2. Who emerges as Alabama Football’s go-to receiver?
Once Rees figures out who starts at quarterback, he has to find his alpha receiver. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs led the team in receptions, Georgia transfer Jermaine Burton led the Tide in receiving yards, and Ja’Corey Brooks had the most touchdown receptions. One of the reasons Bryce Young completed passes to so many receivers is that no one emerged as a go-to option.
After Jameson Williams and John Metchie left for the NFL in 2021, the Crimson Tide signed Jermaine Burton (Georgia) and Tyler Harrell (Louisville) via the transfer portal. Neither signee played to the level expected in 2022. Burton was good but did not emerge as the alpha receiver he was supposed to become. Harrell played in six games, dealing with injuries most of the year.
Burton is expected to return, while Harrell transferred to Texas during the off-season. The Crimson Tide have a plethora of young, blue-chip receivers on the roster; they need one to separate themselves from the rest.
Brooks seems the most likely option, as he flashed at times last season but had issues with press coverage and recognizing zone coverage. Keep an eye on true freshman Jalen Hale. The five-star from Texas has elite speed and a college-ready frame ( 6 – foot -1 and 185 pounds) that has not fully filled out yet.
Whoever wins the QB1 job could use one of these young talented receivers to lean on consistently.