There has been an ongoing debate in the Alabama wide receivers room about who is the fastest.

“Me,” DeVonta Smith said Tuesday. “For sure.”

And the competition is pretty stacked.

The Crimson Tide returned all four of its starters from last season. Smith, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III are back as juniors; the internal competition really started among them since they entered the program altogether in the same class. Jaylen Waddle, a year younger, is also thrown into the conversation at times after how he performed as a freshman.

It would be difficult to find someone more qualified to settle the argument than a teammate who goes up against them on a regular basis in practice and scrimmage.

“All of the receivers are good, all of them run good routes, and all of them are fast,” Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs said. “But Henry, he’s super fast. If you don’t touch him and you don’t get hands on him, he’s going to run right by you.”

Perhaps the battle should expand this year.

The starters aren’t the Crimson Tide’s only returners. There’s also redshirt freshmen Xavier Williams and Slade Bolden and redshirt sophomores Tyrell Shavers and Chadarius Townsend.

True freshman John Metchie is already on campus as an early enrollee, too.

Alabama has its 14th and final practice Thursday before the spring season concludes Saturday with the annual A-Day game in Bryant-Denny Stadium at 1 p.m.

“I think Xavier Williams has made a lot of progress,” UA coach Nick Saban said last week. “I think John Metchie has showed flashes of doing things really, really well. I think Slade Bolden has made some plays. Shavers is better.

“So, I feel much better about the depth at that position than in the past.”

He’s not the only one.

“It’s been great because everybody’s coming along (and) everybody’s finally getting the feel of like this is us, this is the group that we’re going to have,” Smith said. “And we’ve been here for a minute, so it’s just everyone kind of getting held to the same expectation.”

Last year, Alabama had the No. 6 passing offense in the nation. The Crimson Tide averaged 323.6 yards through the air per game. That was good for a total of 4,854 yards and 52 touchdowns on 301 completions.

Jeudy, the 2018 Biletnikoff Award winner, caught the ball 68 times for 1,315 yards and 14 scores to lead the team. Waddle followed up with 45 receptions, 848 yards and seven touchdowns. And then Ruggs rounded out the top three with 46 grabs for 741 yards and 11 end-zone appearances.

“There’s improvement from everyone,” Smith said. “No matter who it is, you see improvement from everyone.”

Reach Terrin Waack at or at 205-722-0229.