Last year around this time, Amari Cooper was making his mark in the Under Armour All-American Game on ESPN. In five days, Cooper will again try to make his mark on ESPN but this time it will be in the National Title game against Notre Dame.
Cooper was one of the premier recruits of the 2012 class. Rivals.com had him ranked as the 45th best recruit in the nation and the 6th best Wide Receiver recruit in the country. After starring in the UA Game, Cooper signed a Letter of Intent to take his talents to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
This season, Cooper has played a huge role in Crimson Tide’s return to the National Title Game. He leads the Tide in Receiving Yards and Receptions. Cooper has tallied 894 yards receiving. This total ranks him 50th in the nation. He has 52 receptions this season. Cooper has been utilized as a deep threat for Alabama Quarterback A.J. McCarron. Cooper averages 17.19 yards per catch, which ranks 22nd in the nation.
Stopping Cooper will be a difficult task for Bennett Jackson and KeiVarae Russell. Because of Alabama’s impressive running game, it is likely that these Cornerbacks may be matched up one on one with no help on Cooper. The experience that these Cornerbacks gained against Marques Lee and Robert Woods will be invaluable in this situation. If Jackson and Russell are able to lock up Cooper, it will allow Notre Dame to commit extra men in the box for the purpose of stopping Eddie Lacy and T.J. Yeldon. Locking up Cooper may be easier said than done.