Alabama Football is expected to bring back several marquee contributors from its 2022 offense. Running back Jase McClellan and receivers Ja’Corey Brooks and Jermaine Burton each had over 600 yards from scrimmage and could be 2023 breakout candidates.
However, if these veterans don’t produce quickly, they could be replaced by a pair of extremely talented real second years. Both players saw limited snaps in 2022, but showed star potential on those occasions. The upcoming season could be a big year for two members of the 2022 recruit class in Alabama.
Alabama Football: Jamarion Miller
Sophomore running back Jamarion Miller could play a bigger role in 2023. Miller was a 4-star recruit and the 6th running back in the class of 2022. A true freshman, he recorded 33 carries for 223 yards and two touchdowns and led all Bama running backs at an average of 6.8 yards per carry.
Granted, most of this production came up against inferior competition, but Miller looks really good. Running with more power and physicality than any other defender, he also displayed solid vision and surprising speed in the open field.
Miller stopped long runs against UL-Monroe and against Kansas State in Alabama’s Sugar Bowl win. He had his best game of the season in SEC competition against Vanderbilt, mustering 63 yards and two touchdowns at the Commodores.
Jamarion Miller is still expecting to open the season behind seniors Jase McClellan and Roydell Williams in the rotation, but he’s certainly talented enough to carve out a role.
Alabama Football: Isaiah Bond
Sophomore wide receiver Isaiah Bond was arguably the most electrifying receiver on the team as a true freshman in 2022. Bond was also a 4-star player in the Class of 2022 and was considered the No. 2 athlete on the cycle. His final stats from his freshman year at Tuscaloosa were deceptively mundane; 17 receptions for 220 yards (12.9 yards per catch) with one touchdown.
Isaiah Bond’s ability to stretch the field and generate big plays was a weakness in Alabama’s passing game at times. On several occasions Bond narrowly missed an explosive game. Some of his chances were botched by penalties or misses, but his speed and ability to create separation were evident.
Bond made a 53-yard catch against Arkansas to loosen the Razorback defense. He got behind secondary and should have rolled into the end zone but lost his balance trying to grab. Bond broke for a 23-yard catch-and-run later in the same game and had a 33-yard catch against Tennessee. He eventually scored his first career touchdown with a six-yard catch in the Sugar Bowl against Kansas State.
Isaiah Bond needs to figure out how to make plays like this consistently, but he may have the biggest advantage in the Alabama Football reception room.
Several Alabama receivers have been compared to Jaylen Waddle in recent years, including Kobe Prentice and former Bama receivers Jojo Earle and Christian Leary. While it’s too early for Bond to make a waddle comparison, he’s the only one of this group to actually show similar skills on the field.
Should Isaiah Bond and classmate Jamarion Miller make big leaps in their sophomore season, they could be big playmakers on offense for Alabama football in 2023.