Ever since the mid-season trade that sent wide receiver Amari Cooper from Oakland to Dallas in exchange for a first round pick, the former number four overall pick in the 2015 draft has seen a resurgence in production on the field.
Cooper’s string of brilliant performances in a Cowboys uniform — including a 217 yard, 3 TD game against Philly and a 180 yard, 2 TD night against Washington — carried into the Cowboys’ first round playoff matchup against the Seahawks. Cooper caught seven passes for 106 yards to help propel the Cowboys to a 24-22 win.
The Cowboys will need another dominant game from Cooper if they want to keep up with high flying Rams offense in the divisional round at 8:15 p.m. ET. Cooper’s recent string of great games serves as a reminder for just how good he really can be in the right offense.
Before stumbling with the Raiders in 2017, Cooper had back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons in his first two years in the league. And before that, Cooper’s prowess shined at the University of Alabama. Let’s take a look at Cooper’s accomplishments while wearing a Crimson Tide uniform.
Cooper Became a Rare 1,000 yard Receiver in His Freshman Season at Alabama
Cooper was a high four star prospect coming out of high school in Miami, Florida, ranked as the fifth best wide receiver in the country by 247 Sports. His immense talent shined right away when taking the field in Tuscaloosa. It’s rare for a freshman to get significant playing time in the NFL, especially at a powerhouse like Alabama, where each position is loaded with four and five star talent.
Cooper, however, became a significant contributor from the jump. While he didn’t start at the beginning of the year, he showed enough in the first five games for Nick Saban to elevate him to the first-team for the remainder of the season.
In that 2012 season, Cooper caught 59 passes for 1,000 yards and tacked on 11 touchdowns. It may come as a surprise, but Cooper’s 11 touchdown’s broke a more than 50-year-old record at Alabama for most touchdowns in a season. He also broke Julio Jones’ freshman record for catches and yards.
Cooper’s contributions helped lead Alabama to the 2013 BCS National Championship, a game in which Alabama routed Notre Dame 42-14 with the help of Cooper’s 105 receiving yards and a pair of touchdowns.
Cooper Was Named First-team All-SEC & an All-American as a Junior
Cooper’s sophomore season was partially affected with an injury. He only made seven starts, but still managed to lead the team with 736 yards and four touchdowns.
As a junior, however, Cooper turned in a record-shattering season that would lead him to be a top-five pick in the 2015 NFL Draft. Cooper racked up 124 receptions for a blistering 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. His efforts helped lead Bama to an SEC Championship victory and him being named first-team All-SEC and a unanimous All-American selection.
Cooper Holds Numerous Receiving Records at Alabama
Cooper’s 2014 season broke multiple single season records at Alabam. His 1,727 yards is more than 400 yards higher than anyone else in Alabama history. He also turned in a pair of 224 yard games, which remain the highest single-game total for receiving yards in school history. His 16 touchdowns also are an Alabama record, and his 13 single game receptions (which he did twice) are tied for first.
Cooper’s mightily impressive 2014 season helped him overtake numerous career records at Bama as well. Cooper has the most career receptions (228), receiving yards (3,463), and touchdowns (31).
Based on Cooper’s records, it’s undeniable that he’s the best wide receiver to ever play for the Crimson Tide.