Top 2016 QB gives Swinney an "All In"


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Cooper works out at Dabo Swinney's camp in June
Cooper works out at Dabo Swinney's camp in June

The Clemson coaching staff picked up one of the biggest pieces of the 2016 recruiting cycle when quarterback Zerrick Cooper Zerrick Cooper
Quarterback
6-5, 200
Jonesboro, GA

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(Jonesboro, Ga.) gave his verbal commitment to head coach Dabo SwinneyDabo Swinney
Head Coach
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in Swinney’s office prior to Saturday’s game against Louisville.

Cooper, one of the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation for 2016, visited Clemson on Saturday with his family. He had wanted to commit as early as last week, but offensive coordinator Chad MorrisChad Morris
Offensive Coordinator / QBs
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wanted to make sure Cooper knew what head coach Dabo Swinney expected out of a commitment.

Cooper gave TigerNet the details of the commitment.

“We were sitting in Coach Swinney’s office, and he was telling me and my family his definition of commitment meant,” Cooper said Sunday. “And then he asked me what I thought about that, and I told him I was ‘All In.’ He was surprised, but he was very excited.”

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

“The relationship that me, Coach (Chad) Morris and Coach Swinney played 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 didn’t like to see the injury to Watson, but did like the way senior Cole Stoudt responded.

“It was a hard-fought game, and it was fun to watch,” he said. “When Deshaun went down, Cole came in and did what he needed to do. That was good to see.”

Cooper’s good friend and teammate Jordan Griffin Jordan Griffin
Cornerback
6-0, 170
Jonesboro, GA

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committed to Kentucky last weekend and had hoped that Cooper would follow him to the Bluegrass State, but Cooper says Clemson is home.

“We had talked about it a lot, and we wanted to play together in college,” Cooper said. “But at the end of the day, we had to do what was best for each of us, and for him that was Kentucky. For me, it was Clemson.”

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."



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