When four-star quarterback and Clemson signee Zerrick Cooper reports to the Tigers in June, he knows he won’t see much, if any, playing time in 2016.
Clemson has the ultra-talented Deshaun Watson back as its quarterback, so there will be no battle for the starting position that you might see at other programs around the country. Cooper knew that when he signed with the Tigers back in February, but he acknowledged it did make him think twice about his decision.
Cooper could have gone to Florida, a program that had the door wide open for a true freshman to fight for the starting job from Day 1; but ultimately, it was Clemson that came out on top.
The Jonesboro (Ga.) High School product talked about his decision, why he was most disappointed by UGA, Dabo Swinney’s dancing skills and more in a recent conversation with SEC Country:
Q: What school came in second? What could they have done a little better?
A: I’d say the University of Florida. They kind of made it tougher because at the same time everybody in college wants to get out on the field and play, and basically, they told me I could come in and start my freshman year. I’d just have to compete. I took that into consideration, but Clemson came out on top because I just felt like that was the best thing for me to do.
Q: What was the most creative thing a school or coach did to get your attention?
A: When you visit and stuff, just how they put you on the Jumbotron and show you around the facilities and stuff like that. Just put your name on lockers and stuff like that. I thought it was very exciting.
Q: What was the biggest rumor about you that wasn’t true?
A: That I was going to decommit and go to Florida.
Q: What’s the biggest secret you kept during the recruiting process?
A: There really weren’t any secrets. Clemson found out that I went to Mississippi State and that I went to Florida, so those are the only two things. But they found out, so technically, it’s not a secret.
Q: What is the funniest thing any head coach said to you during the entire recruiting process?
A: I’d say Coach (Dabo) Swinney because he’s my head coach. He didn’t really say anything, but it’s just his personality. His ways, his personality. He likes to dance a lot. When I see him dance, it makes my day. It’s just hilarious.
Q: How good of a dancer is he?
A: He’s a great dancer actually. He’s got a little work to do.
Q: Which coach was it the hardest to say no to?
A: i’d say Coach Jim (McElwain) at Florida.
Q: Which school disappointed you the most during recruiting? Why?
A: I’d say Georgia. They let too many Georgia natives go out to other schools instead of recruiting in-state.
Q: Which college would you have considered more seriously if they had offered you earlier in the process?
Q: Which head coach of a team that you did not sign with was the nicest?
A: I’d say Coach (Mark) Stoops. He was just welcoming to the program when I went on my visit with my cornerback who’s going there, Jordan Griffin. He just felt welcoming. He made me feel like I was a part of the team when I really wasn’t.
Q: If you were in charge of the NCAA, what’s the one rule you would change with recruiting?
A: I’d say that recruits should get gear from players and stuff like that.