January 7, 2012
Under Armour top performer: Amari Cooper
Position: Wide receiver
Hometown: Miami, Fla.
High School: Miami Northwestern High School
Under Armour All-America Game: Cooper had two catches for 95 yards and a touchdown and also returned a punt 93 yards for another score.
Expert's Take: Cooper capped a great week of practice with a strong performance in the game on Thursday evening. In the game, he showed his vision and speed on a 93-yard punt return. On his 70-plus yard touchdown reception he showed the ability to go up and win it and then quickly separated from the defender.
He is a talented, well-rounded wide receiver. He has good size, nice quickness that allows him to create separation on solid routes, the ability to stretch the field vertically and get behind a defense. When the ball comes his way he does a great job of battling for it and bringing it in. He showed the ability to dominate during the week when he had a practice where he caught every ball that came his way, going 8-for-8 in a team segment, where he beat a variety of defensive backs. Whether the ball is up in the air or under thrown, he gets his hands around it and does a great job securing it away from his body, before immediately bringing it in.
Cooper has the ability to contribute early and often at Alabama, but will need to become more consistent every time out - that is the one knock on him from his senior season. He would have a great game and sometimes disappear the next time out.
-Chris Nee, Rivals.com recruiting analyst
Impact at Alabama: Cooper has a real chance to make an immediate impact when he gets to Alabama. The Crimson Tide will lose three senior wide receivers after this season, leaving an opportunity for Cooper and the other incoming freshmen to see the field early. That was one of the main reasons the Sunshine State native committed to Alabama over in-state powers Florida State and Miami.
Cooper graduated high school early and plans to enroll at UA next week with every intention of playing as a freshman. He hopes to get acclimated to Alabama's offense, develop chemistry with the quarterbacks and learn the Crimson Tide's playbook as quickly as he can. He will have competition as Alabama's 2012 recruiting class also features wide receivers Chris Black, Casey Gladney and Eddie Williams.
Quotable: "As an offensive player, it's tough when you go in there three weeks before the first game and try to learn the playbook. Defense is different. When they told me I had an opportunity to play early, I felt like graduating early was the best thing for me."
On Alabama's 2012 recruiting class:
"I think we have the best class. We have a great class with a lot of great athletes, some out here practicing with us. We have the best players in our class. I think we can be real good. I think a lot of players coming in will have a great opportunity to start early, too."
On his 93-yard punt return for a touchdown:
"I didn't even know it was that long. As soon as I caught it, I didn't even know I was going to take it back because there was like 10 people in front of me. I was looking around, I saw a crease and I took it. That's how it went."
...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now for a FREE Trial