Wide receiver Amari Cooper had eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown in the winning effort, which took him past the 3,000 mark for career receiving yards, making him the first Alabama receiver to break past that plateau.
Quarterback AJ McCarron completed 17 of 29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns without throwing an interception on Saturday, connecting six times for 178 yards and one touchdown to wide receiver Amari Cooper
OUTLOOK: Gives Alabama a dynamic option at the tight end position … a mismatch for most defenses in the passing game and an improved blocker … looking for a breakout year in 2015 … candidate for All-SEC, All-America and the Mackey Award, which goes to the nation’s best tight end ... has played in 27 games with nine career starts ... caught 31 passes fro 529 yards and two touchdowns.
SOPHOMORE (2014): A potent weapon at tight end for the Crimson Tide ... started three games and saw action in all 14 contests ... had 17 catches on the season for 260 yards and nine first downs ... averaged 15.3 yards per catch with six explosive receptions of 16 yards or more ... added three tackles. Florida: Made his first two catches of the season against the Gators ... accounted for 22 receiving yards and converted one first down. Ole Miss: Turned in his most productive game of the season against the Rebels ... caught three passes for 81 yards, averaging 27.0 yards per catch ... converted two first downs ... hauled in a long catch of 53 yards. Arkansas: Turned a short pass play into a 47-yard gain in Fayetteville for a first down and his only catch of the game. LSU: Was instrumental in the game-tying drive in regulation with two receptions for 12 yards, getting out of bounds both times to stop the clock ... finished with three catches for 21 yards ... hauled in a nine-yard reception for a first down earlier in the game. Mississippi State: Caught one pass for two yards in the Tide’s 25-20 win over the Bulldogs. Western Carolina: Pulled in a 26-yard reception and finished with two grabs for 33 yards ... both catches converted first downs for the Crimson Tide. Auburn: Made one reception for 20 yards and an Alabama first down. Missouri: Caught two passes for 20 yards including an explosive play of 17 yards that converted an Alabama first down. Ohio State: Caught two passes for 14 yards.
FRESHMAN (2013): A true freshman who steadily gained knowledge and experience at tight end ... played in all 13 games, with five starts ... caught 14 passes for 269 yards and two touchdowns ... 13 of his 14 receptions converted first downs for Alabama, with eight going for 15 or more yards ... averaged a team-best 19.2 yards per catch from his tight end spot. Virginia Tech: Received his first action in the crimson and white ... did not have a catch but was targeted in the passing game. Texas A&M: Started and came up big in College Station with three catches for 68 yards ... caught passes for 27, 26 and 15 yards against the Aggies, all converting first downs. Colorado State: Added three more receptions for 38 yards, with a long of 23. Ole Miss: Started his second game of the year but did not have a reception. Georgia State: Started and caught one pass for 13 yards and a first down. Kentucky: Came off the bench to catch two passes for 37 yards, including a long of 25 yards. Arkansas: Caught his first career touchdown on a 17-yard reception from AJ McCarron in 52-0 win over the Hogs. LSU: Caught a crossing route for his only catch of the game and raced 52 yards, outrunning the LSU defense for a touchdown. Mississippi State: Pulled in one pass for 21 yards in the Tide's win. Chattanooga: Made his fifth start of the season but did not have a reception. Auburn: Caught two passes for 23 yards ... his 11- and 12-yard receptions both converted first downs.
HIGH SCHOOL AND PERSONAL DATA: Came to Alabama the top tight end prospect in the class of 2013 ... participated in the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game ... arrived at Alabama as an early enrollee in January of 2013 ... a five-star prospect is the No. 7 prospect nationally in the Rivals100 ... is the outlet's top-ranked tight end and No. 2 player in Alabama ... 247Sports ranks Howard 20th in its Top247 with five stars while listing him as the No. 1 tight in and the No. 2 player in the state ... the 247Composite lists him 14th nationally ... No. 14 in the Scout300 and Scout.com's top-ranked tight end ... is ranked 45th in the ESPN150, the No. 2 tight end and No. 24 in the southeast region by ESPN ... Sporting News' No. 32 player in the nation ... rated eighth nationally by MaxPreps (Tom Lemming) and is the No. 1 tight end ... is the No. 13 player nationally by PrepStar, the publication's No. 1 tight end and a member of the PrepStar Dream Team... three-time was first-team AISA All-State selection ... missed part of his senior year due to injury, but amassed 854 of total offense and 12 touchdowns ... accounted for 57 tackles on the defensive side of the ball in 2012 ... named to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Super 12 team ... AISA 2012 Lineman of the Year ... as a junior in 2011 had 11 receiving touchdowns, eight rushing scores and also threw for three TDs ... caught 41 passes for 926 yards while rushing for 487 yards ... had 89 tackles with eight sacks and three forced fumbles on defense ... as a sophomore in 2010, set the school record with 31 total touchdowns while also breaking the school's receiving records ... named the team's defensive MVP after making 89 tackles with six interceptions and four sacks ... coached by Chris Honeycutt at Autauga Academy ... chose Alabama over Florida, USC and Auburn.