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Where will Chris Black go?

8/4/2011

Chris Black

ESPNU 150 rank: 29 | Position rank: 3 | Grade: 82 | Stars: 4
Ht.: 5-11 | Wt.: 170 pounds | High School: Jacksonville (Fla.) First Coast | Evaluation
Considering: Alabama and Florida State

Black

Why they want him

Black has a terrific feel for the game. He is an instinctive receiver who is a nightmare to handle in space. He isn't very big or tall -- think Santana Moss -- but the Under Armour All-American makes a ton of plays as an inside and outside receiver and has a very bright future as a return specialist. He is a shifty, tough and speedy runner after the catch and is capable of making multiple defenders miss in a short area. Black may be most dangerous in the return game. He has a great feel for returns and is extremely slippery. He can hit the crease or jitter around to find one and gets to his top speed rapidly. Black is an excellent prospect who should develop quite nicely at the next level and has some real playmaking ability.

How he fits

Alabama Crimson Tide: One way to help move on from the Julio Jones era is to land a top-three receiver in this class. Alabama needs to find players to fill the void for the 2011 season, but a verbal from Black can foster the feeling that, at worst, a potential option to take the reigns as a playmaking receiver is not far away. His feel for the game and savvy route running ability, as well as his prowess in the return game, could allow him to get in the mix quickly. Alabama has targeted and landed some talented receivers over the past few classes, but although someone could still emerge this fall, the Tide has failed to find another true difference maker since landing Jones. How those other receivers develop will determine just how crucial it is for the Tide to land Black. If receivers do emerge, then suddenly Black is just another weapon, although no team can have enough playmakers. He would also make a difference in the return game. Finally, landing Black could feed Alabama nation with a sense of revenge by plucking one of Florida's top prospects away from the Seminoles after just losing one their own (QB Jameis Winston) to FSU.

Florida State Seminoles: Just a day after landing Winston, what better complement could there be than landing one of the top wide receivers in this class. Although the Seminoles have a verbal from diminutive, but ultra-speedy, multipurpose Marvin Bracy, Black would give them their first true receiver prospect in this class. Although Florida State has a solid stable of young and talented receivers, the main projected contributors at that position are upperclassmen. A player like Black can not only bring another needed body to the mix, but his abilities could allow him to assume a role in the Seminoles' passing game quickly as he is an instinctive receiver who demonstrates a great feel for the game. In addition, with QB EJ Manuel heading into his junior year, having a player like Black, a savvy receiver with playmaking ability, in the receiver corps can potentially help ease the future transition by providing a talented target to throw to for the next QB. The fact that he could contribute as a return man only adds to the value he can bring to a roster.