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Alabama Football: Sharing the Wealth

Alabama’s offense has been explosive this season. The play calling of offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin has allowed the Crimson Tide’s skill players to attack opposing defenses on the perimeter. Alabama’s receivers have abused man-to-man coverage, resulting in 30 total passing touchdowns from Blake Sims (26) and Jake Coker (4).

Junior receiver Amari Cooper has had a stellar year. He ended 2013 strong, and returned this season with a lot to prove. Cooper’s totaled 115 catches for 1,656 yards and 14 touchdowns. He is Alabama’s bell cow offensively, and Kiffin has used him in a variety of ways.

Cooper is Alabama’s all-time leading receiver, posting 219 receptions for 3,392 yards and 29 touchdowns. He finished the 2014 regular season with numerous prizes, including a Fred Biletnikoff Award. Cooper finished third in the Heisman Trophy race, and was recognized as an Offensive Player of the Year in the Southeastern Conference. Cooper is one of two (Landon Collins) Crimson Tide players that were voted as a unanimous All-American.

Cooper is the main course, but Alabama’s roster is littered with talented receivers. Senior quarterback Blake Sims has excelled at spraying the ball across the field. Cooper is Sims’s primary target, but 1,594 of his 3,250 passing yards aren’t registered to Cooper.

 

DeAndrew White, Receiver

  • Classification: Senior
  • Size: 6-0/192 pounds
  • Best games: West Virginia, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, LSU and Auburn

Summary: DeAndrew White is one of the best route runners on Alabama’s roster. He’s put together some solid performances, despite nagging injuries. White started the season with six catches for 73 yards against West Virginia. He caught a touchdown pass in Alabama 14-13 victory over Arkansas, but White’s best moments came against LSU and Missouri. He caught three passes for 36 yards and a touchdown against the Tigers. Two of White’s three receptions came at critical moments. His 16-yard reception in the fourth quarter set up Adam Griffith’s game-tying 27-yard field goal. White’s 6-yard touchdown catch was the final score of the game. Alabama’s matchup with Missouri resulted in White’s lone 100-yard receiving performance. He caught four passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.

 

Christion Jones, Receiver

  • Classification: Senior
  • Size: 5-11/187 pounds
  • Best games: Florida Atlantic, Southern Mississippi, LSU and Missouri

Summary: Christion Jones hasn’t been target much, but he’s been huge down the stretch. Jones contributed against West Virginia with three catches for 31 yards. He brought in six passes for 106 yards combined against Florida Atlantic and Southern Mississippi. Jones had three catches for 38 yards against LSU, including a 22-yard reception on Alabama’s final drive in the fourth quarter. He totaled three catches for 40 yards and a touchdown against Missouri.

 

O.J. Howard, Tight End

  • Classification: Sophomore
  • Size: 6-6/240 pounds
  • Best games: Ole Miss, LSU, W. Carolina and Missouri

Summary: Alabama’s head coach Nick Saban wanted to develop a total package in O.J. Howard. Crimson Tide fans saw him as a pass catcher in 2013. Howard was involved more with blocking this season, but Sims still managed to target him occasionally. Howard creates matchup problems with his size. He displays a good combination of hands and speed. Howard caught three passes for 81 yards in Alabama’s 23-17 loss to Ole Miss. He totaled four receptions for 53 yards combined against Western Carolina and Missouri, but Howard’s best moment came against LSU. He caught two passes for 12 yards, but both of Howard’s two receptions came on Alabama’s final drive in the fourth quarter. He did a good job of getting out-of-bounds to stop the clock.

 

Chris Black, Receiver

  • Classification: Sophomore
  • Size: 5-11/186 pounds
  • Best games: Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina

Summary: Chris Black wasn’t on the field much, but he made his presence felt against Florida Atlantic and Western Carolina. He accounted for 45 yards on three receptions against Florida Atlantic. Black led all receivers against Western Carolina with six catches for 101 yards. He is a fluent route runner, but it’s Black’s speed that sets him apart. Black will have a lot of opportunities next season, but it will all start in the Sugar Bowl against Ohio State.

 

ArDarius Stewart, Receiver

  • Classification: Redshirt freshman
  • Size: 6-0/193 pounds
  • Best games: Florida Atlantic, Western Carolina and Mississippi State

Summary: ArDarius Stewart burst onto the scene in Alabama’s 2014 spring game. He’s emerged as one of the Crimson Tide’s future weapons in years to come. Stewart doesn’t have the offensive output that Amari Cooper has, but he is a crisp route runner. Stewart caught three passes for 63 yards against Florida Atlantic. He finished second on the team in receptions against Western Carolina, collected five passes for 51 yards. Stewart made an appearance for Alabama against Mississippi State. He totaled two catches for 25 yards.

 

Cameron “Cam” Sims, Receiver

  • Classification: Freshman
  • Size: 6-4/208 pounds
  • Best games: Arkansas, Western Carolina, Tennessee (blocking)

Summary: Cam Sims is one of few freshmen that have earned playing time this season. His size allows him to snatch balls out of the air, and display exceptional body control. Sims’s 15-yard reception against Arkansas set up a touchdown (DeAndrew White, 6-yard reception) for Alabama in the fourth quarter. He caught three passes for 33 yards, including a 4-yard touchdown reception against Western Carolina. It was Sims’s first collegiate touchdown as an Alabama receiver, and the first score of the contest against the Catamounts. He didn’t catch a pass against Tennessee, but Sims’s blocking was spot on. He sealed blocks in the run game, and sprung Amari Cooper free on one of his two touchdown receptions.

 

Alabama’s Receiving Corps in 2014
Name Games Played Offensive Production
DeAndrew White 11 37 catches, 439 yards, 4 TDs
Christion Jones 13 19 catches, 264 yards, TD
O.J. Howard 13 15 catches, 246 yards
Chris Black 10 13 catches, 178 yards
T.J. Yeldon 12 15 catches, 180 yards, TD
ArDarius Stewart 12 12 catches, 149 yards
Kenyan Drake 5 5 catches, 149 yards, 2 TDs
Cam Sims 12 6 catches, 62 yards, TD
Jalston Fowler 13 9 catches, 115 yards, 2 TDs
Derrick Henry 13 3 catches, 79 yards, 2 TDs
Robert Foster 8 6 catches, 44 yards
Brian Vogler 13 4 catches, 18 yards, TD
Ty Flournoy-Smith 4 2 catches, 18 yards, TD
Michael Nysewander 6 2 catches, 21 yards, TD
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