When the Alabama Crimson Tide ran to a second straight BCS National Championship, they relied on a tough defense, strong running game, experienced quarterback and the emergence of freshman wide receiver Amari Cooper. With another year of experience under his belt and the return of complementary pieces in the passing game will pave the way for Cooper to break out as one of the best receivers in all of college football.
Last season, Cooper ended up leading the team in receiving with 58 catches for 999 yards and 11 touchdowns. He was far and away the most reliable option for AJ McCarron, finishing as the only receiver with more than 30 catches and the No. 2 leading receiver on the team, Kevin Norwood, had just 461 yards receiving. And that was all during his first year of major college football.
In year two, he will have the added experience of a full offseason to grow in the Alabama system. On top of that, Kenny Bell will return from his leg injury he suffered against the Auburn Tigers at the of last season. He will try and get back to his big playmaking ways from last year when he averaged 25.35 yards per reception last year and will be an excellent complement on the opposite side from Cooper.
The Alabama offense will still be a ball control style with a strong emphasis on the running game. However, to keep SEC defenses honest next season, the Tide will need to throw the ball over the top. Amari Cooper can provide that aspect of the Alabama offense next fall. Will he show enough to be counted among the nation’s elite pass catchers?