Alabama Football: What Crimson Tide is getting in Malik Benson

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the biggest issues for the 2022 Alabama football team was a distinct dropoff in wide receiver play. After putting five wideouts in the first round of the NFL draft in the past three years, Alabama did not field anything that even vaguely resembled a first-round receiver this season.

JUCO product Malik Benson could help to restore the Alabama offense to what it has been for the better part of the CFP era. Benson was the top junior college prospect in the country, regardless of position.

In two seasons at JUCO powerhouse Hutchinson Community College (KS), he averaged over 20 yards per reception and hauled in 21 touchdowns. His film is electrifying, and validates the statistical numbers. Benson possesses the speed to be the game-breaker Bama lacked this year, but also has the hands and route-running ability to be more than just a deep threat.

Alabama football has lost four wide receivers to the transfer portal since the conclusion of the regular season last month. These departures clear up more room for a playmaker like Benson to come into the program as an upperclassman and make an immediate impact.

Alabama expects to return sophomore receiver Ja’Corey Brooks and junior receiver Jermaine Burton, the team’s top two pass-catchers in 2022. Ja’Corey Brooks has made 37 grabs for team-highs of 623 yards and seven touchdowns. Burton has also made 37 catches, good for 590 yards and six scores. Both players will have opportunities to add to their season totals in the Sugar Bowl.

Brooks and Burton will be a solid and reliable duo in the 2023 offense, and Malik Benson could take the group to a new level. He figures to slot in as the third starting receiver in Alabama’s base 11 personnel. The starting job will not be guaranteed, as talented players such as Kendrick Law, Kobe Prentice, Isaiah Bond, and Tyler Harrell will also push for spots.

Alabama football rarely takes transfers or junior college recruits unless Coach Saban believes they can fill an immediate need. Benson is an impact talent that could be a plug-and-play pickup for the Crimson Tide at wide receiver.

Saban dominates in-state recruiting. dark. Next

If he can play to the level that his potential indicates, he will make life a lot easier for Alabama’s quarterback in 2023.