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Alabama Football Impact Players

Alabama wide receiver battles his former team for an SEC Championship

Gary Cosby Jr. - USA Today Sports

He will have many emotions flowing through him, but Alabama will have him not be emotional.

Jermaine Burton, a California native, spent two seasons at the University of Georgia under Kirby Smart. 

RELATED: Jermaine Burton is working to be a reliable receiver for Alabama

He was on the Bulldogs’ 2021 College Football Playoff National Championship team that defeated the Crimson Tide.

Burton caught 26 passes as a sophomore that year for 497 yards and five touchdowns. He decided to take his talents to the Tide in the spring of 2022 via the NCAA transfer portal. Burton had issues dropping passes when he first arrived, but he finished with 40 receptions for 677 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s become the best overall receiver on this team with Jalen Milroe as his quarterback. The 6-foot, 194-pounder has three 100-yard performances, including two in back-to-back games against Chattanooga and Auburn. Burton had four catches for 107 yards in the Iron Bowl, including a 68-yard touchdown.

He leads the Tide in receiving yards (749) and touchdowns (seven) on 33 catches. Burton takes on his former team in the Southeastern Conference Championship Game on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Kirby Smart, Georgia’s head coach, addressed reporters in Sunday’s presser. He has not had many opportunities to watch Burton, but he knows the former Bulldog will be a challenge for his secondary.

“Well, I mean, I just don’t know if I’ve seen enough tape to fairly answer that question,” Smart said.

RELATED: Alabama WR Jermaine Burton locked in on primary goal, and it’s not his production

“We catch some of their games when we’re done playing. I haven’t watched enough tape. I know he was a really good player when he was here. To be two years removed from that, the impact he had in that national championship game against Alabama, to have two years under his belt and grow as a player, we know how talented he is. Certainly has a lot of ability.”

Tykee Smith, a senior defensive back, leads the Bulldogs’ secondary with four interceptions.

He, Javon Bullard, Malaki Starks, Kyron Jones, and Dan Jackson have a task on their hands with Burton. He has been an elite route runner for Alabama and has emerged in critical moments for the team. Burton’s touchdown catch versus Auburn came in the second quarter to give the Crimson Tide a 17-14 lead. He looks to dominate the Bulldogs on the field in Atlanta, Ga.

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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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