Alabama will look to repeat as national champions this year as it aims to add a 19th title to its trophy case. The Crimson Tide opens its season on Sept. 4 against Miami inside Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. To help pass the time until then, BamaInsider is delving into 21 topics and questions concerning the 2021 season.
Today we continue our series by examining a few sophomores poised for breakout seasons.
Javon Baker has created a buzz at times since joining Alabama as a four-star talent last summer. However, the majority of his promising play has occurred behind the scenes.
Baker recorded just two receptions for 15 yards during his freshman season last year. He had a successful spring camp this year, working with the first-team offense while hauling in touchdowns in each of the Tide’s first two scrimmages. However, he managed just one reception for 4 yards in front of fans on A-Day.
There’s been a lot of excitement surrounding Ohio State transfer Jameson Williams this offseason, as he was brought in to inject some much-needed speed into the unit. While Williams figures to compete for a first-team spot alongside returning starters John Metchie III and Slade Bolden, Baker is still very much in contention for a significant role during his second season.
Baker took part in 100 offensive snaps last season, the most among non-starting receivers. The 6-foot-2, 195-pound receiver spent 84 of those snaps out wide as compared to 16 either in the slot or in the backfield. With Williams and Metchie figuring to serve as perimeter threats, Baker might need to move inside to slot to see more action this season. That shouldn’t be an issue for the versatile receiver.
It can be argued that Jase McClellan already broke out a bit last season as he flashed his big-play ability on multiple occasions. The four-star running back ripped off an 80-yard touchdown run against Arkansas and led the Tide averaging 10.65 yards per carry. He finished third on the team with 245 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground over 12 appearances.