Cooper Likes Being In Tuscaloosa

Miami sounds quite glamorous. Everyone involved with Alabama football wants to be in Miami next January, because that's where the BCS National Championship Game is being played. What many in the Bama camp might not have expected is to be able to go into Miami and recruit one of the nation's top wide receivers.

Alabama's outstanding recruiting class of 2012 included landing one of the nation's top players in Amari Cooper of Northwestern High School in Miami. The 6-2, 185-pound star committed to the Crimson Tide in September and enrolled at The University in January. He's in the off-season program and preparing to take part in spring practice beginning in March.

Cooper was asked what it is like to live in Tuscaloosa after having lived in Miami.

"It's different," he said. "Way different than Miami. But I'm feeling it. I don't miss home too much."

Cooper had said that one reason he picked the Crimson Tide is "The campus is amazing. It was the best campus I've ever been to."

As a prep senior, Cooper had 36 receptions for 722 yards and six touchdowns. That attracted plenty of recruiting attention. And then in the Under-Armour All-America Game, he was outstanding. Cooper scored on a 75-yard pass play and added another touchdown with a 93-yard punt return.

He said that his Under-Armour performance was "a great feeling. I prepared for it. I trained my hardest for it, and all that training paid off."

Cooper was a four-star prospect by and ranked the number 12 wide receiver and one of the top 100 prep prospects in the nation. He said it was "an honor" to be a part of this year's Alabama recruiting class.

"I hope we can live up to it and win a national championship," he added. "It's a great feeling to be here."

Cooper has tangible evidence of the value of being an early enrollee. On Signing Day, just weeks after having arrived on campus and started into the off-season program, he said he had gained nine pounds. He said an advantage of being at Alabama for the spring semester is that "I'll be stronger than the guys coming in this summer. And you get accustomed to things faster than they do."

Going through spring practice, he said, will play a part in how much Cooper will be able to contribute as a freshman next fall. He said, "If I perform how I know I can, then I definitely see a lot of playing time."

He added that he looks forward to competing against Alabama's defensive backs in spring practice "so I can show the coaches what I can do."

Cooper said that he wants to become "more consistent in everything I do. I want to be great in all aspects as a receiver."

He said he is not concerned that Alabama historically is a run-oriented offense. "Whatever the coach has in mind, I guess we have to roll with that," he said. "But as a receiver, I want to pass the ball more and have more of an opportunity to have the ball in my hands."

Cooper said he didn't know much about new Alabama Offensive Coordinator Doug Nussmeier, but said, "From what I've heard, he likes to throw the ball, so that's great."

BamaMag Top Stories