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December 10, 2010

Matchup: Ala. WR vs. Miss. DB

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The most talented positions for each team at the Alabama-Mississippi All-Star Classic appear to be the wide receivers and defensive backs. Earlier in the week we broke down the matchup between Mississippi's wideouts and Alabama's defensive backs. Today, we flip the two positions. Rivals.com's Chris Nee analyzes Alabama's wide receivers against Mississippi's secondary.

The players:

Alabama wide receivers: Sammie Coates (Leroy), Daryl Collins (Gadsden City), Kardeem Poole (Prattville), Marvin Shinn (Vigor), Danny Woodson (Leflore), Emmanuel Johnson (McKenzie)

Mississippi defensive backs: Darion Arrington (Stone), Chelarvez Brown (Winona), Taveze Calhoun (Morton), Jalen Collins (Olive Branch), Justin Cox (West Point), Shaquille Fluker (Meridian), Jermaine Whitehead (Amanda Elzy)

The breakdown:

You simply need to look at the commitments on the Alabama roster to get an indication of the talent: trio of Alabama commitments (Woodson, Collins, Shinn), an Auburn commitment (Coates) and a Southern Miss commitment (Johnson). The only uncommitted prospect among the group is Poole, who holds four offers from smaller schools.

It is a mix of wide receivers with different skills among the group. Shinn is a big, physical wide receiver with good athleticism. Coates is a thin but speedy wide receiver who can really stretch the field. Woodson possesses good size and speed, and can play inside or outside. Johnson and Collins are likely inside or slot receivers. While the versatility of the group allows a lot of different options in the passing attack, the group should also be effective as downfield blockers in the running game - especially Shinn.

Just like the Alabama wide receivers corps, the Mississippi secondary is loaded with future members of the SEC. Mississippi State claims four commitments (Arrington, Cox, Market, Whitehead), while Ole Miss (Brown) and LSU (Collins) claim one apiece.

The Mississippi secondary is loaded with speed, size and versatility. Athletes such as Market and Brown are making an impact and possess the ability to contribute as a cornerback or safety. Brown, who is likely a safety, is uber-athletic and can make plays by running with wide receivers and then exploding on the ball.

At the safety spot, Arrington is a quiet player with a workmanlike attitude on the field. He is very consistent and while not flashy, he makes it difficult for wide receivers to make the play. Fluker is shorter, but has a very physical build. He can enforce a no-fly zone across the middle while also being able to come down to the line in run support from the strong safety spot.

The cornerback position will likely be held down by Collins, Cox, and Whitehead. Collins is a big cornerback with very good athleticism. He is the type of defensive back you can put on an island and he matches up well with about any wide receiver. Cox and Whitehead both check in at 6-foot or taller and are good athletes.

The entire Mississippi secondary is capable of running with any wide receiver thrown at them.

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