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Five Freshmen of Influence

Cooper is averaging 16.5 yards per reception.

Each week during the 2012 season, BOL highlights five freshmen -- either redshirt or true -- who are making strong contributions for the Crimson Tide. Here are the top five following Alabama's 29-24 loss to Texas A&M:

1.] WR Amari Cooper (last week: 1)
WCU: With two catches for 50 yards against the Catamounts, Cooper is averaging 23.5 yards per catch over his last two games.
Season to date: Appeared in all eleven games, making a team-high 40 receptions for 658 yards and six touchdowns. Has caught 35 passes over the last seven games. Hauled in 585 yards worth of passes during that span for an average of 16.7 yards per catch. Two-time 247sports National Freshman of the Week selection.

2.] RB TJ Yeldon (2)
WCU: Responded to lackluster showing against Texas A&M by rushing for 55 yards and a touchdown in the win. Lone score was his eighth in last six games. Left the contest with a sprained foot but is expected to be ready to go for Auburn.
Season to date: Rushed for 809 yards in eleven games, surpassing freshman numbers for Mark Ingram (728 yards in 2008) and Trent Richardson (751 yards in 2009). Player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff following win over Mississippi State. Offensive player of the game honors from CBS for his efforts against LSU.

3.] JLB Denzel Devall (3)
WCU: Maintained prominent role in outside linebacker rotation, posting three total tackles and one of UA's three quarterback hurries in the game.
Season to date: Appeared in every game, recording 15 total tackles, including three for loss, two sacks and one fumble recovery. Defensive player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff after posting two sacks against Mississippi State.

4.] CB Geno Smith (not ranked)
WCU: First career start came at star position in UA nickel package. Posted an assisted tackle and a pass breakup, the first of his Alabama career. John Fulton's return from turf toe will likely factor into Smith's reps this week.
Season to date: Appeared in ten games, making one start. Recorded seven total tackles and a pass breakup.

5.] WR/KR Cyrus Jones (5)
WCU: Caught two passes for 12 yards, with a long reception of 14 yards. Had a drop on third-quarter bubble screen. Lone punt return attempt went for zero yards.
Season to date: Appeared in nine games. Four receptions for 51 yards, with a long catch of 35 yards against Arkansas. Special teams player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff following win over Tennessee.

5.] S Landon Collins (5)
WCU: Picked up special teams player of the week honors after posting two tackles against the Catamounts. Saw action on kick coverage and return units and on defense at safety and money.
Season to date: Appeared in each of the first eleven game games, recording ten total tackles and a punt block. Earned special teams player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff following wins over Missouri and WCU.

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