When top-ranked Alabama needed it, wide receiver Amari Cooper provided a spark.
Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper had a game-high eight receptions for 84 yards and two key second quarter touchdowns in the top-ranked Tide's 33-14 win against Ole Miss Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
Cooper caught two touchdown passes in the second quarter from 12 and 16 yards as the Crimson Tide extended a 13-7 lead to 27-7 at the half in a 33-14 win against Ole Miss on Saturday night in Tuscaloosa.
For his efforts, Cooper is 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week.
"Coop did an excellent job for us running the right routes and being on time,” Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron said. “We had good chemistry the whole night, so we definitely were good in that area."
Cooper, from Miami’s Northwestern High, arrived at Alabama with high expectations. Talk to anyone close to the Tide program about which freshman offensive skill player they expected to contribute the earliest and almost universally, the answer they came back with was Cooper. This is a program that signed five-star running back T.J. Yeldon and a host of other top talent in the 2012 class.
Cooper’s success also comes as no surprise to several recruiting analysts that scouted him during the cycle, including Steve Wiltfong of 247Sports, who came back from the IMG National 7-on-7 last summer raving about the 6-foot-1, 190-pounder.
If the season to date is any indication, the program insiders and analysts were correct, Cooper has gradually emerged as one of the top, if not the top, freshman wide receivers in the Southeastern Conference. He leads Alabama with 17 receptions for 222 yards and three touchdowns in five games this season and has nearly twice the number of receptions as the next-best Tide receivers (Kevin Norwood and Christion Jones each have nine).
Cooper was ranked the nation’s No. 46 overall prospect, the No. 6 receiver prospect and the No. 9 overall prospect in the state of Florida according to the 247Composite, which weighs equally the ratings and rankings of multiple recruiting media networks, including 247Sports. He had a composite rating of 0.9768, which equates to a four-star. Cooper was ranked as the No. 55 overall prospect, No. 6 wide receiver and No. 10 in Florida according to 247Sports, which rated him a 96, which equates to four stars.
Through nearly half of the 2012 season, Cooper has arguably made more of an impact than the five receivers ranked ahead of him in the 247Composite as a receiver. Maryland’s Stefon Diggs has impacted the Terps’ return game as well as their offense, so he’s made more of an overall impact.
Here are the season stats to date for the five who were ranked ahead of Cooper in the 247Composite.
1- Dorial Green-Beckham, Missouri 7 receptions, 128 yards, TD
2- Stefon Diggs, Maryland, 12 receptions, 259 yards, 3 TD, 15 punt returns for 177 yards
3- Thomas Johnson, Texas A&M, 15 receptions, 208 yards
4- Deontay Greenberry, Houston, 13 receptions, 126 yards, TD
5- Chris Black, Alabama 0 receptions, 0 yards
Cooper enrolled at Alabama last January following a stellar showing in the Under Armour All-American Game.
True Freshmen of the Week- 247Sports