The Arizona Wildcats will no longer be without redshirt freshman slot receiver Devaughn Cooper, who returned to practice Monday after being removed from the online roster before the start of camp.
“He’s back and he’s going through acclimatization, gotta work his way back up into the depth chart, so to speak,” head coach Rich Rodriguez said. “He called a couple weeks ago and we told him he had to earn his way back in, and he’s earning his way back in.”
The reasons why Cooper left in the first place are unknown, but his return certainly adds more valuable depth to Arizona’s receiving corps.
Depending why Cooper left, we could see a situation where it takes him a while to fully regain the trust of Rich Rodriguez and see the field.
“I don’t want to create a whole lot of drama about it,” Rodriguez said. “I think he was confused at the start, but now he’s back with us and he’s a good young man. We’ve always thought a lot of him and hopefully he’ll make the most of this opportunity.”
Prior to his departure, Cooper was slated to make big contributions for Arizona this season, largely due to his speed.
He was an electrifying playmaker at Narbonne High School (Harbor City, Calif.), but was shut down his freshman year after sustaining an injury in week three, ending his season. He finished with one catch for 15 yards.
The 5-foot-10, 180 pound receiver will do most of his work in the slot, opposite of Shun Brown. Both Tony Ellison and Cedric Peterson can play in the slot, as well as Tyrell Johnson, who has been bogged down by injuries.
Cooper is also a prime special teams candidate to return kicks and punts.