Classic Concentration for UCF Wideouts

There's been a string of coughs, sniffles and all kinds of other sinus problems going around UCF for the past month or so. Yes the drastic weather change has caused students all around campus to come down with acute coryza, and while everyone is hoping they don't get sick, there are some player's on the football team that are hoping to catch more than just a cold.

Last season was undoubtedly a letdown for UCF's football team. The Knights went 4-8 in a season where they were attempting to repeat as Conference USA champions, and a large part of that of the 2008 letdown was because of a sputtering offense. UCF Knights lost several key components of its 2007 championship team but to finish dead last in total offense was not what anyone expected.

Injuries and inexperience were certainly a cause for the lack of offense at UCF last year, especially amongst the offensive line and in the backfield. However, UCF's receiving corps came back intact, but the unit was disappointing throughout the entire season.

The wide receivers had a problem doing what receivers do best -catch the ball- all throughout the season. Yes, injuries to Rocky Ross and A.J. Guyton certainly didn't help, but the group struggled to make routine catches all year long.

What made the receivers' performance so disappointing was that the group had an abundance of talent, and it still does. For whatever reason though, the unit never really showed anything close to its maximum potential last year.

Kamar Aiken, for instance, has the ability to be the next UCF receiver to make an impact at the next level, but he was plagued by injuries and catching problems. Brian Watters, who ultimately stepped up as UCF's go-to receiver, was productive, but he too had problems holding on to the ball times.

It wasn't a talent problem for the Knights, but seemingly an issue of concentration. Perhaps the receivers had some drops early on in spring and summer practices, and that affected their psyches? Whatever the cause is, keeping an eye on the receivers' development this spring will be worth watching.

With Ross and Guyton slated to come back, the corps is expected to improve drastically just by their presence. If Aiken can begin to haul in the ball consistently, then he could emerge as one of the best at his position in the conference.

Maybe saying that UCF's receivers couldn't catch a cold was a bit harsh, but the fact remains that group has a lot to improve on. Coach Kelly, UCF's receivers coach, works diligently with the players after practice and that extra effort might pay off. The Knights have all the talent you can ask for at receiver and now the players just have to put it all together. Their first step to help the team get back to the top of the conference starts this spring and summer as things will be getting a little warmer.

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