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 Draft Scout College Football Player News: Jacksonville State
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  Zerrick Cooper threw three second-half touchdown passes, Ron Wiggins ran for 102 yards and two scores on just eight carries and Jacksonville State pulled away in the second half to beat Lamar 38-7 in the ASUN-WAC Challenge on Saturday. Lamar led 7-0 after the first quarter on a 5-yard TD run by Jaylon Jackson. Alan Karajic's 21-yard field goal and Wiggins' 18-yard TD run put the Gamecocks (5-5, 3-2) up 10-7 at halftime and started a 38-point run. Cooper took over from there with TD tosses to PJ Wells covering 29 yards, a 33-yarder to Ahmad Edwards and a 21-yarder to Jayson Jones. Wiggins' put the finishing touches on the win with a 55-yard TD run with 4:40 left to play. Cooper completed 16 of 26 passes for 244 yards for JSU. Edwards had five catches for 95 yards, while Josh Samuel carried 15 times for 90 of the Gamecocks' 237 yards on the ground. Freshman Daelyn Williams was 6-of-18 passing for 53 yards for the Cardinals (1-8, 0-5). Jackson ran for 89 yards on 22 carries. Lamar managed only 147 yards of offense, while yielding 493. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Zerrick Cooper threw two touchdown passes to Sean Brown, Josh Samuel added two rushing scores and Jacksonville State defeated Abilene Christian 40-25 on Saturday. Cooper threw touchdown passes of 22 yards and 17 yards, the 89th and 90th touchdowns he is responsible for at Jacksonville State (4-5, 2-2 ASUN-WAC Challenge), passing Eli Jenkins (2013-16) to become program's all-time leader (70 passing, 20 rushing). Less than two minutes into the game, Markail Benton picked off a screen pass and returned it 52 yards for the Gamecocks' fifth defensive touchdown of the season. Jacksonville State led thereafter, 20-10 at halftime and 27-16 through three quarters. Samuel's 17-yard run and Brown's second touchdown catch put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter. Cooper finished with 214 yards passing and Samuel 119 yards rushing. Peyton Mansell rushed for two touchdowns and threw for another with 301 yards passing but was intercepted three times for the Wildcats (4-5, 1-4). - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Jaylen Swain returned an interception 39 yards for a touchdown and Malik Feaster returned a fumble 100 yards for a score to help Jacksonville State hold off North Alabama 27-24 in nonconference action on Saturday. The Gamecocks (2-1) pulled within 10-6 on Alen Karajic's 39-yard field goal with 1:50 left in the first half. On the ensuing possession North Alabama quarterback Parker Driggers fumbled on the goal line after a 15-yard run with 58 seconds left in the half and Feaster scooped and scored to put JSU up 13-10.

The Gamecocks' defense delivered again in the third quarter on Swain's pick-6 to push their lead to 20-10. The Lions (0-3) answered using a six-play, 65-yard drive, culminating with Brady Pope's 4-yard TD run to pull within 20-17 with 3:16 left in the third quarter. JSU regained a 10-point lead on freshman quarterback Matthew Caldwell's 8-yard TD run with 10:31 left in the game. The Lions again pulled within three points on Blake Dever's 47-yard scoring strike to Cortez Hall with 2:17 left, but they failed to get the ball back. Caldwell completed 10 of 19 passes for 98 yards with an interception for the Gamecocks. He also ran for 27 yards on five carries. Josh Samuel rushed 20 times for 107 of JSU's 211 yards on the ground. Dever was 15-of-26 passing for 283 yards with one interception for North Alabama. Hall snared five passes for 108 yards, while tight end Corson Swan had five receptions for 103 yards. - Jacksonville State/AP College Football


(DS#999 RB) rJr/2023 RB Josh SamuelJacksonville State
News Source: Jacksonville State/AP College Football
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  Zerrick Cooper connected with Damond Philyaw-Johnson for a 59-yard touchdown as time expired and Jacksonville State beat Florida State 20-17. Cooper completed 17 of 38 passes for 242 yards. The JSU senior surpassed Eli Jenkins (7,652 yards from 2013-16) as JSU's all-time passing leader. He now has 7,819 passing yards for his career. The Seminoles (0-2) couldn't make a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter hold up. Florida State lost for the first time in 27 games against FCS teams. McKenzie Milton made his first start at Florida State, completing 18 of 31 passes for 133 yards, a touchdown and an interception. JSU beat a FBS team for the second straight year. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Jacksonville State earned $400,000 for a trip to Tallahassee. It was a night and victory the Gamecocks will savor for a lifetime. Zerrick Cooper connected with Damond Philyaw-Johnson on a 59-yard touchdown as time expired and Jacksonville State upset Florida State 20-17 on Saturday night. "You've got to play at a certain level execution-wise in these type games and we did that tonight," Jacksonville State coach John Grass said. "(Damond) beat his man, Zerrick made a perfect throw, he made a great cut down there and Ahmad (Edwards) made a big block and got him in the end zone." A year ago, Jacksonville State had a 14-0 lead after a quarter against Florida State.

On Saturday, the Gamecocks (1-1) needed touchdowns on their final two drives but enjoyed late magic as they celebrated by planting a flag at midfield on the Seminoles' logo. Cooper completed 17 of 38 passes for 242 yards and two touchdowns. The senior surpassed Eli Jenkins (7,652 yards from 2013-16) as JSU's all-time passing leader. He now has 7,819 passing yards for his career. The Seminoles (0-2) were sluggish from the start as they played six days after an overtime loss to No. 9 Notre Dame. Florida State lost for the first time in 27 matchups against FCS teams. - Jacksonville State/AP College Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: Jacksonville State/AP College Football
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  The Denver Broncos did not sign former Auburn/Jacksonville State tight end Landon Rice, though they did express interest in him as a free agent, according to the Denver Post. Rice's signing with the Broncos was originally announced by Jacksonville State's official social media accounts. Rice was not selected in the 2021 NFL Draft but Jacksonville State announced on Twitter and Instagram that he had signed with the Broncos. A former four-star tight end, Rice originally signed with Auburn as part of its 2016 recruiting class. He was dismissed from the team on Sept. 10, 2016 after being accused of rape for an incident that occurred in April 2016. A subsequent Title IX investigation found Rice was "responsible" for sexual assault, and his appeal of the ruling was denied. As part of his initial punishment, Rice was banned from Auburn's campus for eight years -- until the fall of 2024 -- and was not permitted to attend any of the university's events during that time. - Birmingham News

(DS#35 TE) Sr/2021 TE Landon RiceJacksonville State
News Source: Birmingham News
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  MARCH 8 OVC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Zion Webb, QB, 6-0, 200, R-Jr., Phenix City, Ala., Jacksonville State,...Webb completed 21-of-33 passes for 280 yards and a career-high three touchdowns and rushed for 18 yards as Jacksonville State won its fifth-straight game, 38-16 at Tennessee Tech. He had a 29-yard touchdown pass right before halftime, added a 54-yard pass early in the fourth quarter and capped the game with a 19-yard score with 3:57 to play. Others Nominated: Damonta Witherspoon, Murray State; Cam Wyche, Tennessee State; Rodney Williams, UT Martin. - Ohio Valley Conference Football

(DS#999 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zion WebbJacksonville State
News Source: Ohio Valley Conference Football
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  MARCH 2 OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nicario Harper, SAF, 6-1, 180, R-So., Atlanta, Ga., Jacksonville State,...Harper led a stellar JSU defensive effort against No. 23 Tennessee Tech, recording a game-high 13 tackles and also intercepting a pass in the 27-10 win. His interception came with just over eight minutes left in the fourth quarter at the JSU three-yard line to stop a TTU scoring threat and keep the JSU lead at two possession. The play also set up the Gamecocks' final scoring drive. Harper was the leading tackler on a defense that held TTU to just 227 total yards and only 75 yards on the ground and also forced five turnovers. Others Nominated: Don Parker, Murray State; Nyle Love, Tennessee State; Jamaal Thompson, Tennessee Tech. - Ohio Valley Conference Football

(DS#999 FS) rJr/2023 FS Nicario HarperJacksonville State
News Source: Ohio Valley Conference Football
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  02/28/21 - Uriah WestSr/2022, Jacksonville State, 5-11, 225 (DS#999 RB) + More +

  Zion Webb threw for 125 yards and a touchdown and Uriah West ran for 106 yards and a touchdown and Jacksonville State beat Tennessee Tech 27-10 on Sunday. Jacksonville State (4-1, 1-0 Ohio Valley Conference) kicked off the FCS spring season picking right up where it left off in the fall. Following a 41-24 loss at FBS-member Florida State in October - a game in which the Gamecocks led 14-0 after the first quarter - Jacksonville State followed with wins against Mercer, North Alabama and Florida International. Sunday, the 16th-ranked Gamecocks came out against Tennessee Tech (1-1, 1-1) and immediately controlled the line of scrimmage. They held the Golden Eagles to four yards in three plays on their opening drive to force a punt. Jacksonville State then held the ball for a 14-play, 53-yard drive that ended when Josh Samuel ran it in from two yards out. - Jacksonville State/AP College Football

(DS#999 RB) Sr/2022 RB Uriah WestJacksonville State
News Source: Jacksonville State/AP College Football
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  Alen Karajic made his fourth field goal with 2:40 remaining and Jacksonville State beat Florida International 19-10 on Friday night for the first FCS victory over an FBS team this season. Jacksonville State (3-1), of the Ohio Valley Conference, got its first win against an FBS school since topping Georgia State in 2013 and Mississippi in '10. JSU outrushed FIU 285-72 despite Zerrick Cooper leaving the game with an injury after one carry. Josh Samuel carried it 25 times for 163 yards and a touchdown, and Uriah West added 24 carries for 116 yards. Karajic made his first three field goals before getting his fourth attempt blocked, snapping a string of seven makes. JSU coach John Grass returned, in the Gamecocks' season finale, after missing last week's win over North Alabama due to testing positive for COVID-19. FIU (0-3), of Conference USA, was held to 156 total yards and six first downs. - AP College Foootball

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Foootball
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  Zerrick Cooper ran for two touchdowns, threw for another and Jacksonville State defeated North Alabama 24-17 on Saturday in the absence of Gamecocks head coach John Grass. Grass announced Thursday he had tested positive for COVID-19 and would self-isolate with assistant head coach Jimmy Ogle overseeing Gamecocks. Cooper's second 1-yard score of the day gave the Gamecocks (2-1) a 21-17 lead at the end of the third quarter. Passes of 23 and 40 yards to Trae Berry sparked the quick drive. Alen Karajic extended the advantage with a 36-yard field goal with under 10 1/2 minutes left. Cooper threw for 244 yards with Barry making five catches for 104 yards. Cooper's 14-yard pass to Quan Charleston was his 61st career TD throw, tying Ed Lett's school record. Cooper also ran for 46 yards. Jakobi Byrd's 100th career catch was an 11-yard TD reception of Rett Files' only attempt that gave the Lions a 17-14 lead. Blake Dever threw for 202 yards. Attendance was 4,632, below the 7,000 maximum North Alabama had set for its 14,215-seat stadium. Both the Lions and the Gamecocks are playing four-game fall seasons. - AP College Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Football
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  Nicario Harper's 64-yard fumble return for a touchdown with about five minutes left helped Jacksonville State pull away from Mercer for a 34-28 victory on a rainy Saturday. Trailing 27-21, Mercer's Harrison Frost completed a pass to Andrew May, but Kolbi Fuqua forced May to fumble and Harper scoped it up and scored to put the Gamecocks ahead 34-21. Frost threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Dirrim with 51 seconds remaining but the Gamecocks recovered the ensuing onside kick.

The Gamecocks' Zerrick Cooper was 12-of-18 passing for 139 yards with touchdown runs from the 1 and 9. Cooper moved into second past Ed Lett on the school's passing yards list with 7,153. Eli Jenkins holds the record with 7,652 yards. Frost was 12 of 25 for 134 yards passing with two touchdown passes. Tyray Devezin had a 3-yard touchdown run and finished with 94 yard rushing to surpass 2,000 career yards. It was the only home game for Jacksonville State (1-1) during its four-game fall schedule, and the first game of Mercer’s three-game fall season. - AP College Football


(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: AP College Football
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  2021 SENIOR BOWL WATCH LIST: Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville State,...Cooper, a senior from Jonesboro, Ga., earned his second-straight All-OVC honor in 2019 after being named a first-team selection in 2018, extending JSU's streak of consecutive seasons with a quarterback on the All-OVC teams to seven. In 2019, Cooper finished the regular season ranked eighth nationally in total offense with 310.3 yards per game, eighth in passing yards with 3,404 yards, ninth in points responsible for with 204 and 11th in passing touchdowns with 28. - Jacksonville State Football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: Jacksonville State Football
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  A former Alabama linebacker is now part of a different in-state program. Markail Benton recently joined the team at Jacksonville State, a team spokesman confirmed to AL.com. A former four-star recruit, Benton posted 19 tackles as a redshirt sophomore at Alabama last season. He went into the NCAA transfer portal in June. - Birmingham News

(DS#999 ILB) rSr/2022 ILB Markail BentonJacksonville State
News Source: Birmingham News
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  2020 PHIL STEELE/DRAFTSCOUT OVC PRESEASON OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: QB Zerrick Cooper, Jacksonville St, Sr.,...Cooper finished the 2019 regular season ranked eighth nationally in total offense with 310.3 yards per game, eighth in passing yards with 3,404 yards, ninth in points responsible for with 204 and 11th in passing touchdowns with 28. In just two years at JSU, Cooper has the top two single-season passing marks and ranks third in school history for career passing yards (6,820). - Jacksonville State football

(DS#17 QB) rSr/2022 QB Zerrick CooperJacksonville State
News Source: Jacksonville State football
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