A play-action touchdown pass from A.J. McCarron lofted down the left sideline with 3:15 remaining in the 4th quarter gave Alabama the lead for good, 32-28, in yesterday's breathtaking SEC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome. The seventh reception of the day for Amari Cooper was a snapshot of the myriad of dazzling skills the true freshman has displayed throughout the season – sure hands, speed, elusive route running and an ability to adjust to the ball in the air. After 13 games, he has 52 receptions, 894 pass receiving yards, 9 TD's and averages 17.2 yards per catch.
Watching from the venue he now calls his home field was Atlanta Falcons wide receiver and former Alabama All-American Julio Jones. His 2008 school freshman records of 58 receptions, 924 pass receiving yards and 15.9 yards per catch average are on the verge of being eclipsed by the Miami native. Cooper has established the freshman mark with nine touchdown receptions, five more than Jones. He is tied with Dennis Homan (1967) for the school record regardless of class and one shy of Al Lary's (1950) leading ten.
Cooper has shown a propensity for excellence in high profile games earning the moniker "Hollywood" from teammates. He will have every opportunity to continue the flare for dramatics as second-ranked Alabama (12-1, 8-1) and undefeated number one Notre Dame (12-0), two of the all-time giant names in college football, are paired in the BCS National Championship Game on January 7th. The prolific receiver competes on the big stage as if he is having a toss and catch in the backyard. A defensive coordinator has reason to be concerned considering the matchup is to be held at Sun Life Stadium located in Miami Gardens, FL, within a strong-armed quarterback's throw of Cooper's neighborhood. Nick Saban has deemed freshman off limits to the media unless mandated by SEC or NCAA rules. The silent restrictions were lifted yesterday as Cooper expressed elation at the thought of returning home for the finale of his freshman season.
Quiet Cooper Speaks Loudly On Field
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