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Five Freshmen of Influence

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 49-0 win over Auburn:

1.] WR Amari Cooper (last week: 1)
Auburn: The Tigers' secondary learned what others before them already know: If Cooper's even, he's leavin'. Two more touchdown receptions to give him eight for the season, which is twice as many as Julio Jones had as a freshman in 2008. Offensive player of the week selection by UA coaching staff.
Season to date: Appeared in all twelve games, making a team-high 46 receptions for 767 yards and eight touchdowns. Has caught 41 passes over the last eight games. Hauled in 694 yards worth of passes during that span for an average of 16.9 yards per catch. Two-time 247sports National Freshman of the Week selection.

2.] RB TJ Yeldon (2)
Auburn: Showed no signs of foot sprain in covering 38 yards on eight carries. Ran with authority, looking more like the back we saw three weeks ago. Lone score in the game was his ninth in last seven games.
Season to date: Rushed for 847 yards in twelve 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)
Auburn: Recorded two assisted tackles while working as a reserve at Jack linebacker. Will need to provide pressure off the edge this week.
Season to date: Appeared in every game, recording 17 total tackles, including three for loss, two sacks, three quarterback hurries 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 (4)
Auburn: Continued in his role at the star position in UA's nickel and dime packages. Lone assisted tackle went for a loss, the first TFL of his UA career.
Season to date: Appeared in eleven games, making one start. Recorded eight total tackles, a half tackle for loss and a pass breakup.

5.] S Landon Collins (5)
Auburn: Picked up special teams player of the week honors for the second straight week after posting two tackles while on kickoff coverage. Recorded two more tackles while working at safety in the second half.
Season to date: Appeared in all twelve game games, recording 14 total tackles and a punt block. Earned special teams player of the week honors from the UA coaching staff following wins over Missouri, WCU and Auburn.

5.] RB Kenyan Drake (not ranked)
Auburn: With the game put away early, the second half was Drake time as the youngster racked up 67 yards on 10 carries. Also posted an assisted tackle while covering a second quarter kickoff. Third quarter fumble resulted in Alabama's lone turnover of the game.
Season to date: Appeared in 11 games, carrying 39 times for 273 yards (7.0 ypc) and five touchdowns. One assisted tackle as member of kickoff coverage unit.

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