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Grading the performance of Alabama wide receivers from 2022 season

Ja'Corey Brooks runs with the ball vs Tennessee
Randy Sartin - USA Today Sports

Alabama concluded 2022 with a victory over Kansas State in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.

All eyes now shift to spring practice and the position battles that follow. However, the staff at Touchdown Alabama Magazine wants to grade the performances of each position group from last season. We begin this process now and it should finish at the end of the month. After grading running backs, the wide receiver position is next

Wide Receivers

Grade: C

Starters: Jermaine Burton, Ja’Corey Brooks, Kobe Prentice, Traeshon Holden

Backups: Isaiah Bond/Kendrick Law/Tyler Harrell/JoJo Earle/Christian Leary/Shazz Preston/Thaiu Jones-Bell/Emmanuel Henderson Jr.

2022 stats: 2,522 receiving yards, 26 touchdown catches

Summary: Alabama did not have the dominant leader at wide receiver it’s been used to under Nick Saban in 2022.

It had several talented guys, but no one consistently separated themselves as the guy. 

RELATED: Grading the performance of Alabama running backs from 2022 season

The Crimson Tide’s offense suffered from dropped passes and receivers not creating separation in their routes. Jermaine Burton finished the season as the team’s leader for receiving yards (677), but it took the latter half of the year for him to come to life.

He had one of his best performances in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, totaling three catches for 87 yards and a touchdown against Kansas State. He had seven scores during his first season at Alabama. Ja’Corey Brooks flashed a lot and should have been targeted more as a primary receiver. He had some drops, but Brooks also made critical catches for the Tide throughout 2022.

The South Florida native led Alabama in yards per reception (17.3) and had 674 yards with a team-high eight touchdowns.

Traeshon Holden had six touchdown receptions, but he decided to transfer to Oregon. He made plays, but Holden also struggled with dropped passes. Nick Saban signed four talented freshmen — Kobe Prentice, Isaiah Bond, Kendrick Law, and Shazz Preston — and three were impactful. Prentice caught two touchdown passes, including a 47-yard score versus Kansas State. Bond finished with 220 receiving yards and his first career score in the Sugar Bowl. Law totaled 103 yards on eight receptions while Preston did not have a catch as a receiver. Emmanuel Henderson was recruited as a running back, but he played receiver in his first season.

He caught one pass for 14 yards. Alabama lost Holden, JoJo Earle, Christian Leary, and Aaron Anderson to new schools via the NCAA transfer portal. It returns Brooks, Burton, Tyler Harrell, Prentice, Bond, Law, and Preston. Alabama’s receiver room should be much better next fall, especially if the right quarterback emerges and a creative offensive coordinator comes.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith. 

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