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NCAA Football

Alabama Wide Receiver Chris Black to Have Shoulder Surgery

Highly-touted true freshman Alabama Crimson Tide wide receiver Chris Black injured his shoulder during practice Sunday at Bryant-Denny Stadium and is set for surgery which will cause him to miss 3-4 months of action.

The 5’11″, 178 pound Black was rated the No. 2 receiver in the 2012 recruiting class by ESPNU’s recruiting service, and coming out of Jacksonville, was among the best players in Florida high school football last season at any position.

With the departures of first-tier 2011 wideouts Marquise Maze and and Darius Hanks, Alabama was looking to replace their production with a class of four true freshmen wideouts which has now been shaved down to three with the loss of Chris Black.

The other three true freshmen– Amari Cooper, Cyrus Jones and Eddie Williams (both of whom are listed as “athletes” but project as wideouts)– could have even greater roles now with the loss of Black to his surgery.

Quarterback A.J. McCarron will be as Alabama quarterbacks have typically been, a glorified game manager who is able to make a big play on occasion to keep opposing defenses honest. Running back Eddie Lacy will likely see as many carries as his predecessors Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson– both of whom have the chance to be NFL starters this fall– saw during their time in Tuscaloosa.

Chris Black’s loss, ultimately, isn’t a huge dent to an Alabama offense that doesn’t promise to be pass-focused anyway, but it is the first visible ping to a depth chart to a national contender– especially one that will have to trudge through what is arguably the nation’s toughest division, the SEC West.

Kris Hughes is the College Football Network Manager for Rant Sports and a member of the Football Writers Association of America.

You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.

Kris is also the host of Rant Sports Radio on the Blog Talk Radio Network Wednesday evenings at 8 Central Time.