Alabama Football: Is Julio Jones the Next DJ Hall?
Alabama is not a school known for its wide receivers. In fact, Alabama has never been known for its offensive prowess.
But in the past few years, Alabama's offensive production has steadily increased, especially through the air.
The season record for most passing yards has been shattered for three consecutive seasons, and one of the keys to that success was DJ Hall.
Hall, who graduated in the spring, leaves Alabama as the all-time leading receiver in school history. He is the only wideout in the history of the Crimson Tide to have back-to-back or multiple 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
Hall was a deep threat for the Tide, but he also wasn't afraid to go over the middle and take the hit when needed.
Even though many fans got fed up with his attitude problems near the end of the 2007 season, his athletic ability will be sorely missed in 2008—or so it seems.
With the nation's best recruiting class coming to campus this week, Alabama hopes to have the tools to reload through the air.
The main focus of this class at the receiver position is no doubt Julio Jones, a 6'4", 215-pound beast who has been compared to Michael Irvin.
Jones comes to Alabama as the greatest college football player never to play a down. The hype surrounding his arrival makes Tim Tebow look like a three-star recruit.
Jones also has the help of an offense that will highlight his abilities, thanks to new offensive coordinator Jim McElwain.
McElwain is bringing in an offense that's more spread out and has a heavier focus on passing—something Alabama fans aren't used to seeing, especially at a school that has produced the likes of Bobby Humphrey and Shaun Alexander.
Considering this new offense along with Jones' large stature, can he become the greatest receiver in Alabama history?
The numbers Jones would have to attain aren't too lofty—from a national point of view.
Jones would have to average roughly 700 yards and about five touchdowns for four years to attain the Alabama records for most career receiving touchdowns and most receiving yards in a career.
For most teams, that isn't too hard to manage.
Jones could be an average receiver to get those records—but DJ Hall wasn't average.
The two records to watch and ultimately judge Julio Jones by are career 100-yard games and back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons.
Hall finished his career with thirteen 100-yard games, once stringing together five straight games of 100 receiving yards—also an Alabama record.
If Jones can achieve those records, there's no doubt he will be the best in Alabama history—at least by the numbers.
The one thing Jones can do to solidify his place in Alabama football history would be to bring Alabama another championship.
Jones' future partner in crime, Star Jackson, has already guaranteed this class will win a national title.
If Jones can make good on that prediction, he will be the best the Crimson Tide has ever seen at his position.
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