30 July 2008
We’ve moved into the redshirt Freshmen class at this point, so everything from this point forward will be mostly speculative - based on the small amount that we were able to see these players on A-Day. There are 12 players who redshirted last year, either for injury reasons or for the fact that they were true freshmen and the opportunity was there. Add these 12 guys to the 2 that reported in the Spring (Corey Smith
& Chris Jackson
) and the 24 that will officially report tomorrow, and Alabama will have 38 scholarship Freshmen on its roster - almost 45% of the scholarship players.
Marquis Maze - #4 – WR – 5-9 – 167 lbs. – Tarrant, AL – Tarrant HS – Redshirt
Marquis made a big a splash on A-Day with 4 catches for 58 yards and a TD. The TD was a 44 yard pass against the 3rd team, however, and against likely contributors he was held to just 3 catches for 14 yards. His size is a potential obstacle, though there have certainly been players smaller that have contributed.
Speed is his game, as some players have listed him as the fastest player on the team. That, combined with the shiftiness that you typically see from smaller players makes him ideal for the secondary slot receiver in Jim McElwain’s
offense. He loves to get those guys into space, matched up with a safety or linebacker, and let them use their speed and quickness to make plays after the catch, or on reverses or screen passes.
: If Marquis is going to be a contributor, it will likely be as the slot receiver, and possibly on kick returns. Senior walk-on Jonathan Lowe
currently stands in front of him at both of those positions, and he will likely see immediate competition from incoming Freshman Burton Scott
, as well. McElwain also loves to use his smaller running backs in this role on offense, so Terry Grant
should factor in this discussion.
Regardless of whether or not Marquis is the fastest player on the team, he is certainly one of the fastest. Speed is a weapon that the Bama offense lacked in 2007, so the prospect of having it in 2008 will likely be very appealing to the offensive coaching staff.
Given his size I don’t expect Marquis to be an every down type of player, but that also won’t be asked of him. He’ll have a particular role to play in the offense, and he should have the opportunity, especially early in the season to prove whether or not he can make the type of plays required of him.
will be tougher than many expect to unseat as the 2nd man back on kick returns, but Marquis stands as good a chance as any to push him for that spot.