Mar 17, 2015
His Comeback Continues

Last October, T&C brought you the comeback story of University of Washington running back Deontae Cooper, who had missed three straight seasons with three torn ACLs before returning to the field at the end of 2013. With a full season under his belt, and having been granted another year of eligibility, Cooper is preparing for the 2015 season and recently reached an impressive comeback milestone. At the team’s annual Husky Combine, he ticked off a time of 4.49 in the 40-yard dash—the exact same time he ran as a freshman before his first knee injury.

“I haven’t lost it,” Cooper told the Seattle Times.

As he looks ahead to next season, when he will be sixth year senior, Cooper is thankful that he’s now able to focus on continuing to improving his overall conditioning instead of rehabbing his knees.

“I sit down and think about it and try to assess it, and now it’s ‘How do I uphold my body throughout the season?’” Cooper said. “I’m going to have more confidence now going in, and that’s huge. The more you play, the more confidence you build. And I’m excited to play with confidence. That’s going to take care of itself this year.”

One of the team’s top returning running backs, in 2014, Cooper played in all 14 games finishing with 63 carries for 285 yards and 16 receptions for 155 yards and a touchdown. With his legs now firmly underneath him, Cooper is looking forward to competing for the team’s starting running back spot next season.

“That’s going to be a push from Day 1 of spring to Day 1 of the game, and it’s going to last the whole season,” Cooper said. “I don’t think anyone’s shy of competition in that group. From the younger guys to the older guys, we’re going to compete. I think Coach Bhonapha is going to hold us to a standard to where we have to compete, and that’s going to be fun. I can’t wait.

Click here to read Deontae Cooper’s Comeback Athlete profile from the T&C November 2014 issue.



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