Gamecocks Player Profile: Wide Reciever Pharoh Cooper


Pharoh Cooper was born March 7, 1995 and is a sport and entertainment management major at the University of South Carolina

Pharoh Cooper is a versatile performer who could have played either receiver or defensive back for the South Carolina Gamecocks. Cooper graduated in 2013 from Havelock Highschool (N.C.) where he helpped win back-to-back 3A state titles. Coached by Jim Bob Bryant, the Rams went 15-1 during his senior season and a perfect 16-0 during his junior campaign.

As a junior in highschool, Cooper rushed for 300 yards and caught 65 passes for 1,285 yards and 14 scores… registered 58 tackles with six interceptions and played in the Offense-Defense All-American Bowl.

Cooper played in the Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas game after his senior season, and was used at quarterback, running back, receiver and was the primary return man on punts and kickoffs in the Shrine game. He finished with 253 total yards including a 45-yard TD run, earning offensive MVP honors for the North Carolina squad team.

Coming out of Highschool, Pharoh Cooper was a four-star prospect and the state’s ninth-best player by Rivals, and a three-star prospect and the nation’s 120th-best wide receiver by Scout. 247Sports had Cooper as a three-star prospect, the 15th-best player in the state, and the 24th-best “athlete” in the country, and a three-star prospect, and the 62nd-best wide receiver and an All-Atlantic Region pick by PrepStar.

Pharoh Cooper also had offers from East Carolina and NC State, but when it was all said and done, he gave his commitment to the University of South Carolina.

In 2013, Cooper was a true freshman who saw his role increase as the season progressed as he earned a spot on the Freshman All-SEC squad as both an all-purpose back and return specialist. He was also was a second-team Freshman All-American by 247Sports and third on the squad with 655 all-purpose yards, including 202 rushing, 54 receiving, 40 on punt returns and 359 on kick returns. Cooper was also able to complete 2-of-3 passes for 29 yards and a touchdown.

Cooper was moved from cornerback to wide receiver a week into fall camp and ended up playing in 11 of 13 games, not seeing any action against either Georgia or Vanderbilt. He made his first career start at Tennessee and was used in the Wildcat formation for the first time at UCF,  caught his first career pass, a 12-yard reception, in the win over Kentucky. He also had four carries for 45 yards, including a 33-yard burst out of the Wildcat in the win at Arkansas and completed his only pass attempt for three yards. Cooper took over the kickoff and punt return duties in that contest and returned a punt 36 yards. He saw more Wildcat formation work against Mississippi State, carrying six times for 23 yards and rushed twice for 81 yards, including a 71-yard run, against Coastal Carolina and also caught two passes for 42 yards and had a score against the Chanticleers. Against the rival school Clemson, Cooper rushed four times for 15 yards and connected on a 26-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Wilds while also having a 55-yard kickoff return against the Tigers.

2014 was the break out year for Pharoh Cooper. He earned first team All-SEC honors by the AP and SEC coaches as a wide receiver and was a second-team pick by both as an all-purpose back. he was also picked as a first-team All-SEC all-purpose back by Cooper Finished third in the SEC in receptions (69), second in receiving yards (1,136) and receiving yards per game (87.4), fourth in receptions per game (5.3) and ninth in all-purpose yards/game (108.5). He led the team in all receiving categories and was fourth on the squad with 200 yards rushing. His single-season marks, ranked sixth in school history for receptions, third for receiving yards and tied for sixth for touchdown receptions. He set a school record with 233 yards receiving on a career-high 11 receptions and two scores, including an 85-yarder, vs. Tennessee and also rushed for 23 yards and a TD and threw a 30-yard TD pass in that game.

Cooper was first Gamecock since Connor Shaw in the 2014 Capital One Bowl to pass, rush and catch a touchdown in a game, he tossed a TD pass, rushed for 42 yards and caught three passes for 95 yards against South Alabama, including a 73-yard TD reception. He caught nine passes for 170 yards, including a 78-yard touchdown reception in the Independence Bowl win over Miami, which with that catch tied the school record for longest pass reception in a bowl game. Cooper ended up earning Offensive MVP honors in the bowl game.

Not only does Copper excel on the field but also in the class room too as he was named to the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll.

After his breakout season last year he has earned ALL-SEC honors with a resume of  402 rushing yards, 107 passing yards, 1,190 receiving yards, 359 kickoff return yards and 115 punt return yards in his 24-game career that includes 13 starts and has five plays of 70-plus yards in his career (two rushing and three receiving). He was named the Joe Morrison Offensive Player of the Spring, and has now landed him a spot on the preseason Maxell and the Hornung award watch list.