Alabama WR Amari Cooper entered this year as one of the SEC’s most exciting players after his remarkable freshman season.
We thought he would continue to dazzle us with acrobatic catches and provide QB A.J. McCarron with one of the SEC’s top downfield threats.
Foot and toe injuries have limited Cooper, which in turn have hurt McCarron’s effectiveness.
But coach Nick Saban said this week that Cooper appears to be getting healthier, which would boost the Tide at the right time. Here is a part of his comments from this week’s SEC teleconference:
“I think it’s very frustrating when you have something that’s nagging you that you can’t do things on a consistent basis like you’d like to do them. I think the fact that we haven’t played him as much lately, I do think he’s getting healthy, and he’s had a really good week this week, so hopefully, if we don’t have a setback, he’ll be able to continue to progress and do a good job.”
Cooper was held out of Alabama’s win over Colorado State and has only nine catches for 100 yards and no touchdowns. Last year he had 59 catches for 1,000 yards and 11 TDs, and combined with fellow freshman T.J. Yeldon to help lead Alabama to its second straight national title.
If he gets healthy, watch out. Cooper had 100-yard receiving games in four of Alabama’s final five games in 2012.
Cooper would add to the SEC’s group of outstanding receivers, a list that includes:
Jarvis Landry, LSU: 42 catches, 616 yards, 7 TDs, 14.7 yards a catch
Odell Beckham, LSU: 35 catches, 686 yards, 6 TDs, 19.6 yards
Mike Evans, Texas A&M: 28 catches, 691 yards, 5 TDs, 24.7 yards
Jordan Matthews, Vanderbilt: 47 catches, 709 yards, 5 TDs, 15.1 yards
Donte Moncrief, Ole Miss: 23 catches, 355 yards, 4 TDs, 15.4 yards
Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri: 23 catches, 364 yards, 4 TDs, 15.8 yards
L’Damian Washington, Missouri: 22 catches, 340 yards, 5 TDs, 15.5 yards
Georgia’s Malcolm Mitchell likely would be putting up spectacular numbers if wasn’t out for the year after tearing his ACL in the opening loss to Clemson.