2013 Auburn Position Preview: Wide Receiver

Auburn's wide receivers have a chance to take a significant step forward in 2013.

Auburn, Ala.—With plenty of bodies to work with and some talent at the position, new wide receiver coach Dameyune Craig is looking to get more production out of a group that hasn't had much to this point in their college football careers.

Experienced veterans Trovon Reed and Quan Bray lead a wide receiver corps that has plenty of playing time under its belt, but now must show the consistency needed to take the next step.

Even though Reed and Bray combined for just 23 catches last season, those two are far and away the most productive returning receivers for the Tigers after catching 28 passes in 2011. With 51 receptions in two years they were one catch shy of Emory Blake's total in 2012 and a long way from his yardage total of 789 yards.

Quan Bray

Known more as possession receivers, both Reed and Bray will have a chance to shine being back in the offense they were recruited for under Gus Malzahn. They are not the only players hoping for that to happen, however, as a pair of third-year players are also looking to become difference-makers in 2013.

A junior with just one reception for 12 yards in 24 career games played, Jaylon Denson was the surprise player of the spring on offense and should see his role increase dramatically. At 6-3, 216, Denson is a physical receiver and also has the ability to be a solid blocker on the edge for the Tigers.

Jaylon Denson

An explosive receiving threat who caught six passes for 114 yards and two touchdowns last season as a redshirt freshman, Sammie Coates has the chance to be the deep threat for Auburn's offense in 2013. Physically, the 6-2, 201 speedster has everything a receiver needs to become one of the breakthrough performers for the Tigers this season.

Another player who has that opportunity is true sophomore Ricardo Louis. A former high school quarterback, the 6-2, 217 Louis caught just three passes for 36 yards last season in a reserve role for the Tigers. With exceptional running ability, Louis should be a threat after the catch this season and could also see some time in the Onterio McCalebb speed-back role in Auburn's offense.

The wildcard at receiver this fall could be tight end C.J. Uzomah. Capable of splitting out as a wideout, Uzomah's combination of size and speed makes him a difficult matchup for opposing defenses. Last season he caught seven passes for 136 yards and one touchdown despite an injury that kept him out of a pair of games. Also a wildcard possibility is former professional baseball player Melvin Ray. Playing mostly special teams last fall, Ray could play his way into the rotation this fall with a solid August camp.

In addition to a solid group of returning players, Auburn will welcome a group of talented newcomers on campus as well when they Tigers begin fall camp on Aug. 1. High school teammates Tony Stevens and Dominic Walker as well as speedy Marcus Davis should all have a chance to make an immediate impact on offense this fall.

As a senior the 6-4, 190 Stevens had 29 receptions for 517 yards and six touchdowns playing opposite Walker. He added 30 catches for 581 yards and seven touchdowns as a junior. A physical receiver, Walker had 36 receptions for 628 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. Both should have a chance to provide some playmaking ability outside at receiver for the Tigers.

A former high school quarterback, Davis is an explosive player with the ball in his hands and should be a good fit at the slot position in Auburn's offense. The group could also be joined by Earnest Robinson from Pinson Valley. He's currently in high school summer school and his eligibility for the fall isn't expected to be known until August.

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