Spring Football Preview: Wide Receivers

A report on the Auburn football team's wide receivers is featured as the Tigers prepare for spring drills.

Auburn, Ala.--With almost all of the players back, and with the return to good health of rising senior and top producer Emory Blake, Auburn's wide receivers corps should be a more experienced group this season.

When the Tigers open spring football practice on March 23rd the top wideouts missing from last season's team will be 2011 seniors Quindarius Carr and Jay Wisner. However, neither put up big numbers.

Carr caught just eight passes for 173 yards and one touchdown. Wisner made only two catches for 28 yards last year so the Tigers don't have much to replace terms of receiving production.

Of the top three receivers on the team in both number of receptions made and receiving yardage, Blake, who is 6-2, 197 pounds, was the only wideout in the group. He led the Tigers in catches with 36 and in yards with 613 even though he missed two games with an ankle injury that slowed him for half the season.

In Auburn's bowl game, Blake said he was almost back to full speed and it showed as he caught six passes for 108 yards in his team's victory over Virginia.

Running back Onterio McCalebb was the second leading receiver with 32 catches for 344 yards last season and tight end Philip Lutzenkirchen was next with 24 catches for 238 yards.

The Tigers are hoping for more production from Trovon Reed this fall.

The number two wideout in production was Trovon Reed, who caught 21 passes for 164 yards, but the 6-0, 183-pounder did not have a touchdown reception as a redshirt freshman.

Next in line was true freshman Quan Bray, who caught 17 passes for 93 yards. Bray, who is 5-10, 185 pounds, did not have a touchdown catch.

Travante Stallworth, who will be a senior, is coming off his most productive season as a college player. He caught 13 passes for 214 yards and one touchdown.

Travante Stallworth scores vs. Utah State last season.

For the third senior in the receiver corps, 6-2, 203 DeAngelo Benton, the 2012 season will be his last chance to live up to what was expected of the high-profile signee out of Louisiana.

The former high school All-American caught just seven passes for 136 yards and one touchdown last year. However, that was an improvement from his previous two seasons in which he had a total of seven catches for 103 yards.

When the Tigers open spring drills a player eager to show what he can do will be Sammie Coates, who would have likely seen significant playing time last fall as a true freshman if he had not been redshirted due to a preseason injury. He should be full speed ready to push for playing time.

Coates is from Leroy High School where he was a three-sport standout and a favorite target of Auburn quarterback Clint Moseley on a state championship team when Coates was a sophomore.

Two other 2011 signees, C.J. Uzomah and Jaylon Denson, played but did not have a catch as freshmen. Uzomah, a former high school quarterback, was involved in a touchdown as he threw a scoring strike to Lutzenkirchen in the Georgia game.

Jaylon Denson came to Auburn last year from Hoover High.

Both Denson and Uzomah were regulars on special teams last fall and will use the spring to try to establish themselves a receivers to be trusted in the passing game.

With new offensive coordinator and quarterback coach Scot Loeffler trying to establish a depth chart at quarterback this spring, the wide receivers should get plenty of passes thrown their way in the coming weeks.

That means the 15 days of spring drills are a good opportunity for several of the down-the-line receivers to establish themselves on the depth chart before highly-regarded signees Ricardo Louis and Jaquay Williams arrive on campus this summer.

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