Cooper’s versatility gives Gamecocks options

Q&A with USC's 12th commitment for Class of 2013

dmclemore@thestate.comMay 16, 2012 

Pharoh Cooper is another athlete who could play a number of positions when he joins the Gamecocks in 2013.

Cooper (5-11, 180), of Havelock, N.C., pledged to USC last week over offers from East Carolina and N.C. State. He visited those three campuses as well as Alabama and North Carolina.

He says he is being recruited as a defensive back but plays quarterback, receiver, safety and punt returner for Havelock. He expects to focus mostly on quarterback in his senior season.

Last season he had 28 touchdowns receiving, rushing and in returns. He had 1,300 receiving yards, and added six interceptions.

247Sports lists him as a three-star wide receiver. Scout has him as a two-star receiver. He is not yet rated by ESPN and Rivals.

Defensive line coach Brad Lawing was his recruiter. Cooper was USC’s third pledge of the day on May 10 and 12th overall.


Why South Carolina?

It’s SEC football. You can’t beat that. I love to compete with the best players in the nation.

What did you like about USC?

When I went on a visit down there, I loved everything about it. I went to spring practice, saw the complex, the weight room, the campus. The campus was really beautiful. I really liked everything about it.

How do you like your recruiter, Brad Lawing?

He’s a nice guy. He’s nice to have a cool conversation with. He seems cool. I’ve got a nice chemistry with him.

How about your future coaches, Grady Brown and Lorenzo Ward?

I talked to them a couple days ago, Coach Ward and Coach Brown. I really have good chemistry with them. I feel comfortable with them coaching me.

Who did you call to make your commitment to and how long was that conversation?

Coach Lawing. He asked me if I was ready to jump in the boat. I say yes, I’m ready to jump in the boat. He was excited. He was pumped. It probably lasted 10 or 15 minutes.

What makes you a good defensive back?

I’ve got good ball skills, man to man coverage, big hits, reading quarterbacks.

What are your senior season goals?

Just to get better. You can never be too good at anything.

Why commit early?

I talked to my parents about it and I felt comfortable at the school. That’s where I want to play at. I’m ready to go ahead and focus on high school ball and get that stress and all the pressure out of the way.

You announced your decision on Twitter. What was that like?

It was crazy. By the next day I gained 350 followers. There was a lot of support from South Carolina.

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