South Carolina may have lost two key offensive players in quarterback Dylan Thompson and running back Mike Davis to the NFL, but head coach Steve Spurrier can take solace in the fact that standout wide receiver Pharoh Cooper is still on the team.
In fact, Cooper’s abilities turned so many heads last season that Matt Brown of Sports on Earth went so far as to name him the No. 63 player in college football, out of 100.
“The current Gamecocks roster is lacking star power, but Cooper is a game-changer. He’s a 5-foot-11, 208-pound athlete who can line up anywhere and get the ball in different ways: Last season, he caught 69 passes for 1,136 yards and nine touchdowns, ran 27 times for 200 yards and two touchdowns and even attempted eight passes, completing five with two touchdowns. He’s one of the nation’s most dangerous players in space and after the catch.”
There’s no denying that Cooper is due another great season, as he put up those numbers last year after making just three catches for 54 yards and a touchdown his freshman campaign. Now that he’s a junior, he can be expected to be more of a leader on offense with his athleticism and versatility.
But that also depends on who the starting quarterback for the Gamecocks is come September 3, when South Carolina takes on UNC at Bank of America Stadium. Currently, there are four players vying for the starting job under center: freshman Michael Scarnecchia, sophomore Connor Mitch, junior Perry Orth and freshman Lorenzo Nunez.
If Cooper can build positive relationships with all four men during camp and then work even more closely with whichever one lands the starting job, he could be in position for another excellent season with the Gamecocks.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports