Monday, August 6, 2012

The Alabama Analysis: Future stars at wide receiver

While experienced leaders such as Darius Hanks, Marquis Maze, and Brad Smelley have departed the program, the 2012 edition of Alabama wide receivers and tight ends have the opportunity to be a very special and productive group.

The Crimson Tide will return a total of five relatively experienced players, and welcome a host of newcomers who are anxious to make an impact this season.

The prominent players

WR-Kenny Bell
WR-Kevin Norwood
WR-DeAndrew White
WR-Christion Jones
TE-Michael Williams

Emerging talent

WR-Amari Cooper
WR-Chris Black
WR-Eddie Williams
WR-Marvin Shinn
*WR-Cyrus Jones
WR-Danny Woodson Jr.
TE-Brian Vogler
TE-Harrison Jones
TE-Kurt Freitag

*Given the “athlete” tag. Can play multiple positions…

Kenny Bell

While names like Bell and Norwood are expected to see the bulk of the action, look for Christion Jones, DeAndrew White, as well as true freshman Amari Cooper to play significant roles at the wide receiver position. Nick Saban has gone on record to “sing the praises” of Cooper, and barring something unforeseen, the talented newcomer will make waves in 2012.

At the tight end position, Michael Williams is the man. Williams will be the starter and will play a vital role in the offense. The main question is who will replace Brad Smelley at the h-back position. Early indications point to Brian Vogler as the player who will fill that void, but Harrison Jones is also a viable option. As preseason camp continues, the answer to that question will become more definitive.

While the Crimson Tide do not have the luxury of a “nationally acclaimed” receiver, they do have several experienced players, and plenty of talent. Alabama has diversity with no specific “go to” target. That combination has the potential to prove lethal for opposing defenses in the SEC.

Unit Rating: 8/10

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