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#CFBTop20: No. 9, Alabama WR Amari Cooper

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  • By NFL.com
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Widely perceived as the top wide receiver in college football, Amari Cooper will look to recapture the magic of a spectacular freshman season coming off an injury-marred sophomore campaign. He'll need the support of solid quarterback play in likely new starter Jacob Coker. Alabama gets a lot of mileage from Cooper on screen passes and short hitch plays, using his knack for making the first tackler miss for easy first downs. He's added some weight (now 209 pounds) and is primed for a run at the second 1,000-yard receiving season of his career.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote

In an era of spread offenses and multiple-receiver sets, it's surprising Cooper was the only wide receiver to land in our top 20 (by contrast, three running backs made the cut). And it wasn't unanimous; two panelists failed to put him on their personal top 20 lists, one which liked USC's Nelson Agholor better (Agholor received top-20 votes from three panelists, but just missed making our overall top 20). He was ranked as high as fourth by one panelist, and a total of three placed him in their top 10.

What some of our analysts are saying about Cooper

"He was a little disappointing last season, but he has the tools to dominate the SEC in 2014." - Daniel Jeremiah

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"Natural pass catcher with outstanding hands, ball skills and running ability. He's a big play waiting to happen." - Bucky Brooks

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"Big. Fast. Great hands. A playmaker." - Gil Brandt

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"Alabama's late-season slide in 2013 was not due to Cooper, who really came on strong as he got healthy. He has great body control and a pair of soft hands to complement his speed." - Bryan Fischer

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"He's bigger and healthier than last year, and primed to return to the 2012 form that established him as one of the top talents in the nation." - Chase Goodbread


Where do fans rank Cooper?

We asked Twitter and Facebook users who they considered the best player in college football. Cooper ranked 10th among the 14 players to receive the more than 19,000 fan votes for top player, and was the only receiver represented. He received 2 percent of the overall vote.

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