Can Cameron Latu Surpass His Production from 2021
Last spring, Cameron Latu’s name was buzzing around Tuscaloosa as he developed a strong rapport with quarterback Bryce Young. The two connected for a touchdown in each of Alabama’s two spring scrimmages, including two in the first one. Young also hit Latu for a 59-yard touchdown on A-Day.
The Salt Lake City-native had a coming out in party in Alabama’s season opener against Miami. His first career catch was a 9-yard touchdown and his second was a 25-yard touchdown — where he broke two tackles to score. He finished the day with three receptions for 43 yards.
Latu caught a touchdown in the Cotton Bowl against Cincinnati and led Alabama pass catchers with 102 receiving yards across five receptions and a touchdown in the national championship.
He set the Alabama single season record for touchdowns by a tight end with eight on 26 receptions for 410 yards. The previous record was set by Irv Smith Jr. with seven in 2018.
Latu now has a full year under his belt as a reliable target after spending the previous two seasons as primarily a special teams contributor.
With Jameson Williams, John Metchie, and Slade Bolden off the NFL, Alabama will depend on a new core of pass catchers to lead the way. In his second year as a starter, Latu has the potential emergence as a top weapon in the Alabama offense.
Wide receivers Jermaine Burton, Tyler Harrell, JoJo Earle and Christian Leary can command a ton of attention down the field because their elite level speed, leaving short to intermediate routes open for Latu. Last season, he generated a 156.3 passer rating when targeted on intermediate throws, the highest among Power 5 tight ends.
At 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Latu can create matchup problems because of his size and athleticism. He can create big plays after the catch and is also an elite red zone target.
The Crimson Tide will lean on Latu heavily for production out of the tight end room in 2022.