Bad news struck the Washington University football program Thursday afternoon, after reports were released stating that highly heralded prospect Deontae Cooper will be forced to miss the oncoming season after injuring his left knee while participating in a conditioning drill. Head coach Steve Sarkisian said that damaged occurred during a "non-contact side shuffle."
Cooper, the second-leading high school rusher in California in 2009, was forced to sit out the 2010 season after suffering an ACL injury on the same knee during training camp. Despite the bleak situation, Sarkisian expressed hope that Cooper would eventually be seen in a Washington uniform.
Still, the setback was only further magnified after reports also surfaced that sophomore fullback Zach Fogerson will be forced to retire from football due to lingering complications with a concussion first sustained in the spring.
"He's a young player that showed a lot of promise,'' Sarkisian said of Fogerson, the younger brother of senior tailback Johri Fogerson, who was among the most highly-rated players at his position as a senior at O'Dea High in 2009. "He just never got a chance to get it going.''
With gaping hole left in the aftermath of the two losses, the Huskies backfield situation looks abruptly thin heading into the 2011-2012 season. 1,000-yard rusher Chris Polk will return as Washington's starting tailback, and sophomore Jesse Callier serve as his backup.