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College Sports

Alabama's latest precocious offensive stars Yeldon, Cooper prepare for biggest stage yet


FILE - In this Sept. 8, 2012, file photo, Alabama running back T.J. Yeldon (4) is taken down after a first down run by Western Kentucky defensive back Tyree Robinson (22) and defensive back Jonathan Dowling (1) during the first half of an NCAA college football game at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Ala. With the national championship on the line, two throwback offenses will slug it out. No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Alabama rely heavily on the run, and that doesn't figure to change in the biggest game of the year. (AP Photo/Dave Martin, File) (The Associated Press)

T.J. Yeldon and Amari Cooper are the latest Alabama freshmen to become instant stars.

The Crimson Tide's precocious offensive players have put up big numbers and come through on the biggest stages of the season so far. They're two of the top threats to sting No. 1 Notre Dame's terrific defense Monday night in the BCS championship.

Yeldon follows tailbacks Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, who made immediate impacts on their way to the NFL. Wide receiver Cooper is already challenging the freshman records set a few years ago by Julio Jones.

Yeldon has run for 1,000 yards and scored the winning touchdown against LSU. Cooper's 53 catches, 895 yards and nine touchdowns were highlighted by the decisive TD in the Southeastern Conference championship against Georgia.