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EMAILS I GET: Cris Carter says Riley Cooper will leave UF to play professional baseball

Per the custom here on Gator Clause, if we receive a quality email, then we share it with everyone. (email in blue; Gator Clause's answer in black) ...

This email comes to us from Todd of Columbus, Ohio. Todd writes:


I'm a Gator alum living in Columbus, Ohio, and yes I do have a great time poking my co-workers and neighbors with my Gator/SEC stick. I was listening to the local talk show and Cris Carter was on talking about the USC/OSU game. The conversation turned to his son, who appears to be a highly regarded receiver from Fort Lauderdale and has committed to the Buckeyes. Carter stated that Urban Meyer is trying to get him to de-commit because he is going to lose Riley Cooper and another receiver to baseball.

Does this story have any legs? Or is Carter's son that good?

I enjoy your articles and blogs.

Take care,


Interesting email, Todd. Thanks. Here's what I found out for you this morning. I phoned Larry Cooper, Riley's father, who said his son might leave Florida for next summer's MLB Draft but any talk of that was "all speculation at this point."

Riley Cooper participated in a summer baseball league for college players a few months ago and apparently impressed a few people with his speed, arm strength and improved power. Larry Cooper said that of all the college baseball players who participated in summer leagues, his son was rated the highest by PGCrosschecker.com. This website is basically like Rivals.com but geared specifically to baseball.

Cooper, UF's receiver who also played baseball for Florida last spring, played in the Valley League this summer and batted .231 with three home runs and seven stolen bases. The website does rate Cooper as the top prospect of last summer's Valley League. I couldn't find any information about Cooper being the top-rated project of all the leagues, as his father claimed. (He might be but I wasn't about to pay the fee for this website to find out.)

ANYWAY, Riley Cooper is eligible for next year's draft because he recently turned 21. College baseball players must be 21 years old or a junior in school to be drafted. If Riley is drafted high enough in the MLB Draft next June, then the receiver might take his chances in professional baseball, according to his father. If Riley isn't drafted high enough, then he will return to Florida for another season and play baseball and football. Cooper was drafted by the Phillies in the 15th round of the 2006 MLB Draft.

"It's all speculation right now," Larry Cooper said. "Riley is playing football. Where it goes, nobody knows."

As for the other UF receiver Cris Carter claimed will leave UF to play baseball, I know of no other player on the Florida football team who fits that description.

Duron Carter (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas) is a fundamentally sound high school receiver who should fit in well with the OSU offense. I would be slightly surprised if Duron signed with Florida next February and not OSU (Cris Carter played at OSU). It should be noted that Cris Carter is close friends with Florida coach Urban Meyer.

Just passing along some information from Miami Herald correspondent Mike McCall. Mike was eating at a Gainesville restaurant on Monday night and spotted UF tight end Tate Casey with his right arm in a sling.



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