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Eagles' Cooper, '06 pick by Phillies, takes BP

Lachemann hopes third time the charm at Classic

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A former Phillies Draft pick took a few cuts in the cage Thursday at Bright House Field.

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper took batting practice before the Phillies' Grapefruit League game against the Pirates. The Phils selected Cooper in the 15th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft, but he did not sign and enrolled at the University of Florida, where he played baseball and football, winning two football national championships.

"It was definitely a decision I had to make, but I'm glad I made the one that I did," Cooper said. "I've done a lot and seen a lot for a 25-year-old."

Cooper, who grew up in Clearwater, later signed a contract with the Rangers, but chose to continue his football career. He said the Eagles set up Thursday for him as he films a documentary in Gainesville, Fla., about being a two-sport athlete, including being drafted by the Phillies.

"It went really good," he said of his BP experience. "It was a great experience. They kept telling me to get on top of the ball. But I'm trying to hit the ball out every time. I got a little too big [with the swing]. But the wind was blowing in hard, so I would have had more home runs."

Cooper hit one home run during BP.

"One or two, who's counting?" Cooper joked.

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for
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