Season Preview: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

With the season sneaking up on UCF fans, InsideKnights.com presents you with our annual Season Preview series, which consists of position breakdowns, predictions and other essential information for any Knights fan. Today we'll discuss wide receivers and tight ends.

Season Preview: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Depth Chart: Rocky Ross, Brian Watters, Kamar Aiken, A.J. Guyton, Jamar Newsome, Marquee Williams, Quincy McDuffie, Dontravious Floyd, J.T. McArthur, Adam Nissley (TE), Willie Gaetjens (TE), John Lubischer (TE).

Strengths: Ross brings toughness and leadership to a still relatively young unit. He is also fairly consistent and has been productive throughout his career…Watters emerged as the team's most consistent receiver last year when Ross and Aiken were down and he appears to be keeping that role after a solid spring and summer. Watters isn't necessarily an amazing athlete, but he's a hard worker who keeps getting better and does everything well…Very few players in the conference can match Aiken's athleticism and physicality…Guyton will be a welcomed addition after being injured for all of last season, he could emerge as a very well-rounder player…Newsome is a big play waiting to happen…Williams and McDuffie both are blessed with special athletic ability; Williams is just a natural athlete and McDuffie might be the fastest player UCF has had in years…Nissley is becoming a great blocking tight end and is essentially a third tackle …Corey Rabazinski is listed as an H-back and will be utilized as the team's pass-catching tight end.

Weaknesses: It's hard to say there is an elite player here…The unit was wildly inconsistent last year, but how much of that was due to injuries and inexperience remains to be seen. The receivers did look a lot better this summer…I've heard some reporters refer to Ross as a player that shouldn't be playing in the FBS division. I don't agree with that at all, but it's certainly not a good notion to have out there…Aiken has the potential to be the next great UCF receiver, but he has been far too inconsistent his career. If he gets more confidence and hauls in more passes, he could emerge as a near elite player; a lot of fans are waiting for that... Guyton, Newsome and Williams all flashed potential as well this summer but they didn't appear incredibly consistent either…McDuffie might be a big play waiting to happen but he is still raw as a receiver.

Overall: The receivers look to pick it up from last year, although it would be hard to be any worse. Coach Kelly is one of the best in the business and you can tell he's worked hard to get his players back on track and they've responded. The wideouts got better over the spring and then improved again this summer. They still have a ways to go, but their new found consistency will definitely help out the offense…the tight ends aren't explosive but it does consist of a nice group of reliable, hard-nosed players.

Prediction: Ross will prove any doubters wrong, as he will benefit from a more experienced quarterback and run game, as well as a healthy shoulder. Watters should also have a nice season and the wildcard is Aiken. It's hard to tell what type of player you'll get in him, but it should be interesting to watch at the very least; expect touchdowns from him.


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