The Norman Transcript

National Sports

August 22, 2013

Alabama receivers generating buzz, expectations

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Alabama’s receiving corps has one star and an impressive supporting cast.

Now, it’s up to Amari Cooper & Co. to live up to a preseason buzz ordinarily reserved for the top-ranked Crimson Tide’s tailbacks and defense.

Cooper produced one of the best seasons by a Alabama receiver as a freshman and is joined by a mix of established veterans and highly recruited youngsters to give quarterback AJ McCarron a deep assemblage of targets.

“It’s going to be one of the most spectacular receiver groups that have come around in a long time,” deep threat Kenny Bell said. “We all push each other. We don’t take it for granted that one’s better than the other, we just try to push each other. Everybody out there’s just taken it upon themselves to be a leader and push each other.”

Even former players are raving about the group.

“Probably the best wide receiving corps Alabama’s ever had is going to be in Tuscaloosa this year,” said Jay Barker, quarterback of the Tide’s 1992 national championship team.

McCarron said the chemistry with the receivers is the best he’s had.

The collection of talent is especially notable because Alabama hasn’t exactly been Wide Receiver U. Atlanta Falcons star Julio Jones, the No. 6 overall pick in 2011, was the first Tide receiver drafted since fifth-rounder Triandos Luke seven years earlier.

There’s only one bona fide star entering the season but all the returnees have been productive. The depth showed when the passing game continued to thrive after Bell, DeAndrew White and freshman Chris Black were lost to injuries in 2012.

Cooper racked up 1,000 receiving yards and a school-record 11 touchdowns on 59 catches. His numbers were slightly better than Jones’ record-setting freshman season, and Cooper added two touchdowns in the BCS championship game win over Notre Dame.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014

  • Isner wins another Atlanta final

    ATLANTA — Top-seeded John Isner overpowered Dudi Sela on Sunday to successfully defend his Atlanta Open title, blowing serve after serve past the 5-foot-9 Israeli player in a 6-3, 6-4 victory....

    July 28, 2014