Ja’Corey Brooks on if Tide has a No. 1 WR: ‘We all have a lot to bring to the table’

Published Aug. 04, 2023, 1:59 p.m.
By Nick Alvarez
While a couple of key positions are in flux at the start of Alabama’s fall camp, one that didn’t undergo much turnover is the wide reciever room. Of the Crimson Tide’s top six leaders in receptions in 2022, three have returned (Jermaine Burton, Ja’Corey Brooks and Kobe Prentice).
Though the continuity should help with new offensive coordinator Tommy Rees, a question that surrounded the unit a year ago came up again on Friday: Does Alabama have a No. 1 reciever? And does it need one?
According to Brooks, the team’s returning touchdown leader (eight), that’s not something he’s focusing on.
“To be honest, as a returner, I’m not really looking for No. 1 receiver,” Brooks said when asked if he wanted to assume the mantle. “I’m looking for a complete group because everybody might have a day, everybody might have a game they get their name called. You want everybody in our group to show up and play hard the best way they could.”
Last year, with offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien and first-overall draft pick Bryce Young, the Tide spread the ball around. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs was a leading option and tight end Cameron Latu was often sought out in crunch time. But both are playing professionally this fall, leaving an opening for whoever ends up as Alabama’s starting quarterback’s go-to target.
Brooks told the media that each of the quarterbacks has demonstrated leadership. Reps will be shared between candidates Tyler Buchner, Jalen Milroe and Ty Simpson until the coach staff names a starter. The time should allow each of the throwers to develop chemistry with each of the pass catchers on the roster.
“There’s always more room for improvement,” Brooks said of the trio of sophomore receivers that received considerable playing time a year ago — Prentice, Isaiah Bond and Kendrick Law. “I see them, they’re getting a lot of confidence. They’re starting to get more familiar with the playbook.”
Hutchsinon (Kansas) C.C. transfer Malik Benson may be primed for a big-play role at 6-foot-1, 185 pounds. Saban said on Thursday that Benson and fellow JuCo transfer Justin Jefferson are expected to take time as they adjust to Division I, but Benson is “probably a little further along” by virtue of his position. Brooks also commended Law’s “unique” play style.
“Everybody’s got their own type of skillset,” Brooks said. " ... At receiver, we all take from each other. We all have a lot to bring to the table.”

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