Defensive tackle Robert Cooper arrived at Florida State weighing close to 400 pounds.
Now a sophomore, Cooper is noticeably slimmer after dropping 40-45 pounds.
“I feel amazing,” Cooper said. “This is probably the best I have ever felt. I used to gain weight every offseason but now, shedding all this weight, I feel like I’m back to seventh-grade Coop.”
Cooper is listed at 346 pounds and says he’s not done yet. The goal is to shed 20-25 pounds, which he may be able to gradually accomplish in the coming months as he continues to eat well, work out and, well, practice in the searing Florida heat.
As a freshman, Cooper had 10 tackles in limited playing time. Cooper wasn’t expected to play as much in 2018 because FSU had Demarcus Christmas and Marvin Wilson as starters and Fred Jones was a dependable backup. But with Christmas graduating, the Seminoles needed Cooper to drop some weight and improve his conditioning.
“Last year I felt more gassed, more quickly,” Cooper said. “Now I can last longer than I have. It’s making a real big impact for me.”
Cooper could be in line for significantly more playing time this fall. He worked out with the first-team defense in Saturday’s practice, lining up in the middle with Cedric Wood and Dennis Briggs on each side during three-man drills. The second-team line was Jamarcus Chatman, Tru Thompson and Malcolm Lamar.
Wilson did not practice during the open portion on Saturday. Coach Willie Taggart said Wilson’s injury is minor.
“Marvin will be fine,” Taggart said. “He tweaked his knee a little bit, but he’ll be fine. We’re just being cautious with it.”
For the time being, FSU is leaning on a younger group of linemen.
“I feel like every young guy in our position group is making progress, really,” Cooper said. “You can’t go wrong with coach Odell. He is going to get it out of you. They have been showing good stuff.”
Wide receiver Tamorrion Terry remains out. Warren Thompson was not spotted during the open portion of practice on Saturday. … D’Anfernee McGriff has joined FSU as a receiver. The former Tallahassee Leon High standout graduated in August from Florida Atlantic, where he played for offensive coordinator Kendal Briles in 2017 … FSU will practice Sunday afternoon before taking Monday off. The Seminoles will practice at Bradenton’s IMG Academy on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
If you enjoy reading stories like this, consider a subscription to the Osceola. Go to theOsceola.com/about to read more about our staff and enjoy a 7-day free trial.