The Champs Sports Bowl was quite entertaining earlier this week. Wisconsin seemed to get a ton of pressure on Jacory Harris and they also didn’t have much trouble running the ball. Miami nearly came back at the end but couldn’t drive to score after recovering the onside kick.
The result may have been different if the Hurricanes’ starting running back Graig Cooper hadn’t left with an injury. Cooper fell victim to the loose turf at Pro Player Stadium and suffered a “severe” ACL tear — as if it weren’t severe in the first place. Word out of Coral Gables is that Cooper could miss the entire 2010 season while he rehabs the injury. In the Champs Sports Bowl, Cooper had already notched a touchdown along with 29 yards rushing on five carries before he went down. Note the huge divot that we’ve spot-shadowed in the image above. The timing and circumstances of the injury are similar to that of Willis McGahee. McGahee tore his ACL, MCL, and PCL in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl when Will Allen hit him in the knee. Luckily for McGahee, he signed with Drew Rosenhaus and managed to get picked in the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft. Though, his name was mentioned as a potential top-five pick before the injury.
Graig Cooper, a third-year player, had significant carries in his time at Miami and was considering a jump to the NFL. However, he’d recently said that he was only “worried about this bowl game.” ESPN draft guru Todd McShay recently told the Palm Beach Post that Cooper would have likely been a second or third-round pick at the latest. So the poor surface at Pro Player Stadium may end up costing Cooper millions of dollars. Maybe he should get Drew Rosenhaus on the horn right now.