Alabama WR Group Must Take the Next Step This Season

Alabama wide receiver Isaiah Bond (17) celebrates a touchdown against Kansas State at Caesar's Superdome in New Orleans, Louisiana on Saturday, Dec 31, 2022. Photo by Kent Gidley

As we head towards A-Day, much of the conversation around the Crimson Tide squad has understandably been about the quarterback battle. Jalen Milroe, who seems to have the early edge, reportedly looks like he has made significant improvement from last season, while the word on Ty Simpson has been nothing but positive as well. But no matter who is under center, the critical factor will be whether or not the group of pass catchers, much of which will be the same as last season, can take the next step and help out the quarterbacks.

The group is led by Ja’Corey Brooks, who I would contend was by far the most talented receiver on the team this past season. Opposite of him is the returning Jermaine Burton, who played perhaps his best game of the year in the Sugar Bowl against Kansas State. In the slot, throw out any combination you want of Isaiah Bond, Kendrick Law, and Kobe Prentice. All three are absolutely electric and will give defensive coordinators headaches.

The wild card of the group is JUCO transfer Malik Benson, who comes to Tuscaloosa having been ranked as the #1 JUCO player in the nation from Hutchinson County College in Kansas. Sources have been absolutely raving about Benson all spring long, with some even believing he could be the next great Alabama receiver. The development of Benson from JUCO to the SEC will be the difference in this WR group being just solid, or down right dangerous.

Alabama will miss the presence of tight end Cameron Latu, who was often a security blanket for Bryce Young, but this group of wide receivers is at least on paper, better than what Young was working with this past season. No matter if it’s Jalen Milroe or Ty Simpson, the tools are there for Alabama to have a very dangerous passing attack.