Imagine beginning your college football career with one of the sport’s most storied programs, winning a conference title in the nation’s toughest football league, then winning a BCS National Championship to top it off.
Then imagine being a major contributor to that team and those titles. The level of satisfaction would be through the roof.
That’s the way the 2012 season played out for two members of the Alabama Crimson Tide: freshman running back T.J. Yeldon, as well as freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper.
Yeldon made it known immediately that he would be a viable option in the backfield for the Crimson Tide. In his first collegiate game, Yeldon rushed for 111 yards in a win over the nationally-ranked Michigan Wolverines.
He continued to make an impact all season long, rushing for 1,108 yards (6.3 yards per carry) and 12 touchdowns on the season. Yeldon also caught 11 passes for 131 yards and a score for the 2012 national champions.
While Yeldon was carrying the freshman torch on the ground, Cooper was the primary threat for quarterback A.J. McCarron (you know, Katherine Webb’s boyfriend) through the air. Cooper led the Tide in receiving last season, while setting Alabama freshman records for receptions (59), yards (1,000) and touchdowns (11).
The Dynamic Duo will return to Tuscaloosa for the 2013 season, but will they remain hungry? After all, what more could have happened for them last season?
Leave that to head coach Nick Saban, who was won three national titles in the last four seasons. Saban will find various ways to motivate his (soon-to-be) super sophomores, as well as any other player on his team that might have become complacent. Saban is a master motivator and strategist. He will have Yeldon, Cooper and the rest of the Tide ready for the 2013 opener against the Virginia Tech Hokies.
And they had better be ready. After opening with the Hokies, Alabama gets a week off before visiting the Texas A&M Aggies, who handed the Tide its only loss last season.