Alabama Football: On Bryce Young and young Tide receivers

Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports
Marvin Gentry-USA TODAY Sports /

There is a paradox in the theme of this post. The young receivers Alabama Football need to step up to replace John Metchie III are at most, only one season behind Tide quarterback, Bryce Young. Young played so sparingly in the 2020 season, he is almost a first-year player as well.

In recent days, Nick Saban stated four, less experienced, Crimson Tide receivers had been doing well in practices. Two of them, Traeshon Holden and Javon Baker are sophomores, like Bryce Young. The other two were freshmen, Ja’Corey Brooks and Agiye Hall. In a similar conversation, Bill O’Brien also mentioned freshman, JoJo Earle.

Jameson Williams, Slade Bolden, Cam Latu and Jahleel Billingsley are now the mainstays of the Tide’s receiving corps. That is not likely to change in the Playoffs. Even so, one or two of the less experienced guys will be afforded the opportunity to make meaningful contributions.

During the season, Holden, Baker and Brooks have made big plays for the Tide. JoJo Earle, limited by injuries, has also looked dangerous. Replacing the production and versatility of John Metchie III will not be easy. Metchie’s numbers are so high, no one replacement can make up for his absence.

Since the spring game, Alabama football fans have been expecting Agiye Hall to assert himself as a big-play receiver. His development has progressed slowly. Rumors have circulated he was disgruntled and considering transfer options. Whatever has or has not transpired with Hall, for Saban and O’Brien to mention him is encouraging. Hall may not be about to leapfrog Holden, Baker, Jones-Bell and Brooks for snaps, but if the Tide coaching staff was concerned about a possible transfer, he would not have been mentioned.

Recent fan excitement over possibly adding a transfer wide receiver is somewhat of a distraction, Names mentioned; Kayshon Boutte, Josh Downs and Jacob Cowing would be great fits for next season’s Alabama Football offense. But the current Crimson Tide wide receiver group is loaded with talent. Even without Methchie and Jameson Williams and no incoming transfers, the 2022 Tide will have receivers capable of stardom.

A main reason why there are so many high-potential receivers on the current roster and joining the team next season is Bryce Young. His extraordinary sophomore season, with 43 touchdown passes, only four interceptions, for a total of 4,322 passing yards, has wowed the entire college football world. Every wideout in the country sees the value of Young as their QB.

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In today’s college football, winning big games demands outstanding quarterback performance. Desmond Ridder, Stetson Bennett and Cade McNamara are very good QBs – but none are at the level of this season’s Heisman Trophy winner.