Gamecocks NFL Draft Recap


COLUMBIA, S.C. (USC SID) — Three University of South Carolina football players were selected in the NFL Draft on Saturday.

Pharoh Cooper was the first Gamecock to hear his name called. The 5-11, 205-pound junior from Havelock, N.C., went to the Los Angeles Rams with the 19th pick in the fourth round, the 117th player selected overall.

Cooper earned first-team All-SEC honors by the league’s coaches as both a wide receiver and as an all-purpose back in 2015, while the Associated Press placed him on the first-team at wide receiver and the second-team as an all-purpose back. He was the Gamecocks’ top receiver with 66 catches for 973 yards, ranking second in the league with 81.1 receiving yards and fifth with 5.5 catches per game. A team captain, Cooper caught 35 percent of the team’s passes for 39 percent of the yards thrown, while his 66 receptions were more than the rest of Carolina’s wide receivers combined total of 56. He also led the team with eight receiving touchdowns and with nine touchdowns overall. He was a first-team All-SEC selection as a sophomore in 2014 when he ranked 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 logged 513 rushing yards, 118 passing yards, 2,163 receiving yards, 359 kickoff return yards and 172 punt return yards in his 36-game collegiate career that included 25 starts over a three-year span. He ranks eighth in career receiving yards and sixth in career touchdown receptions (16) at South Carolina.

Fifth-year senior offensive tackle Brandon Shell went to the New York Jets with the 19th pick in the fifth round, the 158th player selected overall.

Shell, a 6-6, 324-pounder from Goose Creek, S.C., made 47 consecutive starts during his Gamecock career, playing mostly right tackle before moving to left tackle for his final campaign. He played in 52 games overall, making 48 career starts. He is tied for sixth on the Carolina all-time list of games played, ranks third in career starts and is second in consecutive starts behind only T.J. Johnson. A two-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, Shell was invited to the East-West Shrine Game and the NFL Combine following his senior season. He is the great-nephew of NFL Hall of Famer Art Shell.

Senior tight end Jerell Adams was selected by the New York Giants with the ninth pick in the sixth round, the 184th selection overall.

Adams, a 6-5, 252-pound tight end from Pinewood, S.C., was South Carolina’s second-leading receiver in 2015 with 28 catches for 421 yards. He played in the Senior Bowl and was invited to the NFL Combine following his senior campaign. A four-year letter winner, Adams finished his Gamecock career with 66 catches for 977 yards and seven touchdowns. A two-time member of the SEC Fall Academic Honor Roll, Adams played in 47 games for the Garnet & Black, making 15 starts. He was the recipient of the prestigious Dr. Harris Pastides Outstanding Student-Athlete Representative of the University of South Carolina at the 2015 spring game.

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