Washington running back Deontae Cooper will miss the 2012 season with a torn ACL, coach Steve Sarkisian announced on his blog late Wednesday. The injury occurred while Cooper was participating in a non-contact drill during practice.
The ACL tear is Cooper's third since enrolling at Washington in January 2010. In August of 2010, Cooper tore his left ACL. After redshirting his freshman season, Cooper returned in 2011, only to tear the left ACL again. On Wednesday, Cooper tore his right ACL.
Earlier Wednesday, Cooper had done an interview with KJR-950AM in Seattle, an interview that seems almost eerie now. “If you're a competitor, you never give up. If I tear my ACL 10 more times, I'm going to keep going until they tell me I can't,” Cooper said.
After news of Cooper's injury went public, encouragement poured in for Cooper from the University of Washington community on Twitter. Former Huskies and current NBA players Quincy Pondexter and Spencer Hawes both sent well-wishes:
Praying for Deontae Cooper. That kid needs a break for real— Quincy Pondexter (@QuincyPondexter) August 9, 2012
With last year's starting running back Chris Polk now in the NFL, Sarkisian was expecting an intense battle between Cooper, Jesse Callier and Bishop Sankey to win the starting job. Now, for the third season in a row, Cooper will have to spend the year rehabbing.
Washington fans have set up a Facebook page to honor Cooper. They're encouraging other Husky fans to send the injured running back a postcard.