What Alabama football's Bryce Young has seen from new receivers Tyler Harrell, Jermaine Burton

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

If Bryce Young is going to win the Heisman Trophy again this season, he will have to do so with an almost entirely new cast of characters. 

He doesn't have receivers Jameson Williams, John Metchie III or Slade Bolden to catch passes anymore. They all went off to the NFL.

That's 217 combined receptions lost. 

Now, a week into preseason practices, Young is having to build rapport with new receivers who have a chance to be some of his top weapons. 

Alabama went out and added some of the best available in the transfer portal in Georgia's Jermaine Burton and Louisville's Tyler Harrell. Young praised both Tuesday, speaking to reporters for the first time in August. 

Young was aware of Burton from their time in California, but Young also knew him from Burton's time with the Bulldogs. 

"On film, how explosive he was is what really popped," Young said.

Nick Saban said Burton has been the most consistent among Alabama's receivers so far. Young said Burton always gives everything in practice, finishing routes and plays. He also has noticed Burton's selflessness in that he is willing to run any route and play any role. 

"He's someone who comes to work every day with a great attitude," Young said. "Before every walk through, he's coming up to me like, 'Let's get it. Let's have a great practice. Let's get better.'" 

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Young had a chance to work with Burton in the spring, but Harrell didn't join until after the A-Day game. Alabama's quarterback said Harrell has worked hard since his arrival, asking questions and trying to soak up as much information as possible. 

"Throughout the offseason, we've seen a lot of speed," Young said. "So down the field, he ran really well. He’s run a lot of stuff down the field, and being explosive is something that is definitely a premium for us. But really what sticks out is a willingness to learn. We’re right next to each other in the locker room. He's been asking me questions, signals, things that I like, stuff that he likes, just bouncing stuff off." 

Alabama continues preseason practices through the end of August up until the first game week. The Crimson Tide will face Utah State in the season opener at Bryant-Denny Stadium on Sept. 3.

Nick Kelly covers Alabama football and men's basketball for The Tuscaloosa News, part of the USA TODAY Network. Reach him at nkelly@gannett.com or follow him on Twitter: @_NickKelly