Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones has seen two of his Alabama receiving records fall this year at the hands of junior Amari Cooper, so it comes as little surprise that the former Crimson Tide star expects a lot of Cooper as a pro -- whenever that time comes. But the reason he expects it -- as much for the professionalism he anticipates Cooper having as his on-field talent -- wasn't as predictable.
"He's going to be great because just where he's coming from, first of all -- from the University of Alabama," Jones said, according to al.com. "Just the character he's going to have when he gets to the league. You've never heard anything negative about him. He's going to be a professional. He's going to be a great player on the next level. He has the talent and everything else, but also it's off-the-field that matters the most."
Cooper indeed has had an impeccable reputation in his nearly three years at UA for both a staunch work ethic and a trouble-free discipline record. He's also bumped Jones off the top of Alabama's single-game and single-season record lists (Cooper posted 224 yards at Tennessee for one mark, and is still adding to a record 1,303 yards for the year.) NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah has compared Cooper favorably to the No. 4 pick of this year's draft, Buffalo Bills rookie receiver Sammy Watkins.
If Cooper decides to turn pro after the season, he has until a Jan. 15 deadline to file notice to the league. He's declined to comment on the decision throughout the year. Jones left UA after three years and was the No. 6 overall pick of the Falcons in 2011.