Gamecock great Pharoh Cooper announces NFL retirement

Former South Carolina Gamecock Pharoh Cooper announced his retirement from the NFL Monday.

“Farewell football,” he wrote in a post to X (formerly known as Twitter), “I’m officially retiring from the NFL. I’m forever grateful and give all the glory to God that I was able to live out my childhood dream. I appreciate all the love and support I’ve received from my family, friends, and fans through out my career. Much love.”

Cooper played for the Gamecocks from 2013-2015. He was originally recruited to play defensive back, but then-South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier moved him to wide receiver as a freshman not long after seeing him impress in practice.

“If I go out there and compete like I know I can and listen to the coaches, everything should fall into place if I work hard,” Cooper said in 2013 ahead of enrolling at USC. “I will have the opportunity to start.”

Over the course of his college career, Cooper scored 24 touchdowns in 36 games (including 25 starts). He accumulated 2,163 receiving yards, 513 rushing yards, 118 passing yards. He also gathered 359 yards on kickoff returns and 172 punt return yards. Cooper was a two-time All-SEC first-team selection.

He was named offensive MVP in South Carolina’s December 2014 Independence Bowl win over Miami.

In 2016, Cooper was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft by the Los Angeles Rams. He scored his first career touchdown in his second year with the team in electric fashion, fielding the opening kickoff versus the Jacksonville Jaguars and running 103 yards for the score. Cooper was selected to the Pro Bowl and named a First-Team All-Pro player by the AP that same season.

Since then, Cooper has suited up for the Arizona Cardinals (2018-2019, 2022), Carolina Panthers (2020), Cincinnati Bengals (2019) and New York Giants (2021).