Cooper Enjoys First UM Practices

This week highly touted freshman running back Graig Cooper experienced his first weeks of practices at the University of Miami.

It was a long time coming for Graig Cooper, who originally signed a letter of intent in February 2006 but had to prep for a year.

Cooper shared his experience. "It feels good, it feels really good," he said about finally suiting up for the ‘Canes. "We have a lot of work to do, but I feel comfortable."

Originally from Tennessee, Cooper has been in Coral Gables since January as an early enrollee. It is normal for freshmen to get homesick, but Cooper has kept a business mentality that keeps him focused.

"I've been on campus like a month. I don't really miss home, but I'm ready to go home if the opportunity comes up, you know? I miss my family, but I can't do anything except deal with it. I love it here though."

Cooper, along with the rest of the team, played in shells today and did mostly conditioning work, and says that the coaches haven't told him exactly how they plan on utilizing his talent.

"We're just going over some formations and getting some basic offense going, nothing I can really tell you just yet about what we're going to run. Right now everyone's doing the same thing; no one's doing anything special. We're just doing some conditioning and basic offense stuff."

"I'm hearing Reggie Bush, that's all I'm hearing, but I couldn't tell you at this point."

New running backs coach Tommie Robinson will be the man who helps the running backs learn the new system. He, like Cooper is experiencing his first days as a Hurricane. However, despite their unfamiliarity with one another, Cooper is excited about learning from him.

"Oh man, Coach Robinson is hard nosed," Cooper said about Robinson. "All the running backs noticed how hard nosed he is, but he's a good coach. Right now we're still building a relationship so I couldn't tell you too much about him, but all I do know is that he's ready for business."

In addition to being a running back, Cooper may also see some time at special teams. The coaches are already experimenting with lining him up to return kicks in practice.

"We're doing a bit of special teams stuff but we have a lot of guys working on things," he commented. "It was just basic stuff though, everyone was just catching balls and there weren't any starters or anything like that."

"All of us are pushing each other. Everyone's trying to get better than the person next to them, because it's all about opportunity, but we're doing it together. That's what the U is about and that's why I came here."

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