Wide receiver greets police chief Magnusson
Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Pharoh Cooper found himself in a police station for the first time on Thursday.
And, it was a good thing.
Cooper, a 2013 Havelock High graduate, visited the Havelock Police Department and Chief David Magnusson, who said he has been a Rams fan since the 1970s.
“I’m the real thing when it comes to the Rams,” Magnusson said, adding that he had attended Rams games when the team was in St. Louis before its move back to Los Angeles for the 2016 season.
Magnusson gave Cooper and Havelock Police Department hat and patch, while Cooper presented Magnusson with a pair of Los Angeles Rams wide receiver gloves.
“I’m like a kid in a candy store,” Magnusson said.
Magnusson had never met Cooper, who helped the Havelock Rams to state championships in 2011 and 2012 before becoming a standout player at the University of South Carolina.
“I have heard a lot of great things about you,” Magnusson told Cooper. “You’re a class act.”
Cooper said he was glad to visit the chief.
“My mom told me he was a big-time Rams fan, so it was perfect,” Cooper said.
Cooper’s season with Los Angeles ended Jan. 1. The Rams started the year 3-1 but lost 11 of their next 12 games to finish 4-12.
Cooper fractured his scapula early in the season and finished the year with 14 catches for 106 yards in 10 games. He contributed on special teams with 14 kickoff returns for 323 yards, an average of 23.1 yards.
“It didn’t go as expected,” Cooper said of his season. “The injury I had in the preseason, I didn’t start playing until the end of the year, but I’m fully healthy now and just working on getting my shoulder stronger.”
Los Angeles fired head coach Jeff Fisher during the season and hired Sean McVay as its new coach on Jan. 12. McVay turns 31 on Tuesday and is the youngest coach in NFL history. He was the offensive coordinator of the Washington Redskins for the 2016 season.
“Coach Fisher is gone. That was my guy. I love him,” Cooper said. “But, we’re starting a new era now, and we’re excited for it.”
Cooper spent about a week in Havelock, visiting with family and friends.
“It’s kind of different coming from L.A. to Havelock. You see a big difference,” he said. “But, it’s always cool to come back and visit the family. I got to see my mom and dad and my grandparents in New Bern. I got come back to the high school and see my teachers and coaches who were always there for me when I was growing up. That’s a great feeling to see those guys.”
He said he is next headed to South Carolina to continue his offseason workouts before returning to Los Angeles by April to rejoin his Rams teammates for team activities.