A Quick Glance: Wide Receivers

The Wildcat receivers were much maligned last season, but hope to rebound this season. A great spring and an infusion of talent have made many observers optimistic about this crew.

Wide Receivers

Starters Returning: (1) Syndric Steptoe
Starters Lost: (1) Ricky Williams (graduation)
Key Returners: Mike Jefferson, Anthony Johnson, B.J. Dennard, Ryan Eidson
Others Lost: Biren Ealy (dismissed), Juan Valentine (graduation)
Key Newcomers: Bobby McCoy (redshirt), Gerold Rodriguez (redshirt), B.J. Vickers, Aaron Butler, Michael Thomas
Coach: Charlie Williams

Steptoe was "Mr. Consistent" last year and will again be a go-to guy. Jefferson came on strong at the end of the year and followed that up with a big spring. A lot is expected of Johnson now that he is healthy. No player will have more eyes on him than Vickers who is expected to instantly improve the offense. Dennard will go two-ways, which may limit his offensive reps. McCoy and Rodriguez have a lot of promise, while Thomas is expected to surprise.

DEPTH CHART

  Player Year HT WT Hometown
1. Syndric Steptoe Jr. 5-9 170 Bryan (High School), TX
1. Mike Jefferson RS Jr. 6-2 203 El Paso, TX (Parkland)
2. B.J. Vickers Jr. 6-3 215 Los Angeles (Santa Monica CC)
2. Anthony Johnson RS So. 6-2 200 San Diego, CA (Horizon)
3. Bobby McCoy RS Fr. 6-2 180 Houston, TX (Klein Forest)
3. Gerold Rodriguez RS Fr. 5-11 180 Los Angeles, CA (Venice)
4.  B.J. Dennard  So. 6-1 175 Phoenix, CA (Brophy Prep)
4.  Michael Thomas Fr. 6-0 170 DeSoto (High School), TX
5. Ryan Eidson Jr. 5-10 160 Moraga, CA (De La Salle)
5. Aaron Butler RS So. 6-2 191 Tucson, AZ (Pima CC)

2004 STATS

Rec Yrds  Avg   TD   Lng
Steptoe 30 446 14.9 3 50
Jefferson 16 249 15.6 3 47
Johnson 13 90 6.9 0 23
Dennard 1 33 33 0 33

Notes: Jefferson, Johnson and Ealy all started games a year ago, but Steptoe and Williams were the primary starters. Vickers participated in spring drills after transferring from the JC ranks. Dennard was moved to the offensive side of the ball midway through the season. He will play both offense and defense this year. Eidson was awarded a scholarship in January. Rodriguez is the cousin of Bills QB J.P. Losman. Vickers is the son of former Wildcat TE Ryan Vickers.

PLAYER NOTES:

Mike Jefferson: Had two catches for 49 yards and two scores in 2004 season finale against ASU… Had a nine receptions for 115 yards, including a 16-yard touchdown, in the final 2003 game against Arizona State...Caught 29 passes for 954 yards and 11 TDs... Also returned two punts for scores, and had 60 tackles and two interceptions as a defensive back... Rushed 10 times for 216 yards and two touchdowns... More than 2,000 receiving yards and 1,200 return yards during his career... Reported 4.39 speed...

Anthony Johnson: Played QB, WR, LB, DB, P and PK in high school… At one point his high school team had just 11 active players… Had 30 receptions, 15 of those going for scores... Returned a kickoff 75 yards for a score... Threw seven TD passes while playing QB for five games... Was a decent basketball player in high school and was recruited by smaller schools… Brother Chris played college ball at San Diego State and went on to the NFL where he played for the San Diego Chargers and Minnesota Vikings before coaching at Horizon High School...

Bobby McCoy: Reported a 4.4 time in the 40-yard dash… Ran track in the spring for the Wildcats… Houston Chronicle Top 100... First-team all-district as junior and senior... District 15 400-meter sprint and 1600 4x4 relay winner in 2003, second in 5A State meet in 400 at 46.88, third-place relay finish...

Gerold Rodriguez: Scout.com two-star reciver, No. 122 in the nation… As a high school senior he had 56 catches for 1,082 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2003, plus had 198 rushing yards with three scores, averaging eight yards per carry... One of three wideouts on 2003 Venice squad with more than 1,000 yards receiving...

Michael Thomas: Rushed for 333 yards on a mere 26 carries and had 15 receptions for 205 yards in a run-oriented offense… Played on 9-2 team team his senior year, finished ranked No. 37 by Texas HS Football... Houston Chronicle Texas Top 100... Scout.com three-star rating and No. 99 WR...

Syndric Steptoe: Had six catches for 105 yards and two scores against Washington State… Played in all 12 games as a true freshman for the Wildcats during the 2003 season... Saw an extensive amount of duty as a punt- and kick-return specialist that season but also had nine catches for 77 yards... Dallas Morning News Top 100, along with Houston Chronicle state 100 honors... Played wide receiver, slot back, running back and QB in one game against Temple... Had 32 catches for 607 yards and five scores as a junior receiver... 5A All-District 13 honors and a Texas Football second-unit Super Team pick junior year...

B.J. Vickers: Scout.com four-star ratings... Earned second-team All-America honors with 700 yards receiving and 10 touchdowns as a soph at Santa Monica CC... CCCFCA First-team All-California JC Distrrict III honors... In his two-year career he had 67 catches for more than 1,500 yards, with 22 scoring receptions...In high school was all-state, all-league after catching 67 passes for nearly 1500 yards as a junior, plus five INTs as a safety... collegefootballnews.com Top Juco prospect at No.14 overall

Class Breakdown: Sr: 0, Jr: 4, So: 3, RS Fr: 2, Fr: 1


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