2014 SEC Top 100 Countdown: No. 9 Amari Cooper, Alabama
We’ve reached the Top 10 of our Top 100 SEC players list and will unveil the remaining players daily leading up to opening night on Aug. 28.
9. Amari Cooper, Jr., WR, Alabama
The Crimson Tide’s best offensive player lands in the No. 9 spot — tops for wide receivers — and is likely a Top 10 pick in next year’s NFL Draft. One of the nation’s best at taking slip screens the distance, Cooper’s numbers dipped as a sophomore with a nagging foot injury following a 59-catch, 1,000-yard sophomore season.
Back to full strength, Cooper should flourish under first-year offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin who directed several big-time wideouts during his stint as Southern Cal’s play caller and most recently head coach including Dwayne Jarrett, Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. An expert route-runner and the SEC’s top returning wideout with 104 career catches, Cooper’s a polished pass-catcher and has the talent to play in the slot or on the outside at the next level. Expect Kiffin to take a couple shots in Cooper’s direction early against West Virginia in the opener.
2013 statistics: 45 catches, 736 yards, 4 TD
2014 projection: 62 catches, 1,078 yards, 11 TD