Tracking the Tide: Kevin Norwood

Editor’s note: Each day between now and Alabama's date with Notre Dame in the BCS National Championship, we will review the season for a key Crimson Tide player or coach and attempt to project what’s next for him. Today we’ll look at wide receiver Kevin Norwood.

No. 83 Kevin Norwood

Wide receiver

26 receptions, 395 yards, 4 touchdowns

Role in 2012: Norwood picked up where he left off late last season, becoming a consistent possession receiver for the Crimson Tide.

The good: The junior stepped up as a leader of the young receiving corps that lost all three of its starters from a season ago. Despite battling his own nagging injuries, Norwood became a reliable target for quarterback AJ McCarron, especially late in games. His three straight receptions in the fourth quarter against LSU kept the Tide's perfect season alive.

The bad: Norwood's inability to stay on the field consistently hampered the passing game as a whole. Outside of Norwood and Amari Cooper, there were no reliable outside receivers. DeAndrew White and Kenny Bell both went down with season-ending injuries, Chris Black never started a game after injuring his shoulder in pre-season camp and neither Marvin Shinn or Cyrus Jones were able to step up in their absence.

Crystal ball: Norwood's return will allow for more flexibility in the receiving corps next season. If he can stay healthy, he would presumably start alongside Cooper and slot receiver Christion Jones. That would leave Bell, White and Black coming off the bench, plus any unknowns that might present themselves in spring or fall camp.