Receivers: Position Breakdown

Wide receivers The candidates: JD McKissic, Tres Houston, Carl Lee, William Boyd, Dijon Paschal, Sterling Stowers, Tyler Trosin, Booker Mays, Brandon Cox. Daryl Rollins-Davis, Blake Mack. Darion Griswold (6-5,264) RJr.; Kenny Rains, (6-4, 260) RSr; Warren Leaphart, (6-5, 242) RSo; Jerry Moorehead (6-4, 209) RFr; Adam Weiner (6-5, 215) Fr.

J.D. McKissic. Do we need to say much more?

The Red Wolves’ dangerous A-back just might be the most gifted and most dangerous player in the Sun Belt Conference. (After all he was selected to the All-SBC squad last year at three positions.) McKissic grabbed 82 passes for 662 yards and four touchdown.

Blake Anderson has always had a guy that can play the A-Back role – an all-purpose back. He likes to move that guy around and set up match up issues with the defense. Anderson was blessed upon his arrival to A-State with the return of JD McKissic, a perfect fit for that role. A big time dynamic playmaker, McKissic is a guy who the defense has to quickly figure out where he’s lined up in this high-tempo offense. He can catch the ball out of the backfield or from the slot; he makes things happen on the end-around; with the ball in his hand he is a big-time threat in space. As he continues to improve his route running, McKissic is a dominate force at receiver for Arkansas State in the Sun Belt.

The Analysis:

With 185 career catches, McKissic is very experienced, even though he is still just a junior. The rest of the wide receiving corp has a combined total of 8 receptions, all by Tres Houston. A long rangy receiver, Houston saw action in a reserve role last season. He is very good skillful at going up and getting the ball. Glimpses of his skill have flashed in several scrimmages. The Red Wolves are hoping that Houston provides more of a threat at the outside position this fall.

Two redshirt freshmen – Dijon Paschal and Carl Lee – and Booker Mays will be joined by newcomers Tyler Trosin and Blake Mack to push for the outside receiver positions. Paschal and Lee have put together solid spring and preseason camps. Both guys have good size and solid speed and will be asked to replace guys like Julian Jones (Atlanta Falcons) and Allen Muse. Former walk-on Mays has battled his way into the competition. JC transfer Tyler Trosin has experience, having started his career at Oregon State, and will be asked to provide outside depth. Freshman Blake Mack from Lonoke (6-3, 222) looks the part and has played well at times during camp and is expected to see action this fall.

Brandon Cox and Daryl Rollins-Davis are two dynamic players that will help spell McKissic at A-Back. The diminutive Cox, a redshirt freshman, is quick and athletic. He spent time in high school as both receiver and running back, a perfect fit as an A-Back. Daryl Rollins-Davis was a big get for staff in recruiting. The true freshman is perhaps the fastest player on the team. Having to learn a new role (high school RB) may have slowed down his progress, but he is too fast to keep of the field.

Similar to the RB position, the receivers have a talented group of young players behind a proven star. The question will be how quickly they can grasp all the complexities required of them. Knowing the route tree and running crisp routes, and securing the catch are big parts, but so is the ability to block in the spread offense. This youthful group must buy in quick and require defenses to respect them in order to allow McKissic, Michael Gordon, and Fredi Knighten to shine.

Coach speak: By committee a little bit. I thought Tres Houston had his best day Saturday. Dijon started out really good early; just his legs kinda gave out on him the last week. He’s been kinda quiet. Carl Lee has had a tremendously good fall camp. From where he was in the spring to now, for us is a bonus. Then the rest of them are all young guys. They have virtually no reps. Trosin, Blake Mack and Daryl Rollins-Davis, even Brandon Cox; none of those guys have really played. JD is the guy everyone kinda circles around. We know who he is but with those other guys it is going to see who develops.”