28 January 2010
Mike McCoy – WR –
This is a tough one for me, because I just don’t want to say anything negative about these guys. But the truth of the matter is that we spent four off seasons hearing about how much improvement Mike had made, and how good he was going to be “this season”… and well, “this season” just never happened.
He was wasted as a freshman, playing in just three games in what should have been a redshirt year. He showed some promise during his sophomore season, catching 28 passes for 207 yards and a touchdown – solid numbers for a sophomore receiver in an offense that mainly threw the ball to one guy.
That led to big expectations for his junior year that were probably a bit unrealistic. The arrival of Julio Jones certainly hurt his chances of becoming a top guy, but the fact is that he regressed in 2008. Some folks blamed injuries, but he managed just 16 catches for 191 yards. And by season’s end, he had lost his playing time.
I pretty much gave up on Mike being a big contributor prior to 2009, and said as much in my player profile of him during the summer. I also said that I would happily eat crow if he proved otherwise. And after he had 5 catches for a career high 100 yards against Florida International, I did just that. I praised Mike for his effort and for his ability to step up when Julio Jones went down. And I, once again, fell for the trap of expecting that to continue.
He caught five passes for 49 yards the rest of the year, and didn’t even see the field in the SEC Championship Game.
I would love to know the real story of what happened with Mike. He demonstrated flashes of real talent in his career in
The reason I say it’s a shame, is that Mike also never did a single thing to negatively impact things. Even when he lost his playing time in 2008, and again in 2009, he never complained. He didn’t pout, or become a locker room cancer. Instead, to his credit, he continued to work every day in practice. And when he was put on the field, he was continually good in his role as a blocking wide receiver.
And in that sense, I admire that Mike was able to be a real team player. It would have been much easier for him to pack it in and not be a part of the rebuilding of this program. And his payoff for that is that he gets to leave Alabama as a champion.
Career Stats – 54 receptions for 547 yards and 3 TDs
Colin Peek – TE –
This is a kid that it would have been great to have had for four years. Also… what in the hell was Bobby Johnson thinking when he let him leave Georgia Tech?!? Colin is a genuine NFL talent at the tight end position, and those guys don’t grow on trees. Tech’s loss was Bama’s gain, and Colin made his one season in
It started early, with Colin catching three passes for 37 yards in Bama’s opener. And despite some midseason injury problems, it never really let up. He ended the season as Bama’s #4 receiver in both receptions and yards, and was tied for second on the team in TDs. He also ended up on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
His contributions weren’t just limited to the stat sheet, either, though. If you spent any time around the Bama team, you would have seen that Colin quickly put himself into a leadership role. He was a hard worker on the practice field, in the weight room, in film study, and in the classroom. He was always visible for the media, and was one of the team’s unofficial spokesmen.
He was also one hell of blocker on the edge of Bama’s offensive line. Sadly the NCAA hasn’t come up with a way to keep track of great blocks as a stat, because guys like Colin would be much bigger stars. Go back and watch highlights from the season, though, and you will continually see #84 getting a seal block on an end or a linebacker that allows Mark Ingram or Trent Richardson to make it to the second level.
The biggest thing he might have accomplished, though, is giving the
He should have no problem making an NFL team, and thankfully he’ll do so with
Career Stats – 26 receptions, 313 yards, 3 TDs
Cory Reamer – DB/LB –
DB? What? In case you don’t remember, Cory signed with
Cory wasn’t blessed with the type of raw speed or quickness that he could afford to lose any and still be effective. Thankfully what he was blessed with was an enormous work ethic, and a nose for the football. Those two things saw him land at linebacker, and become a far better player than anyone would have likely anticipated.
Between his freshman and senior seasons Cory put on 35 pounds, and transformed himself into a guy capable of playing either inside or outside linebacker for Nick Saban. After spending the entire 2008 season at the sam linebacker, he spent time in the spring and fall learning the will spot. Coach Saban, when asked about it, said that the coaches were experimenting, and that they fully expected that Cory would be able to seamlessly move back to the sam with no problems. That’s likely why he won the Woodrow Lowe Award for 2009’s spring practice.
That should tell you everything that you need to know about Cory. Coach Saban had the confidence in him to have him change positions, and then be game ready at a position that he wasn’t practicing at. It’s tough to really comprehend how difficult that would be, but Cory actually did it for one game when Dont’a Hightower was injured.
In reality, after Hightower’s injury, Cory learned an entirely new position. It was technically the will linebacker, but in Bama’s nickel package with rabbit rushers, that position was something altogether different. Ultimately Nico Johnson would earn the playing time at the position, but only after Cory held the spot firm for a few weeks.
His stats were never eye-popping, but he was a reliable and steadying force for the Bama defense for the last two seasons. Everyone just assumed that he would be replaced prior to the 2009 season, but he ended up starting 7 of the Tide’s 14 games, and playing heavily in all of them.
He was also a heavy special teams contributor in all four seasons that he was in
But like Donnelly in that season, Cory was a constant for the defense. He was a guy that always seemed to be in the right place at the right time. And he was always someone that the coaches could give just a little more responsibility to, and count on things still being done right.
You can’t win a championship with a team full of guys like that, sadly. You have to have some elite skill position players to go along with them. But you know what? You can’t win a championship without guys like that on your team, either.
Career Stats – 88 tackles, 13 for a loss of 46 yards, 2 forced fumbles, 1 interception, 3 ½ sacks for a loss of 29 yards.
Up Next – Chris Rogers, Ali Sharrieff, Leigh Tiffin
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