Despite losing the opening three games of the year, the University of Rhode Island football team’s sophomore running back Harold Cooper has been a spark for the Rams.
This season he has totaled 160 rushing yards on 46 carriesÂ in the Rams’ first three games.
On Saturday, the offense recorded 327 yards, the most of the season thus far, with 141 coming on the ground. A large part of that came from the play of Cooper, who continues to contribute whenever his name is called. He totaled 181 all-purpose yards, including 22 rush attempts for 95 yards, three catches for 10 yards and 76 kickoff return yards for the Rams.
“We know [a win] is going to come sooner or later,” he said after Saturday’s loss. “That’s how we go into every weekend, with a positive mindset.”
At Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn., Cooper was a three-time All-State selection and recorded 6,661 yards and 99 touchdowns, both of which are the fourth-most in Connecticut high school history, according to GoRhody.
Last year as a freshman, he had to earn his playing time. Graduate student Lyle McCombs received the majority of the rushes.
However, when Cooper got his chance, he proved he was ready to be the premier back. Against the University of Richmond on Oct. 18, he recorded a career-high 98 rushing yards and 41 receiving yards. Against Brown University on Oct. 4, he totaled 95 receiving yards on five catches.
“We’re getting better in the passing game in protection,” he said. “We know what can happen when we get that down pat”.
When asked about how the team remains positive after tough adversity, Cooper said, “Seniors and our coaching staff keep us positive. They make us believe every week we can win the game.”