The Clemson Tigers are currently very happy with quarterback Deshaun Watson, but they have a big commitment from four-star 2016 quarterback Zerrick Cooper as well. Watson is heading into his sophomore season, which will leave Cooper with a couple years to learn under him when he arrives at school. They are very similar players, and the future at quarterback is extremely bright for Clemson assuming Cooper does end up playing for the Tigers.
Cooper does have some concerns surrounding him, especially on the injury front. He tore his ACL last season, but the Tigers have stayed true to him and believe he will bounce back just fine. Any time a young players tears an ACL there is major concern, but Cooper is very vocal about being fine and working his way back to on-field dominance.
He played during the 2013 season for Jonesboro High School in Jonesboro, Georgia, and ended up throwing for 1,200 yards, eight touchdowns and three interceptions. Cooper also picked up 200 yards on the ground.
His physicality and athleticism makes him a perfect fit for the Clemson offense, and he will be able to make plays with both his legs and arm. That type of quarterback seems to be thriving at the college level, and there is absolutely nothing holding him back from being a major success.
Evan Massey of Campus Sports was able to have a conversation with Cooper about his upcoming collegiate career, and we hope that you enjoy the interview and follow him as he takes the next step in his career.
There were quite a few schools interested in Cooper, but he chose to commit to Clemson because of head coach Dabo Swinney.
“The relationship I built with coach Swinney and the staff members, I just felt welcome. That was the main reason I decided to commit to the Tigers.”
Some Clemson fans may not have heard much about Cooper, and they may have seen less. He was more than happy to describe himself as a person and as a football players for those interested.
“I’m an outgoing, comical and personable, and as a player very dynamic and able to get the ball to playmakers and be able to have fun while enjoying the game of football and being a leader.”
One of the most intriguing questions for any players is who they would compare their game to at the collegiate or NFL level. He was very confident with his answer of Cam Newton, and said that he is very close with Newton and works out with him as well. If he does end up being as good as Newton, the Tigers will have gotten very lucky by bringing him on board.
Watson is without question the starting quarterback heading into the next couple of seasons, and Cooper talked about his fit behind Watson.
“I’m okay with it being that he is a Heisman candidate this upcoming year, but basically coach Swinney said I’m just like Deshaun just a little taller and hopefully when Deshaun leaves I can follow in his foot steps.”
In addition to the Tigers, quite a few other high caliber schools were interested in bringing him into their program. Kentucky, Virginia Tech, Lousiville and Mississippi State were the main schools in the mix for him outside of Clemson.
Coming off of a torn ACL is never easy for any player, but Cooper has stepped up to the challenge and is facing it like a professional. He talked about his recovery so far, and how important it was to him that Clemson chose to stay loyal to him despite the injury.
“I’m feeling great. I’m just continuing to work out on it so it won’t get stiff. It means a lot that they stuck with me, because some schools backed off. For them to stay loyal to me shows me a lot about their program and their coaching staff.”
All of that being said, Cooper is expected to become a future star for Clemson. There is absolutely nothing that can hold him back from becoming something special, and the way he has bounced back from his injury shows that. He is an excellent football player, but most of all he is a very smart and mature person.
*Featured Photo (above) credit to TigerNet