FRISCO - Amari Cooper is now almost a perennial Pro Bowler after having been picked No. 4 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft and a few years later traded to the Dallas Cowboys.
But for Alabama head coach Nick Saban, Cooper still represents something the coach hopes resonates with recruits: Crimson Tide competition.
An internet recruiting visit that the Crimson Tide staged with a recruit shows a fairly laid-back Saban rattling off the details of the quality of the Alabama program. He talks of the impressive number of championships, FBS championship game appearances and CFB playoff appearances that Alabama - this season once again the best team in college football - has earned in recent years.
And then Saban notes the depth of the Alabama roster and the benefits of that, mentioning that last year, 64 players in the NFL are products of his program - a list that of course includes Cooper.
Saban's point to the kid: At other schools who are recruiting you, they might tell you that you'll get playing time more quickly. ... but at Alabama, you'll get better because you'll be competing against the best every day in practice.
And specific to Cooper? Amari will be the first to tell you how inspired he continues to be by the mentorship and the "push'' of Saban. Cooper now is a symbol of what a high school recruit might dream of being, as Amari produced a 1,000-receiving yard, 11 touchdown season as a freshman, later finished third in the Heisman Trophy race, and in 2020 experienced his fifth 1,000-yard receiving season in his six years as a pro.
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