Position Analysis: Wide Receiver

With an injury to Austin Hill and other movement, Arizona is pretty open at wide receiver. Read on to see we think can be relied on, who might surprise, and more.

One of Arizona's strongest positions this season was going to be wide receiver, but an injury to Austin Hill and some movement with others has now brought up some question marks. There are still some proven players, but there are others that are going to have to step up.

The proven: Terrence Miller may have been injured for the majority of the last season and he has never put together a consistent year, but we feel he is still the most proven commodity on Arizona, especially when healthy.

Arizona is happy Miller is coming back because it feels the same and he has shown that he has reliable hands and can be a weapon in this offense. Miller finished with 13 catches and 143 yards in four games and he should destroy those numbers if he can remain healthy. Yes, there are questions here, but you also know what you are getting when Miller takes the field.

The question mark: In terms of talent and fit, Garic Wharton has a ton of potential on Arizona. He is easily one of the fastest guys on the team and when he was able to catch the ball, Wharton usually made a nice impact.

That is the problem with Wharton though. He has failed to be consistent despite his talent and that's extremely frustrating for the coaching staff and even the fans that know what he is capable of doing. Wharton really only had two good games last season and you can make an argument for a third, but two of them came in the final two of the year.

If Wharton can consistently catch the ball, it would not be a surprise if he was the best receiver on the team. However, that is a big ‘if' with Wharton and because of that, we consider him to be the biggest question mark out of all the receivers.

The most potential: We could have gone with Wharton here for reasons explained above, but David Richards has the potential to make a major impact if he can get healthy and stay there. Richards has great size and with the way Arizona runs its offense, he has a good shot at getting into mismatches that will allow him to be productive.

Richards is Arizona's top returning true receiver, as he caught 28 balls for 298 yards and three touchdowns. His best game of the season was probably against Nevada, but he never had a true breakout game.

We really like Richards in this offense because of what Arizona is going to do and because of the fact that he has consistent hands. Richards is a well-rounded receiver and it should serve him well. We would be relatively surprised if he had a bad season.

The dark horse: Johnny Jackson is a name that not many people are talking about, but he does have potential. He is likely going to play in the slot and with the movement from the receivers, Jackson is going to have a legitimate shot.

His game against Stanford was dominant and he was a big reason why Arizona was in that game, as he caught 10 balls for 75 yards against Stanford. However, he only caught 7 balls in the next five games he played in.

In order for Jackson to be able to make an impact, he is going to have to be aggressive and effective from the start. The ability and potential are there and we think Trey Griffey's name and possible impact have kind of buried Jackson in the eyes of fans, but he is definitely a guy to keep an eye on.

Our prediction: This should be one of the more fun position battles to watch. Miller is pretty much a guarantee to play, but it is relatively open beyond that. If Richards is healthy, he is going to be dangerous as well. Trey Griffey is going to get a chance and Clive Georges is one to watch because of his speed.

We do think that there is going to be a guy that emerges that we have not talked about a lot. It could be Nate Phillips or Samajie Grant because of their speed. Arizona is more likely to expand the rotation than narrow it, so there are plenty of guys that are going to get a chance.


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