Cooper leads Alabama again

Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper again showed why he’s one of the most promising young players in the country on Saturday.

Amari Cooper set an Alabama freshman record with seven receptions for 162 yards and two touchdowns in the Tide's 44-13 win at Tennessee. Cooper is 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week for Oct. 20.

The 6-foot-1, 198-pounder scored Alabama’s first touchdowns in both the first and second half, finishing with two, as the top-ranked Tide rolled against Tennessee, 44-13. Cooper had a team-high seven receptions for 162 yards to go along with the two touchdowns and for his efforts is 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week for the second time in 2012. It was the fourth straight week a receiver has been honored.

His performance in was the best-ever at Alabama for a freshman receiver in a single game.

With 8:18 remaining in the first quarter in Knoxville, Cooper was on the receiving end of a 23-yard scoring strike from Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron to give the Tide the first points of the game in front of a mostly-orange crowd of 102,455 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville.

If his first touchdown reception set the tone early, his second one with 2:56 remaining in the third quarter took the air out of the tires for the upset-minded Vols. Alabama led 23-10 at the half and that was the score when Cooper was on the receiving end of a deep 42-yard scoring strike from McCarron that seemingly put the finishing touches on the victory.

Cooper also had a 30-yard third quarter touchdown reception nullified by an illegal formation penalty on Alabama’s first possession of the second half. 

The game was Cooper’s second two-touchdown performance this year. He had two touchdown receptions in a Sept. 29 33-14 win against Ole Miss in Tuscaloosa and was named 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week for that performance as well.

Cooper had a lofty rating according to the recruiting industry, but perhaps not quite high enough as his showing thus far in his college career has certainly been five-star worthy. 247Sports ranked Cooper as the No. 55 overall prospect in the country, the No. 6 wide receiver and the No. 10 overall prospect in the state of Florida in the 2012 class. According to the 247Composite, which weighs rankings from media outlets that cover recruiting equally, Cooper was the No. 45 overall prospect, the No. 5 receiver and the No. 8 overall prospect in Florida for the Class of 2012. He was rated as a 96 by 247Sports, which equates to a four-star rating. His 247Composite rating was 0.9768, which also equates to a four-star rating.

At least one of his teammates, though, believes the sky is the limit.

“He can be one of the greatest,” Alabama tight end Michael Williams said. “You can see it. You can see the talent he has.”

National True Freshmen of the Week- 247Sports

Oct. 13- Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
Oct. 6- Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State
Sept. 29- Amari Cooper, WR, Alabama
Sept. 22- Todd Gurley, RB, Georgia
Sept. 15- Rushel Shell, RB, Pittsburgh

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