Four-star dual-threat QB details Clemson visit... does Clemson lead?

by - Staff Writer -
Zerrick Cooper is shown here at Dabo Swinney's camp in June.
Zerrick Cooper is shown here at Dabo Swinney's camp in June.

The Clemson coaching staff played host to one of its biggest targets for the 2016 recruiting cycle this past weekend when Jonesboro (GA) 4-star quarterback Zerrick Cooper was on campus, along with his family.

Cooper, one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation for 2016, visited Clemson on Saturday with his family and he told TigerNet shortly after the visit that the visit went better than expected.

"It went pretty well. Me and my mom and my dad had a wonderful time," Cooper told TigerNet. "One thing that stood out to me was the crowd around there. The fans are very supportive during the game and after the game. Clemson dominated. The game was pretty exciting. It was my dad's first experience going to a college game.”

Cooper has offers from Ole Miss, Kentucky, Miami (FL), Ohio St. and Virginia Tech among others but said that Clemson has jumped to the top because of his relationship with the Clemson coaches.

“The relationship that me, Coach (Chad) Morris and Coach (Dabo) Swinney will play a major part when I make my decision,” he said. “Coach Morris is pretty cool to hang around. He's very funny. He basically told me that they need me whenever we've been able to hang out. We pretty much talk every week. Coach Swinney makes my heart feel joy. He made my family feel welcome and it's just the way he's able to comfort me and my family.”

Cooper said he paid particular attention to the way freshman quarterback Deshaun Watson runs Clemson’s offense, and he could see himself fitting in with offensive coordinator Chad Morris' system.

“It's very explosive. They execute the majority of the time,” he said. “I love to run a spread offense and for the most part their offense is the spread.”

Last season, Cooper split time at quarterback with senior Mario Atkinson at Jonesboro, and they helped lead the Cardinals to a 6-4 record. Cooper threw for 1,200 yards on 83-of-156 passing with six touchdowns. Jonesboro lost 20-19 in overtime in the Region 4-AAAA play-in game against Locust Grove, causing the Cardinals to miss out on a state playoff berth.

However, an August medical exam revealed he had torn his ACL and would miss this season. He told TigerNet he will be ready by the spring and that Clemson’s coaches keep close tabs on his progress.

“I'll be back some time in the spring,” he said. “They've been talking about my injury and how they want me to get well soon and things like that. They've been trying to keep me in a positive mindset. I will be back next weekend for the Louisville game."

Cooper said that he will return to Clemson next weekend for the Louisville game.

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