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Amari Cooper Leaving The Team, But Not The University

Amari Cooper Leaving The Team, But Not The University

By: Larry Burton

Landon Collins may have been the first to publicly thank his coaches, teammates and fans for the incredible ride he’s enjoyed as a star player for the Alabama Crimson Tide, but Amari Cooper was not far behind.

Amari’s comments to the press on Friday was short however, as he had to speak and then run, to class that is. In his remarks to the press before leaving he basically wanted to say three things. That he had hoped that things would have ended better for the team in his last game, that he wanted to thank the coaches, his teammates, fans and school for helping make him a better person and that he would work a plan to finish his degree.

As for leaving now without another championship, Cooper told reporters, “Yes, definitely there was a part of me that wanted to be able come back to end in a better way, but the more I thought about it, it doesn’t always end the way you want it to end.”

But after a very short talk with Saban, who has always told players with a first round draft choice option that they should take it, Cooper said, “I thought it was the perfect time to move on with the season I had.”

So while he may be leaving the team, he’ll still be at the University through the combines and pre-draft training time. So many of his closest friends and teammates will still have plenty of time to say goodbye. And saying goodbye was maybe the hardest thing Cooper had to face. “It was pretty difficult.” Cooper said on his leaving early. “I don’t like leaving starting something “I want to be remembered as a great person, a person who wanted to help others, a person who wasn’t selfish, and a great player,” Cooper said.and not finishing and there’s kind of a feeling with what I’m doing in school, but I want to put a plan into place so I can finish that.”

As for finishing his degree, Cooper made sure reporters knew two things, that finishing his degree was important to him and that he intended to do it at Alabama. “Being able to get my degree is important. I’ve worked just as hard on those hours as I’ve worked on the football field.” Indeed, at the conclusion of this semester, he’ll have only 14 more hours to get that degree.

As for his time on this team helping prepare him for the NFL, Cooper made it clear that playing in a pro football type offense would help him as would the lessons he learned from Saban. “It’s going to benefit me tremendously. The things he teaches us as players will always stay with us, especially if you are a listener, and I believe I listened to him, so I will be all right.” he told reporters.

As for being the number one receiver taken or where he was taken in the draft, Cooper was humble in saying, “”It would be a great thing to be the first receiver taken. That’s a goal, but at the same time, if it doesn’t happen, there’s nothing I can do about it. And it’s really not that important.” He also stated that it didn’t matter to him which team landed him, that his goals were just to become a leader on the team and help them as he’s done at Alabama.

And his parting words were to answer a question and his legacy at Alabama. “I want to be remembered as a great person, a person who wanted to help others, a person who wasn’t selfish, and a great player,” Cooper reflected.

And he did help the people around him. Cooper ends his career as the Alabama pass receiving leader with 1,737 yards and 124 receptions with 16 touchdowns. His are the career records in each of those categories.

Then, as fast as he streaked down the field, his time with the press was over and he took off like the speedy person he is, but this time to class, not the end zone.

Larry has been published in almost every media outlet for college sports and now primarily writes here for Touchdown Alabama. Follow Larry on Twitter for inside thoughts and game time comments at
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Larry Burton is a member of the Football Writers of America Association (FWAA) and was the most read SEC and Alabama football writer during his time at Bleacher Report. He has been credentialed by all the major bowls and the University of Alabama. Larry provides some of the best insight in the business through his "Larry's Lowdown" segment with TDA.

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