Another Look: WR and TE

Game week is just days away and for the most part the Wildcat football team is shaping up. The depth chart is close to being set and most of the position battles are shaping up. We'll take a look at what has been settled, what is close to being settled and what is still up in the air. Today we look at the wide receivers and tight ends.


What We Know:
*Syndric Steptoe and Mike Thomas are reliable. What they lack in height they make up for with their hands and speed. In the scrimmages Steptoe had six catches for 54 yards, while Thomas had just three for 18 yards.

*B.J. Dennard started the fall slowly, but rebounded the last two weeks and looked terrific. He made a number of acrobatic catches and in the final scrimmage he had four catches for 30 yards.

*Anthony Johnson was one of the top standouts in the fall camp, regardless of position. He made big catch after big catch. In the final scrimmage he was credited with nine catches for 91 yards.

*The three freshmen did not put up great numbers but their athleticism and talent were apparent.

What We Don't Know:
*Although drops were infrequent in fall camp, there is no guarantee that the Cats can eliminate the crucial drops that cost them a year ago.

*Can Dennard and Johnson follow up their strong camps with actual play on Saturdays?

*Which of the freshmen will step up? All three showed signs of being solid players, but like first year players, they are inconsistent.

How much better can Thomas be? Thomas was the Pac-10's best offensive freshman, but you have to assume that he will be improved. The only question is how much better?>{? What We Think:
*This will be the Wildcats' most improved group.

*All three freshmen will see the field, and all three will have their moments.

*Johnson won't be a superstar, but he'll give the Cats a reliable possession receiver, who can take a hit.

*Steptoe and Thomas will be the team leaders. The two will be in the top-three in receptions and should lead the team in receiving yards.


What We Know:
*Brad Wood was limited for most of fall camp. He did not play in either scrimmage and was held out of a number of practices.

*Travis Bell also missed a number of practices with a concussion but did play towards the end of camp, including grabbing two passes in the second fall scrimmage.

*Brandyn McCall had a solid fall camp, and is the best blocking tight end on the roster.

*Ryan Kilpatrick had decent camp, but is still primarily a blocker.

*Freshmen A.J. Simmons and Cody Anderson got limited reps in the fall.

*In many occasions the Cats went with H-Backs Earl Mitchell and Brooks Reed in the place of a tight end.

What We Don't Know:
*How healthy is Wood? Was he limited to make sure he was healthy for the start of the season or is he more injured than was believed?

*Can Bell block well enough to stay on the field? Conversely, can McCall be a good enough pass catcher to stay on the field?

*Will the freshmen redshirt?

What We Think:
*Wood will be healthy for the season and will be among the team leaders in receptions.

*Bell will get his fair share of catches, especially in the redzone where he makes a huge target for Willie Tuitama.

*McCall Will be primarily used as a blocker, but will have a handful of catches.

*Simmons and Anderson will both redshirt.

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