Cooper came in as a highly rated 4-star recruit from Lake City who had offers from Michigan, Penn State, LSU, SC, and Clemson among others. However in his first year or so he had two knee surgeries that essentially robbed him of his athleticism and speed, and has never lived up to his billing since.
Last year, it was expected he would get considerable snaps, but he didnt get over 200 as a Strongside Backer in Steele's system to spell Kevin Alexander, and finished with only 12 tackles for the season. He last got significant PT two years ago under Blackwell's horrible tutelage, but never finished with more than 33 tackles in VK's scheme. Cooper really doesn't possess the size to play SLB in Steele's scheme, nor the speed to play Weakside in coverage, so he was kinda stuck.
Cooper said that since the Maryland game last season he has had a neck (nerve) problem that causes him a lot of pain when he makes tackles, and it has gotten worse in camp, so much now that he has decided to give up football. He's going to remain as a student coach with J.K. Jay and Stanley Hunter. Hopefully he'll make a good coach and recruiter someday soon for us.
Clemson now has 7 recruited LBs on scholarship, and we need 10 for a full compliment. This puts Daniel Andrews at backup Sam and may force a move by Parker to strongside for depth. While I did not expect Cooper to get more than 150-200 snaps again this year, it does put us in a serious bind with numbers. The plan was to take 3 LBs in recruiting already, so Cooper doesn't affect that.
All that means is that Steele will play even more substituted nickel coverage this season.