TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Alabama safety Nick Perry has lined up against a lot of great Crimson Tide receivers throughout his career. But one may stand out above the rest. Perry hinted that Amari Cooper maybe the best Alabama has had during Nick Saban's tenure.
"All of the guys are great, but you have to go with Coop," Perry said. "He's a monster. He's one of the best receivers I've seen and I've been here for five years. I've practiced against Julio (Jones), practiced against (Marquis) Maze. Coop is just a different breed."
The Tide is expecting a big season out of Cooper in his junior campaign. With a strong year, Cooper could rewrite Alabama's receiving history books.
What does Cooper do that makes him so special?
He works hard. He's probably outside right now working on his route running. He never has any down time. It's always work, work, work."
Perry healthy, ready to compete for a job
At times last season, Alabama safety Nick Perry thought his career with Alabama was over. Perry, a senior at the time, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury in 2013. He played in Alabama's first two games as a reserve. His injury turned out to be significant, as safety HaHa Clinton-Dix's was dealt a two-game suspension a few weeks later and safety Vinnie Sunseri was lost for the year with a knee injury. Perry said he hoped to play through the injury, but was ultimately advised to sit out.
"It happened in the (Texas) A&M game. I think I just made a play and something didn't feel right in the shoulder. They checked me out at halftime. They told me I might have a dislocated shoulder and that it was sliding. I decided to play with it, but I hurt it in practice the next week and they told me to get it checked out by a doctor."
Now after receiving a medical redshirt, he's back with dreams of earning a permanent starting job. Perry is an experienced vet with complete knowledge of the playbook.
"It would mean a lot," he said. "I had a chance to start a few games my junior year and have a lot of playing time. My senior year was cut short. So it would mean the world to me to be back out there and leave my mark at UA."
Tomlinson hopes to stay on the field
Before going down with a knee injury, Alabama defensive end Dalvin Tomlinson looked like he was heading toward a big year.
Tomlinson, who redshirted in 2012 because of a knee injury he suffered late in his senior year of high school, made four tackles and constantly put pressure on the quarterback in the Tide's season opener against Virginia Tech. At the time, Tomlinson was the third defensive end behind only starters Jeoffrey Pagan and Ed Stinson. But during practice on a Wednesday in September, Tomlinson injured his knee again and ruled out for the season.
"At first I really couldn't believe it, but after a while God has a plan for me, so it was something meant to be and it helped me out mentally," Tomlinson said on Wednesday.
Tomlinson said he feels healthy now and has gotten used to running on his knee again. For him, the injury wasn't a complete negative.
"I think it made me mentally tougher than I was before because tearing an ACL at the beginning of the season you have to it hurts you mentally, so you have to come back through it and fight through it and just keep working hard and get ready for next season," Tomlinson said.