Pharoh Cooper will own USC offense in 2015
South Carolina doesn’t know who will start at quarterback in 2015.
The Gamecocks don’t know who will start at running back.
But they do know who will be the guy at wide receiver — Pharoh Cooper.
And thanks to Cooper’s versatility and playmaking ability, the All-SEC wideout will own South Carolina’s offense in 2015.
Cooper enjoyed a breakout season in 2014 with 60 receptions, 966 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. Thanks to South Carolina’s bowl game, he also has a great shot at eclipsing 1,000 receiving yards.
But where we saw Cooper be most effective is when he could beat defenses in multiple ways.
“Pharoh can throw, run, catch. He’s a ballplayer that can do a lot,” head coach Steve Spurrier said in November. “We’ve used him a lot lately, looking back, should have used him more in some games at certain times.”
There were times in 2014 where Cooper single-handedly dominated opposing defenses. Against Tennessee, Cooper racked up 11 receptions for 233 yards and two touchdowns, while also throwing and running for a touchdown.
He did it again a few weeks later against South Alabama where he racked up 144 total yards and threw for another touchdown.
And looking ahead to 2015, it’s setting up nicely for Cooper to play an even bigger role for the Gamecocks.
It’s not completely out of the question that Cooper could even see significant snaps at quarterback. While it’s not likely, considering the playmaking ability he has at receiver, he has proven to have one of the strongest arms on the team.
And behind Dylan Thompson this season, Cooper actually recorded the second-most passing attempts (8). The two backup quarterbacks threw for a combined eight passes.
In addition to throwing and catching the ball, Cooper also showed he was more than capable of rushing with the ball. He received only 24 carries on the season, but still racked up the fourth-most yards on the team and averaged the highest yards per carry average on the team (8.3).
South Carolina will have no proven commodity on offense next season other than Cooper. He was responsible for more than 24 percent of South Carolina’s total offensive yards in 2014.
Fortunately for Spurrier and company, Cooper is more than a receiver. He’s able to beat defenses in multiple ways. The offense next season will have a lot of question marks, but with Spurrier’s propensity for offense, you know he’ll get the ball to his playmakers.
And Cooper is a playmaker in every sense of the word.