Alabama Football News

Javon Baker has an opportunity to emerge in spring practice for Alabama with John Metchie limited

Javon Baker with a catch at practice versus Malachi Moore
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Last week, Nick Saban told reporters five players for Alabama football will be limited throughout spring practice.

John Metchie, a junior at wide receiver, was one of the players named. According to respectable sources, yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine has learned the former four-star has been dealing with an ankle/hip issue.

RELATED: Multiple key Alabama players to be limited throughout spring practice

He played through pain versus Ohio State in the College Football Playoff National Championship, catching eight passes for 81 yards in helping the Crimson Tide capture a 52-24 victory. Metchie finished second on the team for receptions (55), receiving yards (916), and touchdowns (six) in 2020.

Coach Saban said none of the injured players will have their time affected on the field; however, it provides other guys a chance to get acclimated.

Javon Baker, a sophomore from Powder Springs, Ga., has an opportunity to secure more playing time in the fall.

With Metchie limited, Baker joins Slade Bolden and Xavier Williams as the third starting receiver in the spring rotation. Listed at 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, Baker carries speed, strong hands, explosive playmaking abilities, and routes to his game.

Blocking is the lone area keeping him from getting a permanent spot on the field.

If he can be engaged when he does not have the ball, Baker will see a lot of action in the fall. When receivers are not catching passes, Saban wants them blocking defenders.

Whether it’s in the run game or springing a fellow receiver for a huge gain, Saban looks for his playmakers to be all-in for the team. Baker arrived as a marquee four-star recruit in 2020, and the buzz he created during the summer led to Tyrell Shavers transferring. People wanted him to emerge last year, but the team guided him slowly because of the Coronavirus pandemic.

RELATED: Alabama’s Matt Rhea not concerned with imitators, feels “no one can do us better than us”

Last season, Baker caught two passes for 15 yards in nine games. Now, it is time for him to show what he has learned.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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