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Spring sneak peek: Wide receiver

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

Can Norwood carry over his BCS performance into 2012?

Starters lost: Marquis Maze; Darius Hanks.

Key reserve lost: Brandon Gibson.

In the mix: Kevin Norwood (Jr.); Kenny Bell (Jr.); DeAndrew White (So.); Christion Jones (So.); Marvin Shinn (rFr.);Danny Woodson (rFr.); Duron Carter (Jr.).

January enrollees: Chris Black; Amari Cooper.

See ya in the summer: Eddie Williams; Cyrus Jones.

Did you know?: Maze and Hanks combined to catch 219 passes for 2988 yards and 12 touchdowns during their UA careers ... Together, the duo made 62 career starts ... Maze was responsible for both of UA's 100-yard receiving performances (Kent State and Tennessee) in 2011 ... With two scores each, White and Bell led all UA wide receivers in touchdown receptions a season ago ... Norwood caught seven passes for 160 yards in the final four games of the 2011 season ... The Crimson Tide offense opened three games in its three-wide receiver set in 2011, down from seven in 2010.

The big question: Will Carter prove to be a dependable option? Since leaving Ft. Lauderdale (Fla.)-St. Thomas Aquinas in 2009, Carter has struggled to stay on the field. There was a brief stint at Ohio State, where he caught 13 passes for 176 yards and a touchdown as a true freshman, followed by a layover at Coffeyville Community College. After falling short of eligibility requirements last fall, the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder spent the 2011 season on the scout team. Ability has never been the question where Carter is concerned. Now we'll find out if he's capable of putting forth the kind of focus required to excel in an elite program.

Time to make a move: The quartet of Norwood, Bell, White and Christion Jones, who combined to catch 39 passes for 645 yards in 2011, are on the clock. Next up are Shinn and Woodson, a pair of redshirt freshman who will look to establish themselves as legitimate rotation candidates in the spring.

Best of the bunch: On the game's biggest stage, Norwood produced four receptions for 78 yards while working almost exclusively against LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. In going over the Honey Badger to make highlight grabs on multiple occasions, Norwood provided a glimpse of what he can do when healthy. Nearly half of Norwood's 2011 production (11 receptions, 190 yards) came in the BCS national championship game.

Mr. Potential: Williams' size and athleticism will be difficult to keep off the field. The question is, is he best suited for offense or defense? The same question could be asked of Cyrus Jones as well.

Don't be shocked if: He's not as physically imposing as Williams, but Cooper looks to be as SEC ready as any wide receiver Alabama has signed since 2008. Kids from Dade County typically aren't overwhelmed by the step up in competition, so toughness shouldn't be an issue for Cooper.

Lest we forget: Maze, Hanks and Gibson were outstanding blockers, something that can't be stressed enough to young receivers looking to get on the field.

Also see:
Spring sneak peek: Defensive line
Spring sneak peek: Quarterback
Spring sneak peek: Linebackers
Spring sneak peek: Running back

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