Alabama Football: It’s John Metchie’s time to shine

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

We’ll see another elite season from an Alabama football receiver.

John Metchie blossomed as a receiver in 2020, but this year will be his time to shine. Alabama football has seen plenty of excellent seasons from top receivers, and it’s Metchie’s turn to do the same.

Fans knew that Metchie was special after seeing him dominate in his first A-Day game, but it was a given that he would have to wait his turn. At the time, there were four first-round receivers ahead of the true freshman on the depth chart. Jaylen Waddle was barely seeing the field enough, so there was no chance for another receiver to crack through.

Metchie’s second A-Day Game was canceled due to COVID-19, so fans couldn’t see him again until his sophomore season began. In 2020, he thrived at first as a WR3. When Waddle went down, he became a WR2 and ended the year with 55 catches and averaged 16.7 yards per catch.

With Waddle and Smitty in the NFL, it is now Metchie’s time to shine as a junior for Alabama football.

Before the era of having at least two first-round receivers on the same roster, Alabama has relied heavily on just one target. Julio Jones started this trend, and it was continued by Amari Cooper and Calvin Ridley.

Alabama has depth at the receiver position, but Metchie will easily see the lion’s share of targets. He is easily the most experienced receiver on the roster, and his game speaks for itself. He has the speed to make plays down the field, and his physicality helps him with contested catches. He’s smooth as a route-runner, and his experience playing in the SEC will help when he faces off against some of the best corners in the country.

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DeVonta Smith set an unrealistic expectation for Alabama football receivers after winning the Heisman, but Metchie can still have a great year as the top target for Bryce Young this season.