Questions Remain at Wide Receiver

MOUNT PLEASANT - When asked about the status of his wide receiving corps, Brian Kelly took a pen and wrote a big question mark.

"We have nine viable candidates for our receiving positions right now," said Central Michigan University's first-year head coach. "I feel we have enough skilled people to push the ball down the field but they're so far behind.

"We've had to re-teach them the basics of wide receiver play. We're spending so much time on technique and fundamentals that we've been fighting to put in our offense."

Kelly is far from discouraged, though.

"This is a unit that will get better and better each week of the season," he said.

The Chippewas return only three players who caught passes in 2003 -- junior Justin Harper (a team-high 45 grabs for 441 yards and two TDs), sophomore Damien Linson (7-61-1) and senior Jovan Witherspoon (1-2-0). A fourth returnee, senior Jacob Brown (8-133-1), has been moved to drop linebacker and will be redshirted in 2004.

The other six receivers in the mix have not played.

They are: sophomore Obed Cétoute; redshirt freshmen Jemmy Jasmin and Justin Gardner; and freshmen Michael Jean, Darren Martin and Asante White.

"We'll probably travel all nine to Indiana," said Kelly of CMU's opener on Sept. 4 in Bloomington, Ind.

CMU wraps up its two-a-days on Friday and will begin its normal weekly game preparation on Monday. Classes begin on Monday, as well.

The Mid-American Conference announced on Wednesday that the next three MAC championship games will be held at Detroit's Ford Field, future site of the 2006 Super Bowl, the 2009 NCAA Men's Final Four and home to the Motor City Bowl.

This year's clash, featuring the champions of the East and West divisions, will be on Thursday, Dec. 2, at 7 p.m. It will be televised live on ESPN.

CMU and Eastern Michigan will play a MAC game at Ford Field on Nov. 6 at 4:30 p.m. It will be part of a doubleheader dubbed the Collegiate Clash that will also feature Hillsdale and Wayne State at noon.

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