Clemson loses QB Zerrick Cooper to transfer

Clemson quarterback Zerrick Cooper (6) scrambles out of the pocket during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Syracuse, Friday, Oct. 13, 2017, in Syracuse, N.Y. Syracuse upset Clemson 27-24. (AP Photo/Adrian Kraus)

With another five-star prospect on campus, Zerrick Cooper is moving on from Clemson.

Cooper, a quarterback who just finished his redshirt freshman season with the Tigers, has decided to transfer from the program. Clemson announced Cooper’s decision on Friday morning.

Cooper was the backup to Kelly Bryant this season. He appeared in seven games this past season, completing 25-of-41 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns. A four-star recruit in the class of 2016, Cooper redshirted his first season with the program.

Moving forward, Clemson has two five-star prospects — Hunter Johnson and Trevor Lawrence — to compete with Bryant for the starting role. Johnson, a class of 2017 product, completed 21-of-27 passes for 234 yards, two touchdowns and an interception as a true freshman. Trevor Lawrence,’s No. 1 recruit in the 2018 class, is enrolled at Clemson for the spring semester and will compete with Bryant and Johnson in spring practice.

Bryant, a backup to Deshaun Watson during the Tigers’ national title-winning season, had an up-and-down year in his first year as the starter. He threw for 2,802, 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions while completing 65.8 percent of his passes. Bryant also gained 665 yards and scored 11 times on the ground.

Bryant’s 2017 campaign did not end on a positive note. In Clemson’s 24-6 College Football Playoff semifinal loss to Alabama, Bryant struggled, completing 18-of-36 passes for just 124 yards and two interceptions.

The loss to Alabama, the eventual national champion, ended Clemson’s season with a 12-2 record.

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Sam Cooper is a writer for the Yahoo Sports blogs. Have a tip? Email him or follow him on Twitter!