Crimson Tide’s Cooper Looks To Show He’s Ready For NFL


So you’re Amari Cooper and you’re one college football season, an NFL combine, and a pro day, or roughly 14 months away from being drafted by an NFL franchise. It’s the golden ticket for every kid who’s ever suited up in shoulder pads, a helmet and a pair of football cleats.

There are probably a few Alabama fans out there who will worry about him being tempted to coast his way through the season, looking not to get injured, and then use the combine as his formal tryout for the draft. Of course anyone willing to go with that line of thinking doesn’t know the kind of person Amari Cooper is.

Cooper is the kind of guy who is willing to put his team on his back and carry them given the chance. This season he’s likely to get that opportunity as new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has shown at his previous stops he know what to do with receivers the quality of Cooper. Guys like Dwayne Jarrett, Steve Smith, Robert Woods, and Marqise Lee all had 1000 plus yard seasons under Kiffin’s guidance. Twice he had two receivers top 1000 yards in the same season. There aren’t many other coaches out there that can make that claim.

Cooper will also be looking to bounce back to the form he showed as a freshman after being banged up for most of last season. Cooper accounted for 59 receptions and 1000 receiving yards as a true freshman. His injury plagued sophomore year saw those numbers drop of to 45 catches for 736 yards.

He is blessed to have other receivers around him that provide Kiffin the potential to manage the feat for a third time. That will keep teams from being able to solely focus on the Junior from Miami, Florida. He should also have the benefit of being on a team that’s boasted one of the best play action passing games in the country over the past seven seasons. Teams will be unable to put the focus on the Alabama passing game for the fear that the three headed monster that is the Crimson Tide run game will pound their front seven into submission. TJ Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Derrick Henry will punish any defensive front that fails to take them seriously.

That should really open things up over the top for the Bama passing game.
DeAndrew White will line up opposite Cooper and look to provide the deep threat opposite him the Tide will need to prevent defenses from being able to consistently double team Cooper. The senior from Houston, Texas has had injury issues in the past but hopes to come into this fall the healthiest he’s been since arriving at the Capstone.

Another dynamic threat is sophomore Chris Black. Black showed last season in limited playing time the explosive potential he brings to the Alabama offense. He’s the type player that if he’s able to make that first man miss after making a catch, he’s likely to take the football all the way to the house. Black runs crisp routes, has shown great hands and has speed to burn both as a receiver and as a runner on the occasional reverse.

Of course with all the big play potential on the outside and in the slot opposing defenses can find themselves being forced to put linebackers in coverage against Alabama’s tightends. In the case of super sophomore OJ Howard that can create a colossal mismatch. SEC safeties and corners struggled at times to keep up with the fleet footed Howard. Linebackers have little hope of being able to keep up with the Tide’s big man.

Whether it’s transfer Jacob Coker, senior Blake Sims, sophomore Alec Morris or one of the other young quarterbacks vying for the Alabama starting quarterback job, the winner will find himself leading an embarrassment of riches at the skill positions. You can expect that among all that talent will be Amari Cooper looking to show NFL scouts that he’s both healthy and capable of being the brightest spark on an offense as loaded with talent as any in recent memory.