What We Saw: Although there is experience back at the WR position (despite graduation, injury and transfer - last year's freshman sensation Damon Hazelton who landed with Virginia Tech Hokies - cutting into the production), only six players suited up for fall camp. Of those, only two – Sr Jordan Hogue and R-Jr Devin Reece, have played significant snaps, but neither has caught many passes during their careers at Ball State.
As it stands right now though, Hogue and Reece are your starters on the outside with Corey Lacanaria (who sat out of spring ball with an injury) starting on the inside. The good news is that Lacanaria does have a ton of experience and production to back it up. The question with the smaller Lacanaria (5-8 165) is, can he remain healthy after missing games in each of the past two seasons along with spring practice this year.
Serving as reserves in the group are R-Freshmen Ty Kirtz (who also missed spring practice with an injury) and Wyatt Plate along with walk-ons Riley Miller and Antwan Davis. Plate, Miller and Davis all showed promise in spurts over the spring but we expect to see much more of Miller and Plate especially over the fall camp and into the season. Plate is a slightly bigger and stronger player in the slot than Lacanaria. Miller, a local product from Yorktown, IN, has a special connection with QB Riley Neal as they were a record setting duo in high school.
Projected Depth Chart: The #1s project as Hogue, Reece and Lacanaria with the #2s being Miller, Kirtz and Plate.
What Happens When The New Class Arrives: A ton. The Ball State staff signed 5 new WRs in the class and they expect them to see the field, so the competition in fall camp will ramp up considerable. Not only were 5 players signed, but all 5 are highly regarded and heavily recruited athletes capable of playing right away even in a veteran group.
On the outside are three rock solid prospects in Justin Gibbs, Khalil Newton and Ethan Merriweather. Gibbs, who is the biggest (6-2 208) and Khalil Newton (6-2 175) figure to be the two that will push for the most playing time out of the gate. Merriweather (6-2 180) also has the ability to see time on the field.
On the inside, Justin Hall and Hassan Littles are both gifted athletes with great upside and talent. Both will see the field and both will have the ball in their hands. Look for the depth chart to look considerably different when the season starts.