Washington tailback Deontae Cooper announced Sunday on Twitter that he has transferred to San Jose State. Cooper will have one year of eligibility at San Jose State, for which he is immediately eligible because he is a graduate student.
A four-star recruit out of Citrus Hill High School in Perris, Calif., Cooper graduated from high school a semester early and enrolled at the University of Washington in January 2010. However, Cooper injured his ACL during fall camp and sat out his true freshman season. He would miss 2011 and 2012, due to knee injuries. The NCAA consequently granted Cooper two more years of eligibility, besides the one redshirt and four active years most student-athletes get.
It took until the 2013 season opener for Cooper to see collegiate game action, with six carries for eight yards against Mountain West opponent Boise State. Cooper would wrap up his long-delayed freshman season with 270 rushing yards and three touchdowns and the team’s Most Inspirational Award.
In 2014, Cooper played all 14 games and started two. He had 285 rushing, 155 receiving, and 42 kick return yards, with one touchdown reception. That year, Cooper also completed his undergraduate degree with a double major in communications and ethnic studies and enrolled in Washington’s graduate program in intercollegiate athletics leadership. Cooper chose his graduate program because he has a goal of becoming a college athletic director, the Seattle Times reported. Cooper became a team captain in 2015 and played nine games with 98 rushing yards and one touchdown.
Cooper will supplement a stable of experienced San Jose State running backs, alongside seniors Chris Dadson, Jarrod Lawson, and Shane Smith, juniors Brandon Monroe and Thomas Tucker, and sophomore Malik Roberson. Cooper’s father Willie attended San Jose State.