Plenty of prospects, some of them high-profile, others under-the-radar, have come and gone in the past decade or so, since the inception of the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl. Still, the talent level across the board on the national level has been about as good as it gets.
Things don’t figure to change anytime soon, either, as the hype continues to build for this year’s games: Dec. 18 and Jan. 22 at Dallas Cowboys’ AT&T Stadium, Jan. 6 at Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ Raymond James Stadium and Jan. 13 at Jacksonville Jaguars’ EverBank Field.
To gain a better understanding about the rapidly growing direction of things, perhaps it’s best to take some time to reflect on the humble beginnings. Therefore, moving forward, the plan is to more closely examine the brand’s many alumni from all over the country.
The focus this time around is Zerrick Cooper from Jonesboro (GA). As a member of the Class of 2016, he was among a handful of the more high profile-prospects to take the field that day as North defeated South, 35-0, in a game at Raymond James Stadium.
Arizona commit J.J. Taylor, Oregon State commit Artavis Pierce, Nebraska commit Jack Stoll, South Florida commit Chris Oladokun, West Virginia commit Reese Donahue and Pac-12 Conference target D.J. Davidson were the other well-known national names.
As much as things change, some remain the same. Case in point, Cooper. The 6-foot-2 and 205-pound freshman quarterback is still the spotlight, at Clemson, and he’ll be in action against South Carolina on Nov. 25 in a nonconference game at 12 p.m. (EST).
Thrust in to a more prominent role in Week 6, he was 10-of-14 for 88 passing yards in a 27-24 ACC loss to Syracuse. Then, just last week, Cooper was 7-of-11 for 105 passing yards with a touchdown in a 61-3 nonconference victory against Citadel. Not too shabby.
You can’t argue with that type of production. Sky’s the limit. The future is bright. At some point down the road, perhaps the NFL Draft awaits or maybe the undrafted free agent route. Still, just yesterday it seems, Cooper lined up for the All-American Bowl in Florida.