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2015 SEC Media Days: Pharoh Cooper is Ready to Step Up and Be a Leader

Cooper shares his thoughts on the season ahead and playing for the HBC

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Pharoh Cooper had a phenomenal season last year, earning All-SEC honors and cementing himself as a key piece of the South Carolina offense. As one of the players at SEC Media Days this year he got the chance to discuss his own goals for the upcoming season and what the team needs to do to turn things around.

On being ready to overcome the struggles of last season:

It was a bad season for us. We're not expected to do that at South Carolina and everybody knows that...We're focused on this year. We're a whole new team....Last year is over with and we're ready to turn it around this year.

On what the team needs to do to meet their goals for the upcoming season:

As a team we don't want to let each other down or our coaching staff down or our fans as well. We work hard every week to win. That's what practice is for.

Besides me we have other guys that are going to step this year, or need to. We're young on offense, especially our receivers and quarterbacks, so some of the guys will step up this year.

On what he needs to do this season:

It means a lot [to have Spurrier counting on me for leadership]. I will be a leader this year. We do have a lot of young guys...Being a leader is something they're gonna look for in the weight room, when we're outside working out, just leading by example and letting everyone know they can achieve the same things I did last year if they just work hard.

I'm not going out there thinking about getting hurt, I'm just going out there full speed...I do feel like I'm one of the nation's elite at my position...that's my mentality, to go out there and score every time I get the ball.

On Spurrier:

[Spurrier] will be like "what's up American Pharoh" and stuff like that. You know he calls me Fay-roh, he doesn't call me Pharoh. My names is Pharoh but he calls me Fay-roh so everyone starts calling me that.

You can tell he's in his 70s by the way he acts and walks and stuff, but he'll be in the weight room working out. He's pretty in shape for his age, but you can tell he's 70.

On fame:

On campus some of the kids will be like "what's up Pharoh, can we take a picture" and it's kinda cool...None of it's really irritating, we just take a picture and go to class or something like that.