Sunday, April 25, 2010
- by B.B. Branton
Former Tennessee at Chattanooga All-Southern Conference wide receiver Blue Cooper is going green – Philadelphia Eagles Green, that is.
Cooper signed a free agent contract with the Eagles Saturday night after the NFL draft had been completed and will participate in the Eagles mini camp that starts Friday.
Blue was the ‘”go to guy’’ in the Mocs 2009 aerial attack with 84 catches for 824 yards and seven touchdowns, including a career-high 16 catches in the 24-20 win against Western Carolina. He earned second team All-Southern Conference honors.
In four years, the 6-4, 200 pound receiver from Rome, Ga. (Coosa HS), had an impressive 152 receptions for 1,790 yards and 14 touchdowns.
At Coosa High School, he earned all-state honors as a quarterback with 950 passing yards and 935 rushing yards.
Notes: Eagles player personnel consultant Phil Savage helped the coaching staff evaluate college players from the Southeast region in preparation for the 2010 draft … The Eagles selected five players from the Southeastern Conference in this weekend’s draft.
Savage had a front row seat this past fall to analyze SEC players as he served as the color analyst for Alabama football radio broadcasts alongside play-by-play man Eli Gold during the Tide’s national championship season.
Alabama beat UTC 45-0 in November as Cooper had two catches for seven yards.
Savage, a Mobile, Ala. native, is a former quarterback and baseball player for the University of the South in the mid 1980s and served as the Cleveland Browns senior vice president and general manager from 2005-2008.
Cooper was the team’s leading receiver over the last two seasons.
He was a mainstay on the biggest turnaround in school history as Chattanooga went from 1-8 in 2008 to 6-5 overall and 4-4 in the SoCon under first-year head coach Russ Huesman last season.
“I don’t know what to say,” stated Cooper. “I am just so excited. I feel like I should be working out right now getting ready for mini-camp.”
Cooper got the free agent call on Saturday night following the conclusion of the 2010 NFL Draft. “I had jumped in the shower and heard my phone,” explained Cooper. “I looked over and it was a number I did not know, so I got out, grabbed it and they said, ‘We are on the phone with Philadelphia working out a contract and I will call you back.’ Then they just hung up. I got another call a few minutes later and it was one of the Eagles’ coaches who said ‘Welcome to the NFL’.”
Cooper will be joining former Moc Eldra Buckley who is a running back with the Eagles. Buckley saw his first game action in 2009, playing in 16 games while amassing 44 yards on 15 attempts and one touchdown. He was a leader on special teams, racking up 13 tackles.
“Eldra and I came here at the same time,” recalled Cooper. “He was a JuCo-transfer and I was a freshman, so we hung out a lot. He called me yesterday and we talked for about an hour. He told me what mini-camp is going to be like and let me know what will really happen.”
A Dean’s List honoree in the fall, Cooper is set to graduate on May 2 with a degree in Health and Human Performance.
contact B.B. Branton at email@example.com