Throughout the Alabama football program’s illustrious history, the team’s identity has always been rooted in having a strong defense and a powerful running game.
Those two elements should still be strong for the 2013 version of Nick Saban’s squad. However, they also boast a collection of talented receivers and a fifth-year gunslinger at quarterback who could fill the air with more passes this fall.
Senior quarterback A.J. McCarron returns along with the team’s top five wideouts from 2012, plus rising sophomore running back T.J. Yeldon is ready to bust loose in the feature back role that ushered Mark Ingram, Trent Richardson and Eddie Lacy into stardom.
Sophomore wideout Amari Cooper is the Tide’s best pass-catcher since Julio Jones, and he has plenty of help flanking him.
The combination of rising young talent (receiver Chris Black and tight end O.J. Howard), experienced playmakers (receivers Kevin Norwood, Kenny Bell and Christion Jones) and some talented incoming freshman skill players (running back Derrick Henry and receiver Raheem Falkins) gives offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier a plethora of options from his playbook.
Still, some variables could shake up which players take on bigger roles this fall. Injuries to players like Norwood and Henry, plus newly mended receivers Bell and DeAndrew White may shake up the rotations a bit.
Talented newcomers such as Black and Howard—plus a trio of incoming running backs—are ready to fight for a spot in the rotation.
But Yeldon and Cooper figure to be the team’s top two skill players in crunch time.
With so many talented options to choose from, which players will step up to emerge as McCarron’s top weapons in the offense this season?
Here are Alabama’s six best offensive weapons entering the 2013 season.