Post Spring Evals: Wide Receivers

All eyes are on the wide receivers. The Cats now run the spread and receivers become a premium. Add to that, the fact that the Cats lose their top receiver and things were interesting in the spring.

Entering the spring the Cats really only had one sure thing at wide receiver. Mike Thomas was not only one of the top receivers on the team the year before, but a player new offensive coordinator Sonny Dykes recruited while he was at Texas Tech.

After that there were a lot of questions. Even though Anthony Johnson has been a two-year contributor, many wondered what his role would be in the offense. The three freshmen who joined the team a year ago had yet to make a splash. Add to that B.J. Dennard and little used Bobby McCoy and you had a lot of question marks and not a lot of answers.

When the smoke cleared we had some answers, but a lot of questions remained. The most obvious thing to emerge out of camp was the fact that not only did Johnson have a role in the offense, but could be a major contributor as a slot receiver.

Of the three young players, Terrell Turner had the best spring, but Delashaun Dean was able to do more on his surgically repaired knee than many thought he'd be able to. Terrell Reese also showed some flashes.

Dennard got a lot of love prior to spring camp and many still think he can make an impact. Although he did not put up great numbers in the scrimmages, word is that Stepping Up: Of the three young receivers, Terrell Turner was the best. He showed good hands and good speed. He looks like he could be a deep threat as well.

Must Replace: Syndric Steptoe is the only real loss to the group, but he does take with him his 568 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Pleasant Surprise: Any questions about how Anthony Johnson is going to look in the offense were answered. Lining up inside, he proved to be a favorite target for Tuitama.

On Their Way:Freshmen William Wright, David Roberts and Devin Veal will at least get a look in the fall. In a perfect world the Cats will get to redshirt some or all of them, but with unproven receivers they will get a chance. Question For The Fall: Other than Mike Thomas, who is ready to make an impact? Last year the receiving corps had plenty of questions, and most of those remain, only the Cats no longer have Syndric Steptoe. A year ago at this time we wondered which of the freshmen would make an impact and we still are. Turner, Reese, Dean, Wright, Roberts and Veal all get a chance to step up.

Final Thought: There are still some concerns about this unit. Thomas and

Johnson seem to be sure things, and I really like what I saw from Turner. I also feel that Dean has all the tools to be a weapon. In my mind someone from Reese, Dennard and McCoy also needs to step up and be a solid No. 3 or No. 4 guy to really round out the unit.

Spring Stats: (As per UA Media Relations)

WR Terrell Turner: 10-103
STE Anthony Johnson 10-99, TD
WR Mike Thomas 11-166
WR Kyle Day: 5-42
WR Terrell Reese: 8-78
WR Delashaun Dean: 4-26
SHB B.J. Dennard: 4-17
WR Bobby McCoy: 1-7
WR Aaron Anderson: 2-22
WR Rod Rivera: 2-10

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