Update on Kenny Cooper’s injury status from Paul Johnson

Georgia Tech football coach Paul Johnson was born Aug. 20, 1957, in Newland, North Carolina. Johnson was hired and introduced Dec. 7, 2007 as Tech's 12th football coach, beginning with John Heisman in 1904. Tech defeated Jacksonville State 41-14 on Aug. 28, 2008, in Johnson's debut as Yellow Jackets coach. Johnson's Georgia Southern teams won Division I-AA (now FCS) national championships in 1999 and 2000. Johnson coached six seasons at Navy and was 43-19 over the final five, after a 2-10 first season. Jo

Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson was hopeful Wednesday about the return of center Kenny Cooper from a foot injury suffered near the end of spring practice.

“He could play in the first game, it’s possible he could miss a game or two,” Johnson said at the ACC Kickoff. “All indications are he’s ahead of schedule and the rehab’s going good.”

Cooper is an important piece of the Tech offense. In 2017, the junior was an effective run-blocking force up the middle in his first season as a starter.

Asked if Johnson would expect Cooper to be cleared to practice at the start of preseason practice in early August, Johnson said he didn’t know.

“We’ll have a better idea here in a week or two,” Johnson said. “I don’t know that he’ll be full go at the start of camp, but there’s a good possibility we could get him back before camp’s over.”

Tech opens the season against Alcorn State, followed by a road game at South Florida and the ACC opener at Pittsburgh. If Cooper can’t play immediately, the options are likely Jahaziel Lee, who subbed for Cooper at the end of spring practice, or Andrew Marshall, who missed the 2017 season with a foot injury.

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