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Where is Christian Leary for Alabama’s offense?

Alabama WR Christian Leary (#12) with a catch in spring football 2022 practice
Photo by Robert Sutton of Alabama Athletics

Alabama fans are asking about two wide receivers on offense.

They want to know what is going on with Tyler Harrell and Christian Leary.

RELATED: Nick Saban confirms freshman OL Tyler Booker is competing for a starting spot

Harrell, a transfer from Louisville, has an easier explanation. He suffered a foot injury in the preseason, missed time in fall camp, but he should be available for the Crimson Tide against Arkansas. Leary, a second-year player from Orlando, Fla., has tremendous speed but is not seeing opportunities. He was dynamite in the 100-meter dash at Edgewater High School and an electric athlete on the football field. Leary served as Alabama’s emergency running back in 2021, but Tide fans thought they would see more of him at receiver. He played well in the spring game, totaling five catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Leary caught a 52-yard score from Jalen Milroe, where he stacked Malachi Moore, ran by him on the route, and made a great catch.

Fans left Bryant-Denny Stadium impressed with Leary, but he has not been used this season. Coach Nick Saban told reporters after the Louisiana-Monroe game that Alabama needs to use every explosive player it has. Leary is one of those playmakers but has yet to be involved. Bryce Young and the receivers on the field have not consistently been on the same page.

Receivers have dropped passes, they cannot create separation, and defenses have taken away opportunities in the vertical passing game by playing split safeties. A speed receiver would offset opponents, but fans do not understand the disappearance of Leary.

Kobe Prentice, Isaiah Bond, and Kendrick Law have passed him on the depth chart. Aaron Anderson, a freshman, suffered a knee injury in the summer. He went through pregame warmups for punt return, but no one knows when he’ll be back.

Leary is the playmaker the Crimson Tide needs. Alabama has to get him on the field.

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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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