Arizona Wildcats junior tight end Michael Cooper, who figured to be a starter in certain formations, has left the team, coach Rich Rodriguez said Tuesday morning.
“He’s exploring his options,” Rodriguez said.
“He may stay in school and not play football. He may transfer somewhere else. He’s a great young man. Good student. Whatever he wants to do we’re going to support him and wish him the best.”
Cooper (6-5, 246) played in 12 games as a backup last season, when the Wildcats didn’t much feature the tight end position in Rodriguez’s read-option offense. He talked this offseason, though, of expanding the role of the position.
Cooper, who earned second-team Pac-12 All-Academic honors last year, did not have a catch last season. He told FoxSportsArizona.com this summer that he was applying to Arizona’s Eller College of Business.
Arizona can use versatile Terrence Miller in a tight end/H-Back role, and also redshirt freshman Josh Kern, who converted from quarterback in the spring.
Cooper’s brother, Perry, a linebacker, transferred from UNLV to Murray State this summer.