Countdown to Camp: Wide Outs

Arizona was known a year ago for a talented, but inconsistent receiving corps. They made big plays but also had big drops. They were also recognized because of a lack of height. This year the team hopes to erase both of those perceptions with a revamped group of receivers.

Starters Returning: Mike Thomas, Syndric Steptoe
Starters Lost: none
Key Returners:Anthony Johnson, Bobby McCoy, B.J. Dennard
Others Lost: Mike Jefferson
Key Newcomers: Terrell Reece, Terrell Turner, Delashaun Dean
Coach: Charlie Williams (3rd season)

Note: The depth charts below are for the base offense which includes two receivers, two running backs and a tight end. The Cats will often line up in three and even four receiver sets.

X Receiver

1. Mike Thomas 5-8 173 So. DeSoto, Texas (Desoto)
Thomas was the big surprise a year ago, leading the team in receiving and being named Co-Freshman of the Year in the Pac-10. Despite his short stature, he was the Wildcats' big play guy a year ago. He caught 52 passes for 771 yards and five scores. This year he hopes to avoid a few of the drops that potentially cost him a few more scores. Combine that with a full year with Willie Tuitama and you could have a 1,000-yard season.

2. B.J. Dennard 5-11 194 Jr. Phoenix, Ariz. (Brophy Prep)
Dennard gets the edge heading into camp but has to step up. He has the speed and hands to be a solid receiver, but needs to play every game as if it was the ASU game. For the season he had seven catches for 72 yards, but 35 of those yards came against the Sun Devils. If he does not make improvements he could lose reps to the true freshmen below him on the depth chart.

3. Delashaun Dean 6-4 190 Fr. Fairfield, Calif. (Fairfield High)
Dean is a tall, lanky and very athletic receiver. He is still growing into his bigger body so he lacks overall strength. He has very soft and nice hands and good route running skills. Dean has good overall speed and has good concentration for a high school receiver. He is coming off an ACL injury that sidelined him for most of 2005, so not only does he have to add strength but he needs to gain confidence in the knee and get used to playing football again after the year off.

4. Terrell Turner 6-2 170 Fr. Garland, Texas (Lakeview Centennial HS)
Turner is more of a ‘tweener' receiver that does everything good but doesn't have anything that would make you say ‘wow'. He has solid route running skills, very nice hands and very good body control. The only thing he really lacks is overall body strength. He has above average speed and has a knack for getting open with his solid routes and his feel for the game. Many assumed that he was destined for a redshirt, but early reports out of the summer workout is that Turner has made great strides and could compete for playing time.

Y Receiver

1. Syndric Steptoe 5-9 182 Sr. Bryan, Texas (Bryan)
Steptoe is the Cats most reliable receiver and arguably their best leader on the offensive end. Like Thomas, he's an undersized receiver with very good speed and good hands. He had a career high 37 catches for 493 and a lone score. For his career the Bryan, Texas native has 1,016 yards and four scores. He'll be counted on this year to carry more of the load and with bigger receivers who can stretch the field it should help open up things underneath for Steptoe.

2. Anthony Johnson 6-2 205 Jr. San Diego, Calif. (Horizon)
Johnson struggled a bit early on but by the end of the year he had quietly put together a solid season. Many only remember the drop late against Utah but Johnson had 32 catches for 419 yards and three scores. He's a big, physical receiver who the Cats like to match up against smaller defensive backs. He rarely stretches the field but he can go over the middle and take a shot.

3. Bobby McCoy 6-1 182 Jr. Houston, Texas (Klein Forest)
McCoy is a speedy receiver who has been trying to develop a better feel for the game after being more of a track guy. He was making great strides but has been sidelined by an injury that will keep him out for up to two months.

4. Terrell Reese WR 6-4 195 Fr. Pflugerville, Texas (Hendrickson HS)

Reese is a big, athletic flanker receiver that possesses good speed and he is a very good route runner. He has very soft hands to go with his impressive physical build. It is safe to say that Reese has a body ready for college football already as he holds around 200 pounds on his 6-foot-4 inch frame. Reese is not afraid to go over the middle or take a hit and he has the speed to stretch the field on the outside. He has a really good chance to push for immediate playing time.


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