'Talented' WR Pharoh Cooper has offense picked up - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

Latest Scores, Headlines and Analysis

'Talented' WR Pharoh Cooper has offense picked up

Posted: Updated:
Pharoh Cooper has been taking snaps on special teams. (Source: TheBigSpur) Pharoh Cooper has been taking snaps on special teams. (Source: TheBigSpur)
  • More newsMore>>

  • Police: Trooper hurt in ambush conscious, talking

    Police: Trooper hurt in ambush conscious, talking

    Sunday, September 14 2014 9:40 PM EDT2014-09-15 01:40:44 GMT
    With the deadly ambush on a state police barracks in the Pocono Mountains, law enforcement in eastern Pennsylvania went on high alert and officers from throughout the region, including New York and New Jersey,...More >>
    A Pennsylvania state trooper who was injured when a gunman ambushed him and killed another trooper outside a police barracks is conscious and talking for the first time since he underwent surgery, a spokesman said Sunday.More >>
  • Hillary Clinton in Iowa stirs 2016 speculation

    Hillary Clinton in Iowa stirs 2016 speculation

    Sunday, September 14 2014 8:10 PM EDT2014-09-15 00:10:40 GMT
    White House speculation in overdrive, Hillary Rodham Clinton returns to Iowa to pay tribute to the state's retiring Democratic senator as anticipation builds over the possibility of another presidential campaign.More >>
    Hillary Rodham Clinton, making her return to Iowa for the first time since the 2008 presidential campaign, implored Democrats on Sunday to choose shared economic opportunity over "the guardians of gridlock" in an...More >>
  • Vikings miss Peterson in 30-7 loss to Patriots

    Vikings miss Peterson in 30-7 loss to Patriots

    Sunday, September 14 2014 7:10 PM EDT2014-09-14 23:10:46 GMT
    Adrian Peterson did not accompany the Minnesota Vikings to the stadium on Sunday for the game against the New England Patriots. The star running back is keeping his distance in the wake of child abuse charges that...More >>
    The face of the franchise was nowhere to be found as the Minnesota Vikings flailed away against the New England Patriots on Sunday, and it's not clear when, if ever, Adrian Peterson will rejoin them.More >>

COLUMBIA, SC (TheBigSpur) - Freshman Pharoh Cooper played just a few snaps in the season-opening win over North Carolina but he didn't make it onto the field much from that point until last week's 35-28 victory over Kentucky. That should change going forward as the South Carolina coaching staff looks to put the ball in his hands more often.

Cooper, who was recruited by the Gamecocks (4-1, 2-1) as a defensive back, moved to wide receiver just a couple of weeks before kickoff against the Tar Heels. It took him a while to get the offensive playbook down but now the staff feels comfortable putting him into the game.

Not only will Cooper get more chances on the offensive side of the football, he should get a shot on special teams. This week in practice, he's worked both as the kickoff and punt returner.

"He's done a lot of good things and knew he'd have an opportunity to do some things," wide receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. said. "He went out there, did a good job. He's a talented young man who is ready to go play."

Cooper prepared from the time he committed on May 10, 2012 to be a defensive back at South Carolina. On August 13 of this year, he moved to the "Z" wide receiver position, which is the slot receiver in South Carolina's offense.

It took him a while to catch up to his teammates on the offensive playbook. Players receive a copy when they sign their letter of intent in February, so Cooper was several months behind. His teammates also had a couple of weeks of on-field practice, which he lacked.

So Cooper had to work hard and spent extra hours with graduate assistant Seth Strickland and Spurrier Jr. watching film and going over the playbook. Now he's ready.

"When I first got onto offense, I really didn't know anything at all," Cooper said. "It took me a while to learn the signals. The first couple of weeks, I'd go out at practice, run some routes and I'd get talked to by coach Spurrier about how it was the wrong route. I've been picking up the offense lately and I've got it 100 percent now."

Cooper registered two carries for 26 yards out of the wildcat formation last week. He lined up at quarterback and called his own number to carry the football. He also had his first career catch, which went for a 12-yard gain.

"He can catch, he's physical, and has an intelligent presence to him," Spurrier Jr. said. "He's a player, but he's a special offensive player."

The Havelock, N.C. native should also feature on special teams for the first time this season. After the win over the Wildcats, head coach Steve Spurrier said he was going to look for Cooper to return kickoffs and punts.

"I feel blessed to have the chance to start back there," Cooper said. "I'm just going to keep working hard to get on the field some more. Special teams is very important. If I have the opportunity, I'm going to take advantage of it."

Cooper came to South Carolina as a defensive back and Spurrier decided he wanted him on his side of the football. The former four-star prospect in the 247Composite is now just beginning to scratch the surface on offense.

"It's been a great idea for me," Cooper said. "It's working out good so far."

Copyright 2013 The Big Spur and WIS. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow