HOOVER, Ala. — Pharoh Cooper hesitated briefly.
The shifty junior slot receiver, dressed in a suit for Tuesday's appearance during SEC Media Days, had already been asked plenty about coach Steve Spurrier and the ongoing retirement talk from the past two years. But then he was asked a hypothetical — if Spurrier were to retire after the 2015 season, would it affect his decision whether to turn pro or not?
"It depends on this year right here. It really does," Cooper said, after a slight pause. "I'm focused on this year. I'm not thinking about it all the time as a college player would in my situation. I'm still in college right now and play for the Gamecocks and I want to help my team win."
Though he hesitated on the question, Cooper rarely hesitates on the field. After catching just three passes as a freshman, Cooper exploded for 69 grabs for 1,136 yards and nine touchdowns.
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With another 1,000-plus season, Cooper very well could be a receiver to watch as far as the 2016 NFL draft is concerned. It's been tough for Cooper not to think about the next level, especially with the potential he has. He posted 100-yard game four times, which included a 233-yard, two-touchdown performance against Auburn.
"It's hard not to think about it. I do think about it," Cooper said. "As of right now, I'm still in college. I'm only a junior, so I do have another year left. I do really think about it, but I'm not really focused on the NFL right now. I'm focused on helping my team get back to what we need to be doing, and that's winning games."