The Eagles weren't the first local team to spot the potential of Florida wide receiver Riley Cooper.
In June 2006, the Phillies drafted the high school outfielder, whose football option was one of the factors that caused him to still be available in the 15th round.
"He was a really good athlete, lots of ability," scouting director Marti Wolever recalled. "We made a decent effort to sign him. More than a decent effort, actually. He had a lot of tools as a baseball player."
Cooper passed on the Phillies' offer and focused on football at Florida. Even though he was drafted and signed by the Texas Rangers in 2009, he eventually informed the team that he was retiring to concentrate on the draft.
Cooper hit .182 in 13 games for the McKinney Marshals of the Texas Collegiate League last summer.
"He could really run," Wolever said. "He could throw. He had at least an average arm, maybe a plus arm. We liked his size. He looked like he had a chance to develop some power and had a pretty good approach at the plate."
- Paul Hagen