CLEMSON - Freshman linebacker Scotty Cooper talks about his first weekend of practice at Clemson and…
CUTigersTV: Freshman S Scotty Cooper
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Freshman safety Scotty Cooper arrived on campus with most of the freshman class two weeks ago. Since then, Cooper has been going through offseason workouts with the team and also taking a full load of course work in summer school.
The former four-star safety out of Lake City, S.C. is expected to compete for playing time this year as a free safety. He could also see time at outside linebacker.
Cooper spoke with the media Thursday afternoon and here is part of that conversation in another episode of CUTigersTV. A transcript has also been posted below for users without high speed internet access.
Is it intimidating stepping on campus for the first time as a freshman?
Cooper: It's not intimidating but it's kind of scary because it is something new. But I'm not scared because I've played football my whole life. The only thing that is different is that everybody here is bigger and faster and a little bit smarter. I know that the upperclassmen are more experienced than me and they know more. That is kind of expected. But I'm just coming in and working hard and I think I'm matching up good, covering good. So I'm just trying to keep that all up and continue to do good.
Did you base any part of your decision to come to Clemson knowing you'd have a good chance to play early?
Cooper: Somewhat. I based my decision on whether or not I could go to school here as a student. I looked into it ... playing as a freshman ... half of it has to do with the depth chart and the people that are here. The other half has to do with you and your potential and what you can do athletically. I'm confident in myself that I can play and do the things that everybody else does. That's just going to be up to the coaches to determine whether or not I'm going to play early. I'd love too. That's what I want, but it's just all going to take care of itself.
Have you been able to tell a big difference between the upperclassmen and the new guys during offseason workouts?
Cooper: Yeah, when I first came in the conditioning part. There is so much more running than in high school. The first week I was here I was kind of in shape but I was leaning over a lot. I'd look to the side and everybody else would be like it was nothing. That's just getting in shape and stuff like that. Of course, lifting weights and the quickness and being able to cut ... stuff like that you can tell a difference. But everything else is pretty much the same. All of us are athletes with athletic ability. It's just going to take experience and reps and hopefully I'll get where they are at.
Off the field, has there been anything really challenging for you in adjusting to college life?
Cooper: More schoolwork. Waking up and stuff like that. Not having my father to wake me up. Managing my time. Little stuff. Nothing really big or serious.
Have any of your fellow freshmen impressed you? What about the upperclassmen?
Cooper: Pretty much the whole class has impressed. The older guys are doing real good. We are just all working hard. The coaches are expecting us to be great players. (As far as upperclassmen) C.J. and James. They are quick and fast. The quarterbacks ... I'm also adjusting to the speed of the ball coming out of a quarterback's hand. Jacoby is as quick as ever. Aaron Kelly. Rendrick Taylor is big and strong. Everybody is good. Everybody is just as good as you. It's like you are catching up to yourself every play. I just have to work hard and get better.
What position are you working at right now?
Cooper: Right now I'm working at free safety. That's what I'm trying to learn. That's where I'm going to be at for the season unless I get too big then I'll play linebacker.
The depth chart at safety seems to be jammed up. Would you mind playing outside linebacker if it meant you could play this season?
Cooper: I wouldn't mind. Whatever I can do to help the team. Right now I'm just looking to get in and get some reps and contribute. I wouldn't mind playing outside linebacker but at the same time I'm going to work safety and try to play at that position. I'm going to try and make it where I'm going to prove I can't play safety if I'm going to move to outside linebacker.
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