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2012 BCS Champ. Position Breakdown - WRs
LSU WR Rueben Randle
LSU WR Rueben Randle
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 5, 2012


As a primer, check out the position-by-position breakdown of the 2012 BCS Championship.

2012 BCS Champ. Breakdown

Alabama vs. LSU - WRs

- CFN 2009 BCS Championship Breakdown - Florida vs. Oklahoma   
- CFN 2010 BCS Championship Breakdown - Alabama vs. Texas
- CFN 2011 BCS Championship Breakdown - Auburn vs. Oregon|

CFN 2012 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches

Alabama: There was hope that things would keep on rolling as normal despite the loss of Julio Jones, but it didn’t work out that way. Even though he was always dinged up and wasn’t consistent, Jones was a once-in-a-generation athlete with special size, tools, and mentality to be a superstar. There wasn’t a Jones in the 2011 Bama receiving corps, but the complementary playmakers of 2010 took to the bigger roles and came through just fine.

Taking over a starting role from Jones was senior Marquis Maze, a 5-10, 180-pound veteran who led the team with 56 catches for 627 yards, but his only score came in the opener against Kent State. Unofficially, he’s considered the team’s fastest player with the raw wheels to stretch the field and come up with game-changing big plays, but partly because of an ankle problem, he didn’t come up with game-changing big plays. He had a nice season, and caught six passes for 61 yards against LSU, but the team desperately needs him to come up with at least one big play and he can’t be erased. Merely being a possession receiver isn’t going to be enough.

Running back Trent Richardson is the team’s second most dangerous receiver, but tight end Brad Smelley isn’t that far behind. At 6-3 and 229 pounds he’s a tall blocker with nice hands being used partly as a fullback, partly as a receiver, and mostly like an H-back and a go-to outlet target catching 27 passes for 317 yards and four scores but was held to just an eight-yard grab against the Tigers. Considering the Tide passing game won’t have much happening down the field, finding Smelley underneath could balance out the attack a bit.

At 6-0 and 185 pounds, Darius Hanks has decent size and excellent speed, but he’s never been the same since suffering a broken leg in 2009. He only has 21 catches for 270 yards and a score on the year, and he was out of the mix late in the year, but he could be an X factor in his final game; he has to take advantage of single coverage.

LSU: Rueben Randle might not be the next Dwayne Bowe in terms of pro potential, even though he was one of the nation’s top recruits when he came to LSU, but the 6-4, 208-pound junior has had a huge year considering the restraints of the LSU passing game. He hasn’t been the only target, but he’s been the gamebreaker averaging over 18 yards per catch with 904 yards and eight touchdowns on 54 catches. He blew up on Arkansas for 134 yards on nine catches, and took out Auburn with five catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns, but he was held in check by the Tide secondary with two grabs for 19 yards. However, in the 2010 win over the Tide he was the difference maker with three catches for 125 yards and a 75-yard score.

Considering the hype and the potential, 6-1, 185-pound junior Russell Shepard has been a bust. Considered one of the nation’s top quarterback recruits, he was brought to LSU as a receiver to utilize his phenomenal speed and quickness. He still hasn’t quite gotten all the subtleties of the position and the coaching staff can’t seem to find ways to get the ball in his hands, catching just 14 passes for 190 yards and four scores with just two grabs for 39 yards against the Tide. He has too much talent and too much upside to not be doing more at the Z and as an occasional running back.

At 6-4 and 235-pounds and with great athleticism and nice blocking ability, tight end Deangelo Peterson might turn out to be a better pro than a college player once he starts to get more passes thrown his way. Known mostly for his 2010 play on the fabled reverse on fourth-and-one late in the victory over Alabama, he caught 17 passes for 172 yards and a score this year as a painfully underutilized weapon.

Very, very quietly, true freshman Odell Beckham, Jr. had a nice first year catching 36 passes for 437 yards and two scores. The 5-11, 183-pound flash of lightning is mostly being used in three-wide sets, but he’s proving he can handle himself as a solid complementary targets.

ADVANTAGE: LSU. Alabama has loads of promising talents, including underclassmen Kenny Bell, DeAndrew White, Kevin Norwood, and Christion Jones, and this might be the game to spring one of them from out of the blue; LSU’s secondary isn’t going to worry a lick about being burned by Hanks or any of the other main targets. Randle demands attention from the Tide safeties in double coverage, and that alone could be a huge part of the chess match as both teams look for any semblance of an offensive edge. Shepard, Peterson, and Beckham, along with Randle, give the Tigers a big edge, but they don’t do enough in this offense.

CFN 2012 BCS CHAMPIONSHIP POSITION BREAKDOWN
- Quarterbacks | Running Backs
- Receivers | Offensive Lines
- Defensive Lines | Linebackers
- Secondaries | Special Teams | Coaches