Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Crimson Countdown: Kevin Norwood
By Alex Scarborough
During the summer, TideNation will analyze each of the scholarship players on the Alabama roster -- excluding the Tide's 2013 recruiting class -- in our Crimson Countdown series. Starting with No. 1 Dee Hart, we will go through the roster numerically, finishing with No. 99 Brandon Ivory.
Expectations for 2013: He's come up big in the biggest games for Alabama, whether it was in the national championship two years ago or at Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La., in 2012. Norwood, who finished second on the team with 29 receptions and four touchdowns last season, isn't usually the flashiest receiver on the field, but he gets the job done for quarterback AJ McCarron. Norwood started 11 of 14 games in 2012 and he'll be in line to start from Week 1 on in what will be his final season with the Crimson Tide in 2013.
Wide receiver Kevin Norwood missed spring practice after foot surgery.
Best-case scenario: Quiet consistency has been Norwood's game since he signed with Alabama in 2009. But as the 6-foot-2 Mississippi native enters his senior season, he wants to be known for more than being a possession receiver who comes through in the clutch. "Ah, people who say that, that kind of gets me because you pay attention more as a person or somebody watching as a fan when it's a bigger game," McCarron told reporters before the BCS National Championship. For Norwood to shed the "big-game player" title and become one of the best in the SEC, he'll have to find some consistency. There were six games last season where he made less than two receptions.
Worst-case scenario: There are nagging injuries, such as a sore hamstring or a tweaked ankle, and then there's trouble with turf toe. Norwood suffered through the injury last season and missed all of spring practice recovering from surgery to repair it. He should be 100 percent come fall camp, but as Eddie Lacy can attest, you never really know if it will pop up again. At the very least, it will be something to keep an eye on. The good news for Alabama is its depth at wide receiver. If Norwood were to go down, both Kenny Bell and DeAndrew White have starting experience.
Future impact: The group of wide receivers already look much different today than it did two years ago, when it lacked playmakers and quality depth. But a year from now, it will change even more as both White and Bell are set to graduate and a new crop of receivers take root. Their departure will open the door for talented youngsters such as Chris Black, Raheem Falkins and Robert Foster to earn playing time and add further explosiveness to the passing game.