A Look Ahead: Wide Receivers

The Cats have a lot of runners on the roster. Mike Bell will be the guy, but you know that others will see there share of carries. It could be a crowded, yet talented group.

Starters Returning: Sundric Steptoe, Jr. (30 receptions for 446 yards, 3 tds)

Others Returning: Anthony Johnson, So. (13 rec, 90 yrds, ) , Mike Jefferson, Jr. (16 rec, 249 yrds, 3 tds), Bobby McCoy, Fr. (Redshirt), B.J. Dennard. So. (1 rec, 33 yards) Gerold Rodriguez, Fr. (Redshirt), Aaron Butler, Jr. (Redshirt),

Players Lost:Ricky Williams (22 recs, graduation), Biren Ealy (dismissed from team), Juan Valentime

Recruits Added:B.J. Vickers (JC) and Michael Thomas are on board. Vickers is on campus already and will participate in spring drills. The Cats are also waiting on Ruben Jackson who originally verballed to them the night before signing day, but has not signed with Arizona or any other school.

2006 Plans: The Cats don't have any senior receivers, but will add at least one wideout recruit.

2005 INCOMING PLAYER PROFILES:

P> B.J. Vickers
WR, 6-3, 210
Venice HS/Santa Monica CC, Los Angeles, CA

Description:Big, strong, athletic receiver. A huge target with excellent speed. He's the type of big receivers that teams like USC, UCLA and Washington have had, but the Cats have lacked.

Bio:Vickers originally signed with Louisville, but had to go the JC route. He is the son of former Wildcat tight end Ryan Vickers, who started for the Wildcats in the Sun Bowl. He chose Arizona over Nebraska and Cal among others.

2005 Outlook:Vickers will start at wide receiver, bank on it. After he signed offensive coordinator Mike Canales said he'll add 100 yards a game to the offense. He is the type of receiver the Cats really need.

Quote: "Stoops is going to turn that program around. It was a big win…All he needs to do is get some good recruiting classes and he might be able to do some damage." --B.J. Vickers

Mike Canales says: "B.J. Vickers is thick. He's a good receiver. Somebody came in and introduced themselves, and I said this is BJ Vickers, he just gave us 100 yards in total offense. We're going to go from 300 to 400 just like that. These kids are going to make us so much better, so much faster. B.J. will make a lot of plays."

Michael Thomas
WR, 5-10, 180
DeSoto HS, DeSoto, TX

99th ranked wide receiver in the nation

Description:Versatile player with great speed. He will play wide receiver, but can be used out of the backfield as well. He has the ability to make big plays with his quickness and shifty moves.

Bio:Thomas did not see a ton of action as his DeSoto team ran a lot. He made as much impact as a return man as he did in the offense. He is one of three DeSoto players to sign with the Cats and was the first of the bunch to do so.

2005 Outlook:Thomas probably needs to get stronger, but the Cats won't hold him back if he's ready to contribute. The Cats need help at receiver and he could also see time the field early as a kick returner.

Quote:"I did a lot of research. Me and my parents figured out all of the things we were looking for and Arizona seemed like the right place. I am very comfortable with my decision. There was a lot I had to take into consideration. I had a good feeling from the coaches, the strength trainers and the players." --Michael Thomas

Mike Canales says: "Michael Thomas has the capability of being a versatile receiver, and could play a little running back. He brings that type of dimension to the offense."


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