Nichol reflects on receivers after Fall Camp

Many feel that the strength of Arizona's team is its receivers. Wide receiver coach David Nichol took some time with to reflect on his receivers' performance, Juron Criner, the freshmen, and more.

The strength of the 2011 edition of the Arizona Wildcats football team is expected to be the offense, specifically the receiving core led by senior All-American Juron Criner and long-time veterans David Douglas and David Roberts amongst a bevy of talented underclassmen.

For their coach Dave Nichol, while he has easily the most depth of any position on the entire roster, there's no such thing as too much talent.

"There's no such thing, because it can end quickly with injuries," Nichol said. "There's a difference between talent and productivity. Like Dan (Buckner) hasn't done anything at Arizona, people really need to realize that. Garic (Wharton) and Tyler (Slavin) and Austin (Hill) are good players, but they all redshirted last year. There's no doubt, as far as the rest of the group goes, I have a pretty good situation from a depth standpoint."

It was unknown for a lengthy period of time if Juron Criner would return to the team due to family issues surrounding his mother. However, according to Nichol, he isn't surprised to see his star receiver back with the team, and is pleased with his performance in his final fall camp at Arizona.

"I wasn't worried about Juron coming back, he just took care of some family stuff," Nichol said. "Shoot, we all go through different things with our families. I was never really worried, honestly. He took a couple of weeks and he came back and he's been doing well in practice."

As for the rest of the group, Nichol is pleased with how the rest of his group performed throughout the duration of camp.

"The group is looking good," Nichol said. "We're kind of banged up this time of year like always. I've been pleased with the effort, we have to clean some stuff up, but I'm pleased with the effort.

"Juron and David Douglas have had good camps. I'd say Juron, David, and Gino (Crump) have all had really good camps."

While Criner and Douglas are well-known entities of the receiving core, Gino Crump has yet to break through as a major contributor. With his work throughout the offseason, Nichol believes Crump may be in position to make an impact in 2011.

"I think Gino will contribute this year, he's finally being consistent," Nichol said. "I've told everybody, he's always shown flashes, but then he'll bounce one off his head or he'll run the wrong route. He's finally being consistent with his blocking, his plays, and catching the ball, which he should be as a senior. I've been very, very pleased."

It seems that Crump may have found himself a place amongst his receiving peers, but the same cannot be said for the four freshmen that just put the wraps on their first fall camps at UA. It's unknown what 2011 holds for the first year players, but Nichol sees a bright future for all four.

"All four of them are good," Nichol said. "Patrick Onwuasor, David Richards, Johnny Jackson, and Trevor Ermisch, I think they're all going to be really, really good players. They're right now, but it's one of those deals like, ‘man, did we miss in recruiting?' We didn't with any of them. Two of them are walk-ons and they're going to be good players."

As the 2011 season approaches, Nichol has given the walk-ons, the transfers, the freshmen, the returners, and the star the task of coming together to form a special receiving unit.

"I've challenged them to be not good, but great," Nichol said. "I don't think we've been like that; we've had a good camp but I don't think we've been great. They need to understand what that word means. We're getting there, but we're not there yet. We should be pretty good if we're healthy."

Recently Mike Stoops said the team will throw 60 times if it needs to in order to win. With all of the work the receivers have put in during the offseason, Nichol believes his group is up to the task of hauling in passes all game long every week.

"I think this is the group you'd want to do it with, I think so," Nichol said. "It all comes down to your quarterback. It reminds me of the days we had at Texas Tech, some of the things we're doing throwing the ball, and a lot of it is because of Foles.

"We're going against a much better defense out here with coach Stoops' defense, but that makes us better. I love it, that's where I come from, so lets make it 70."

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