Cooper, Parker Named to CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team

Cooper, Parker Named to CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team

BALTIMORE, Md. - Junior Harold Cooper and senior Adam Parker were named to the 2016 CAA Football Preseason All-Conference Team, which was announced by the league at its Media Day Tuesday morning.

In voting by the league's coaches and sports information directors, Cooper and Parker were among 28 players named to the team. Cooper was the lone kick returner selected and Parker was one of three linebackers named to the team. It marked the first time since 2011 that Rhode Island has two players on the preseason all-conference team, dating back to when quarterback Steve Probst and kick returner Travis Hurd did so in 2011.

Cooper - a first-team all-conference pick at kick returner in 2015 - led the conference with 23.7 yards per kick return a year ago. He had a 92-yard kick return for a touchdown against Brown, one of five touchdown returns league-wide this season. He ranked 10th in the country with 157.9 all-purpose yards per game, and his 305 all-purpose yards against Brown were the most by any CAA player in a game this season. He also returns as Rhode Island's top running back. Cooper was a third-team all-conference running back last season after he led the Rams in rushing yards (746) and touchdowns (6). 

Parker - a second-team all-conference linebacker as a junior - started the first nine games of the season before suffering a season-ending injury against Villanova. He ranked sixth in the league in tackles per game (8.4). He had 76 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, 2.0 sacks and a fumble return for a touchdown against Brown. He recorded his 200th career tackle midway through the season and will enter 2016 with 219 stops.

Rhode Island was picked to finish last in the preseason poll. Richmond received 19 of 24 first-place votes and is the overwhelming favorite to win the league title. William & Mary, James Madison, Villanova and New Hampshire round out the top five.

The Rams open the 2016 season at Kansas Saturday, Sept. 3. The game will stream on ESPN3. Rhode Island's home opener and CAA Football opener will be Saturday, Sept. 10 against Albany.