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Spring Sneak Peek: Wide receiver

BamaOnLine.com takes a look ahead at the wide receiver position.

What will Cooper do for an encore in 2013?

Returning starters: 9 Amari Cooper (So.); 22 Christion Jones (Jr.); 83 Kevin Norwood (Sr.).

Key reserve lost: 80 Marvin Shinn.

In the mix: 7 Kenny Bell (Sr.); 2 DeAndrew White (Jr.); 5 Chris Black (rFr.); 8 Cyrus Jones (So.).

January enrollees: Raheem Falkins.

See ya in the summer: Robert Foster; ArDarius Stewart.

Did you know?: In 2011, Alabama's wide receiver corps produced two 100-yard receiving performances, with both coming from Marquis Maze. Cooper eclipsed the century mark five times in 2012, including four out of the last five games ... Crimson Tide receivers averaged 13.9 yards per catch in 2012, the highest of any group in the Nick Saban era at Alabama ... With two scores each, White and Bell led all UA wide receivers in touchdown receptions in 2011. In 2012, four different UA wide receivers caught three or more touchdown passes ... After opening three games in 2011 in its three-wide receiver set, the Alabama offense opened ten 2012 games with three wides on the field ... Five different UA wide receivers -- Christion Jones, Cooper, Norwood, White and Bell -- made three or more starts in 2012 ... With big plays more abundant than in 2011, quarterback AJ McCarron passed for 299 more yards and 14 more touchdowns on eight fewer completions than he had the previous season. Along with limiting interceptions, that's the recipe for leading the nation in passing efficiency ... Norwood (toe) could be limited during spring drills.

The big question: Will this prove to be the greatest collection of UA wide receivers on one team? With McCarron returning to team up with his top five wide receivers from a season ago, another record-setting performance from the UA passing game will be expected.

Time to make a move: Before going down with a shoulder injury in fall camp, Black was well on his way to seeing time in the slot as a true freshman. Even for a unit returning three starters, the redshirt freshman will be difficult to keep off the field.

Best of the bunch: For some added perspective on Cooper's debut campaign, consider that Julio Jones had one fewer 100-yard receiving game in his final season at UA than Cooper had as a true freshman.

Mr. Potential: Foster was ranked the nation's top wide receiver and No. 18 overall prospect for the class of 2013 by 247sports.com. He's similar to Cooper in that he doesn't look like your typical freshman receiver. However, he won't benefit from the same early start Cooper got by enrolling at UA in January of last year.

Don't be shocked if: Black's presence could lead to some others at the position getting a look on defense during spring drills.

Lest we forget: Coming off an ACL injury, White is somewhat of a forgotten man. And that's despite the fact that he started the first five games of the 2012 season. There's always a place for guys who can stretch the field. Both White and Bell do that extremely well.

Also see:
Spring sneak peek: Tight end
Spring Sneak Peek: Offensive line
Spring Sneak Peek: Secondary
Spring Sneak Peek: Running back
Spring Sneak Peek: Defensive line
Spring Sneak Peek: Quarterback

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