators last season as both a gunner on special teams and in mop up duty at receiver. Cooper rocked an LSU receiver on the second half kickoff that was recovered by the Gators for a safety.
He played a pivotal role in the Western Carolina game, as he hauled in three receptions for touchdowns. Cooper has missed considerable time, including the entire spring where he was set to make his mark for the Florida baseball team. I caught up with Cooper after today’s practice session as he was being interviewed.
There was a round of applause for you?
“Yep. Coach (Meyer) was just saying how I’ve been battling through this injury. My feet are still all messed up. They’ve gotten a lot better. My left one still bothers me a little bit. I’m getting shots and stuff like that.”
What exactly happened?
“I have no idea. It’s like a turf toe I guess, just constant wear and tear.”
Was there an event that caused it?
“No. It had gotten gradually worse. It’s gotten a lot better though. A lot better.”
Have the doctors told you that with time it will go away?
“It’s basically gone, but he was just talking about how I’ve sort of like overcome it.”
Did you wonder what is this and how did the pain start. When did you notice it?
“The Tennessee game. I noticed it in the Tennessee game. It feels great right now where I can get out here and actually run, because they wouldn’t let me do it before.”
Did it start in your toes or was it in the entire foot?
“No, just my toes. My two big toes. My right one is perfect. But, it was both of them last year. Now it’s my left, but like 95%, so I’m ready to go.”
Do you feel as fast as you once were?
“Yeah. I just have got to get out here and start going through all of the stuff running routes and stuff. I’m probably running routes a little slow here now. I haven’t run one since January 8th, but other than that I’m ready to go.”
What was it like to sit out the spring and come back out today in the second practice and make a huge catch like you did down the sideline?
“It felt good. Like I was saying, I’ve been battling though this injury the whole time and to come out and finally make a catch I was supposed to make feels good.”
Expect to see more of Cooper as the Gators prepare for the September 1st season opener. He should secure plenty of reps and play a big role this season.