BCS Title Game Matchup: Receiver & Tight End


Breaking down one of the closer matchups in the national championship.

Alabama has an emerging superstar at wide receiver while Notre Dame has the nation's best tight end. Will the difference in these units be in the talent and depth outside of these two players?



Amari Cooper, Freshman

6'1" 198 pounds

'12 stats: 52 receptions, 894 yards, 9 TD

Career: Same as above

Kenny Bell, RS Junior (Questionable)

6'1" 180 pounds

'12 stats: 17 receptions, 431 yards, 3 TD

Career: 36 receptions, 712 yards, 5 TD

Kevin Norwood, RS Junior

6'2" 195 pounds

'12 stats: 26 receptions, 395 yards, 4 TD

Career: 40 receptions, 641 yards, 5 TD

Christion Jones, Sophomore

5'11" 185 pounds

'12 stats: 25 receptions, 328 yards, 4 TD

Career: 28 receptions, 377 yards, 4 TD

TE, Michael Williams, 5th-year Senior

6'6" 269 pounds

'12 stats: 21 receptions, 166 yards, 3 TD

Career: 48 receptions, 486 yards, 6 TD

DeAndrew White, RS Sophomore (Out ACL injury)

6'0" 185 pounds

'12 stats: 8 receptions, 105 yards, 2 TD

Career: 22 receptions, 256 yards, 4 TD

Cyrus Jones, Freshman

5'10" 192 pounds

'12 stats: 5 receptions, 52 receptions

Career: Same as above

TE, Kelly Johnson, Senior

6'3" 230 pounds

'12 stats: 4 receptions, 34 yards

Career: Same as above

Marvin Shinn, RS Freshman

6'3" 198 pounds

'12 stats: 4 receptions, 28 yards

Career: Same as above

TE, Brian Volger, RS Sophomore

6'7" 258 pounds

'12 stats: 2 receptions, 21 yards

Career: 3 receptions, 27 yards

Danny Woodson, RS Freshman

6'1" 195 pounds

'12 stats: 1 reception, 9 yards

Career: Same as above


TE, Tyler Eifert, RS Junior

6'6" 251 pounds

'12 stats: 44 receptions, 624 yards, 4 TD

Career: 134 receptions, 1,779 yards, 11 TD

TJ Jones, Junior

5'11" 190 pounds

'12 stats: 43 receptions, 549 yards, 4 TD

Career: 104 receptions, 1,231 yards, 10 TD

DaVaris Daniels, RS Freshman

6'2" 190 pounds

'12 stats: 25 receptions, 375 yards

Career: Same as above

Robby Toma, Senior

5'9" 185 pounds

'12 stats: 24 receptions, 252 yards

Career: 60 receptions, 667 yards, 1 TD

John Goodman, 5th-year Senior

6'3" 215 pounds

'12 stats: 7 receptions, 159 yards, 3 TD

Career: 35 receptions, 474 yards, 4 TD

TE, Troy Niklas, Sophomore

6'7" 260 pounds

'12 stats: 5 receptions, 75 yards, 1 TD

Career: Same as above

Chris Brown, Freshman

6'2" 172 pounds

'12 stats: 2 receptions, 56 yards

Career: Same as above

Daniel Smith, Junior

6'4" 215 pounds

'12 stats: 7 receptions, 47 yards

Career: Same as above

TE, Ben Koyack, Sophomore

6'5" 253 pounds

'12 stats: 3 receptions, 39 yards

Career: 4 receptions, 44 yards


Neither team is going to be running out 4 and 5 receiver sets much, if at all, so depth is solid across the board for both clubs.

The Tide are dealing with some injuries however. Kenny Bell broke his leg back in late November against Auburn and is questionable for the BCS title game. DeAndrew White was having a solid second season in Tuscaloosa but tore his ACL in late September. Talented freshman Chris Black had shoulder surgery before the season, but was available against Georgia and did not play. It's doubtful Alabama will burn his redshirt for one game---even if it is the national championship.

The Irish will have everyone back healthy with the return of redshirt freshman DaVaris Daniels. He suffered a broken collarbone against Boston College but has already been cleared for contact in practice.

The experience matchup is pretty close with a few Alabama players being major contributors for a couple seasons and also playing in some very big games on the national scene. On the other hand, the Irish have two players with 1,000+ career yards and 4 out of the top 5 pass-catchers have been in the program for 3 or more years.


Alabama definitely has an advantage in their explosiveness and big-play ability from the receiver position.

True freshman Amari Cooper has burst on to the scene over the past couple months starting the last 8 games for the Crimson Tide and coming in to this game with 17.19 yards per catch. Only 3 receivers from BCS schools have a better YPC average and more receptions than Cooper.

If he's able to play, Kenny Bell adds another dynamite big-play receiver for the Tide. He's averaging 25.35 yards per catch which would be tops in the nation if he qualified for the 25-catch minimum. Norwood and Christion Jones add a lot of talent to the lineup as well.

It's tough to beat the productivity of the nation's best tight end , especially when he's playing along side two highly touted younger TE's too. Alabama has good tight ends for what they want to do on offense but Notre Dame has been able to do so much in both running and passing due to the strengths of Eifert & Co.


Since Alabama is working through some injuries at receiver this matchup appears awfully even.

There's always a lot of talk about Alabama's speed but they are a team with impressive speed on defense and impressive physicality at the offensive skill positions. Their receivers and tight ends abilities to block and get off blocks really jumps out when watching them play.

Of course Notre Dame's receivers and tight ends are no slouches when it comes to blocking and playing physical either. DaVaris Daniels coming back from injury is huge because he adds size and was beginning to break out into an every down playmaker.

The Tide's receiver unit brings more down field ability and explosiveness on screens and short passes. Cooper will be a handful and Norwood and Jones can't be slept on either.

Alabama loves to run two receivers and two tight ends (or 1 tight end and a H-back) so we'll see how well their tight ends hold up against the powerful front seven of Notre Dame. With Tyler Eifert's ability as a receiver this could be a big edge for the Irish, but Notre Dame is going to need great blocking from all the tight ends.

There isn't a ton to talk about with the Irish receivers but T.J. Jones has been uber clutch this season and that counts for a lot. Notre Dame will need Jones, along with Daniels and Eifert, to play at a very high level on January 7th.

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