GAINESVILLE -- University of Florida receiver Riley Cooper is returning for his senior season, the university announced on Tuesday.
Cooper has agreed in principle to terms of a contract with the Texas Rangers that will allow him to play football this season, according to Riley's Cooper father, Larry Cooper. Riley Cooper is expected to report to the football team this week and participate in the Gators' first football practice on Thursday. Cooper was drafted by the Rangers in the 25th round and recently competed in a collegiate summer baseball league in Texas.
[PICTURED: Riley Cooper and Urban Meyer -- best friends for life!]
"It was a tough decision -- one of the hardest I've ever had to make -- but I'm excited about being part of the Texas Ranger organization and coming back and playing football for my final season," Cooper said in a statement. "I want to thank the Texas Rangers for allowing me to play my senior football season at Florida, the University of Florida and especially Coach Meyer for all his patience and support during this process."
Cooper is the Gators' only returning starter at wide receiver. He is considered an excellent downfield blocker and made several key receptions in the 2008 Southeastern Conference championship game and 2009 BCS National Championship.
So, Gators fans, how important is this news to the success of the Gators this season?