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Insider

Tide's receiver recruits ready

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- The University of Alabama hasn't had an incoming group of wide receivers this good since the 2008 signing class that brought in Julio Jones. And even that class didn't have the apparent depth of the 2012 group, which features two top-10 receivers and a pair of athletes ranked in the overall top 25.

Chris Black
Height-Weight: 5-foot-11, 170 pounds
Note: No. 2 wide receiver in the ESPNU 150. 4.54 40-yard dash
Outlook: The four-star prospect out of Jacksonville, Fla., conjures memories of another wide receiver who played his college ball in Florida -- Reggie Wayne. Neither are tall, nor particularly fast. But both find a way to make plays and show up faster on film than on a profile tear sheet. Don't let Black's sub 6-foot frame and less than stellar 40-yard dash time fool you. He's quick and lean and gives defensive backs fits with his ability to get behind the defense for the big play. Black had 985 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns during his senior year at First Coast High School.

Amari Cooper
Height-Weight: 6-foot-1, 185 pounds
Note: No. 7 wide receiver in the ESPNU 150. Averaged more than 20 yards a catch in 2011
Outlook: The top-50 overall prospect comes from the fertile recruiting grounds of Miami. Cooper is a big-play threat with the dependability of a possession receiver. At the Under Armour All-America Game in early January, Cooper gave Alabama fans a taste of what's to come with the Tide. Against the best high school players in the country, Cooper was head and shoulders above the rest. He opened up with a 75-yard touchdown grab from Jameis Winston and closed things out with a 93-yard punt return for his second touchdown of the day. On both plays he showed excellent breakaway speed by getting behind the defenders. Cooper had more than 700 yards receiving and hauled in six touchdowns his senior year at Miami Northwestern High School.