The defenses Alabama will face in the fall must prepare for more than Jahleel Billingsley.
He was recruited as an outside linebacker in 2018, but Cameron Latu has found his calling for the Crimson Tide.
A native of Salt Lake City, Utah., moved to tight end in 2019 and started to grow at his new position. Latu did not record any stats that season; however, he did play in 11 games.
He earned more time on the field last season, playing in 12 games, but much of his work continued on special teams. Before the start of the 2020 campaign, the coaching staff noticed Latu in practices. He was building chemistry with the quarterbacks, and defenders could not stop him.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pounder was constantly grabbing touchdown passes, and it forced Nick Saban to move him up on the depth chart.
Latu brought the same fire this spring, and now Crimson Tide fans see him as the real deal.
He turned in an excellent spring, totaling multiple scores in two scrimmages.
Latu showed off his hands, speed, route running, and body control on the lone offensive touchdown in the A-Day Game.
Bryce Young with a Touchdown 🐘🔥 pic.twitter.com/kqfhGpMg4O
— Alabama Diehards (@AlabamaDieHards) April 17, 2021
He took a completion from Bryce Young and turned it into a 59-yard score. Despite a break down in coverage, Latu was able to separate from Jalyn Armour-Davis and run away from DeMarcco Hellams for a touchdown.
He was targeted four times and caught two passes for 65 yards. Latu is going to be a huge asset in the passing game, as Bill O’Brien will involve him and Billingsley a lot at tight end. Coach Saban had stated earlier in spring practice about how much Latu has developed.
“He [Latu] has had a really good spring,” Saban said after the second scrimmage. “He has shown a lot of maturity. He has made a lot of plays, very athletic guy. He a good C-area blocker. He’s gotten a much better command of the offense. I think he is a lot more confident, and he’s a really good receiver. He’s got good hands, so we are pleased with the progress he has made.”
When he transitioned to tight end, Latu told yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine he had a lot to prove to himself.
He was looking forward to a new opportunity, and it looks as though things have clicked for him.
According to respectable sources, they see Latu has the potential to get to the National Football League. He has the body type and has improved his technique in many areas. O’Brien and Drew Svoboda (tight ends coach) will make sure he has a great season in the fall.
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