A transfer from Clemson who possesses size, arm strength, mobility and awareness, Cooper is viewed as a Day Three / priority free agent, developmental quarterback prospect.
A big-time pedigree passer, Cooper began his collegiate career at Clemson before transferring to Jacksonville State and becoming the school’s all-time leading passer. He possesses a strong enough arm to make all the passes, has proven to be calm and collective under pressure, while also flashing the ability to be a dual-threat weapon and pick up the first down with his feet when needed. In fact, his mobility to fend off would-be tacklers and bide time in the pocket will be one of the most alluring traits of Cooper. He is stout enough to withstand big hits in the pocket, can dip his arm angle and make off-platform throws. Would like to see him do a better job of progressing through his reads before he tucks and runs. When he does take off, Cooper is a reckless runner who leaves himself prone to injury. While he has demonstrated the ability to push the ball downfield, a lot of his passing yardage is accumulated on dumps and screen passes, as he understands when to check down and get his playmakers the ball in space. Overall, Cooper has the tools to succeed, which makes him an appealing developmental quarterback. He will need to harness some of his accuracy issues but the frame, arm talent, agility, poise and leadership will endear himself to pro coaches at the next level. Any franchise in search of grooming a quarterback should give Cooper strong consideration on Day Three of the 2022 NFL Draft.
“I just dropped back as far as I could, just gave him a chance and the rest is a miracle. It’s crazy. I saw him (catch) it but I didn’t know he scored until I saw crowd start cheering." -- Zerrick Cooper on his Hail Mary pass to upset the Florida State Seminoles
Born in Miami, Florida; son of Eric and Jennifer Cooper, the youngest of four siblings. Considered a four-star recruit coming out of high school, where he played under coach De’Timothy Floyd; completed 161-267 passes for 2,039 yards and 21 touchdowns in 2015. Was also a starter on the basketball team as a senior. Selected Clemson over offers from Florida and Kentucky; recruited by Mike Reed and Brandon Streeter. Earned his degree in sports management at JSU.
In 2021, he completed 176-of-326 passes for 2,137 yards and 13 touchdowns in 10 games. In 2020, completed 54-of-81 passes for 671 yards and one touchdown; made four starts during the spring-shortened season before suffering a season-ending injury during the FIU game. In 2019, he completed 260-of-439 passes for 3,404 passing yards and 28 touchdowns in 12 games started. In 2018, he completed 251-of-417 passes for 3,416 yards and 32 touchdowns in 13 games started. Served as a backup quarterback in his first active season as a redshirt freshman with Clemson in 2017; redshirted in 2016.
09/13/21 - Zerrick Cooper was at the heart of college football’s most iconic play from this past weekend. The former Jonesboro High star and his Jacksonville State teammates shocked the college football late Saturday night with a walk-off, 20-17 victory over host Florida State at Doak Campbell Stadium. Down to the game’s final play, Cooper threw a miraculous, 59-yard touchdown to Damond Philyaw-Johnson to complete a stunning finish that sent the Gamecocks into a massive celebration. Cooper's 12-yard pass to Quan Charleston at the 8:32 mark in the second quarter moved the 6-foot-3, 217-pound senior past Eli Jenkins (7,652 yards from 2013-16) atop JSU’s career passing list. (Clayton News Daily)
1/25 - Sturdy, chiseled frame. Four-year starter after transfer from Clemson, with great arm strength.
08/31/21 - After spending two seasons at Clemson, the Miami-raised dual-threat immediately contributed for the Gamecocks, starting in all 13 games of his redshirt sophomore season. In his 29 career games donning the red and white, including the fall finale, where an ankle injury abruptly ended his season, Cooper has averaged 258.3 passing yards and around two passing touchdowns per contest. This makes it presumable that the sixth-year passer will break both Ed Lett’s 39-year school record for career touchdown passes (61) and Eli Jenkins’ record for career passing yards (7,652) on Wednesday. The game should be closer than people think, and Cooper will be one of the main components if Jacksonville State can pull off the victory. (Source: NFL Draft Bible)
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