Alvin Bailey, a man who dons a hairstyle that was popular before he was born, is Gainesville bound. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound slot wide receiver famous for his “flattop” hairstyle, may be the closest thing to a pure speed wide receiver since Andre Debose (in terms of high school production, of course).
The Armwood High School (Seffner, FL) product who was a Gator lean throughout his recruitment committed to the Florida Gators in September, just a few weeks after being offered. Bailey chose the Gators over Florida State, Georgia, Michigan, and a host of other schools.
At Armwood, Bailey played quarterback, mainly, while also lining up at receiver, punt returner and kick returner. At Florida, however, Bailey will not be playing quarterback, instead only focusing on wide receiver and returner. Will Muschamp, knowing that the best athletes in high school often play quarterback and not their more natural position had this to say about Bailey: “A lot of times in high school you put your best athlete at quarterback because they touch the ball every snap, so they’ve got an opportunity to make something good happen for your team. Alvin’s a guy that’s got a lot of play making ability.”
Alvin has an electric tape that is worth watching. Let’s look at it more closely.
While only about half of Alvin Bailey’s available tape showcases him as a wide receiver, it is easy to discern transferable skills from his quarterbacking time.
Bailey, as mentioned previously, is very quick. He has great acceleration, quick feet, and can get to his top speed very quickly. Bailey, moreover, is able to carry his speed both running in straight lines and shifting through the crowds. Bailey uses that acceleration getting around the corners or in separation. He has a very quick first five steps that will trouble anyone. Bailey also has the ability to turn up his speed briefly in the middle of a run to split defenders.
Bailey shows some strength and can deliver a pretty good stiff arm. However, Bailey will certainly need to add some strength to his frame, which could probably stand to add 10-15 pounds more.
It is tough to see how good Bailey’s hands are as most of his catches are simple screens or short passes, although when he did catch it, he used his hands well and used proper form. Bailey also did not display his ability to block, so it is tough to judge his abilities as a complete wide receiver.
Finally, should Florida continue to use the head-scratching “Wild Gator” formation, Bailey could be a good candidate to play quarterback, as he has both the speed and the arm strength. He would likely be the best person for the role, should that be something Florida is interested in.
I am not quite sure about Bailey’s prospects of playing in 2013. Andre Debose likely has locked down kick returner, the punt returner position has quite a few candidates that have proven their ability and the wide receiver position is completely unknown. Bailey will be a good slot receiver for the Gators and in my opinion, will be more successful than Chris Rainey.