Spring Football Preview: Receivers

Inside, a look at Colorado's wide receivers and tight ends as the Buffs approach the opening of spring practices on March 17.

Unlike the running back position, where three incoming freshmen could make an impact in the fall, the CU passing game will ride on the shoulders of the group of wide receivers in spring ball.

The position boasts a nice blend of experience and youth. Dusty Sprague was a major contributor for the wide out position — especially in the second half of the 2007 season — but every other wide receiver with double-digit receptions last fall returns.

Patrick Williams and Cody Crawford are the veterans, while Scotty McKnight, Josh Smith and Kendrick Celestine provide a solid nucleus of young receivers. McKnight led the Buffs with 43 catches as a redshirt-freshman last season, while Smith proved he could get behind opposing defenses on a regular basis. He averaged 19.6 yards a catch.

All eyes will be on redshirt frosh Markques Simas, the 6-foot-2 target with good hands who spent last fall getting his body ready for the college game.

There are more questions at the tight end position, in part due to the fact coaches want to see if Nate Solder can make the switch from tight end to offensive tackle. He'll spend the first half of camp on the line, and then the situation will be re-evaluated.

Riar Geer is solid, while Patrick Devenny could use this spring to make a case for playing time. This is a position where three incoming freshmen will help in the fall.

The Roster
Wide Receiver
Kyle Black, 5-11, 200, So.
Kendrick Celestine, 5-11, 180, So.; 11 games, 11 catches, 151 yards
Cody Crawford, 5-11, 180, Sr.; 12 games 7-73
Jason Espinoza, 5-87, 180, R-Fr.
Cameron Ham, 6-1, 195, So.
Scotty McKnight, 5-10, 190, So.; 12 games, 43-488, 4 TD
Steve Melton, 5-11, 185, Sr.
Markques Simas, 6-2, 195, R-Fr.
Josh Smith, 6-0, 180, So.; 10 games, 23-451
Patrick Williams, 6-2, 200, Sr.; 12 games, 27-265

Tight End
Patrick Devenny, 6-3, 240, Jr.; 6 games, 1-3, 1 TD
Riar Geer, 6-3, 255, Jr.; 12 games, 14-128, 2 TD
Devin Shanahan, 6-5, 235, Jr.
Luke Walters, 6-3, 240, Jr.

(Players Lost)
Alvin Barnett
Tyson DeVree
Stephone Robinson
Joe Sanders
Dusty Sprague