Monday, March 15, 2010

What to Watch for in Spring Practice: WRs

julio

Wide Receivers

As for the wide receiver position this spring, the picture will look almost identical to the 2009 squad. The only wide receiver from the Tide’s 2009 campaign is Mike McCoy, who finished his career at the capstone.

That said, we all know that going into spring practice and the fall, that Julio Jones (6-4, 210 lbs.) will be the number one wide out. Though his 2009 production was down in terms of receptions and yardage, Jones caught just as many touchdown passes as he did in his much anticipated freshman season. Last season, Jones caught 42 balls for 573 yards and 4 touchdowns. Going into this season, he again will be the biggest threat to any secondary the team faces, however the only thing that should hurt his chances of a big season are again nagging injuries that cut down on his playing time like last year.

Opposite of Jones, look for Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks to battle for the second spot. Last year Maze tallied 30 catches for 519 yards and 2 touchdowns. Hanks turned in 3 touchdowns in 17 catches. While it is important for Jones to have a good season, it is possibly even more important for these two guys to have a big season to take away some of the heat that Jones will be under.

Battling for playing time this fall will be a cast of players who include Earl Alexander, Brandon Gibson, Michael Bowman, Kenny Bell, Kevin Norwood, and Kendall Kelly. The main question here is which one will separate themselves from the rest of the pack and solidify themselves in the rotation.

The other question is which of these guys will see time at another position. With the first practice of spring in the books last Friday, we have already seen Brandon Gibson split time with the defensive backs. Other move could include moving Michael Bowman to tight end, though time will tell.

With that said, McElroy will again have plenty of targets flying around the field, and with most teams playing to stop Ingram and the Tide’s running game, these guys will have to play on all cylinders. They may also be some of the best blocking wide outs and will have to keep it up to help seal the corners for the running game.

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