Production improving among inexperienced receivers

They signed with the Gators after posting lofty high school numbers and an equally high altitude of expectations. The Ringmaster in Fedora's Circus, Chris Leak, played a role in peaking their interest. While not always consistently sharp, he is aptly directing the show. Now, Florida's inexperienced wide receivers appear to be gaining momentum. The Fab Four, consisting of Andre Caldwell, Dallas Baker, Chad Jackson, and Jamelle Cornelius are improving with each passing week.

Today, the Fab combined to account for 14 receptions (56%) for 172 yards. Recording an impressive 66% of the total passing yardage despite missing Cornelius is quite a feat. The group, plus Cornelius accounted for 54% of the yardage against EMU and 59% of the yardage versus the Volunteers.

The group also accounted for 56% of the completions in today's game, again minus Cornelius.

Caldwell trails senior OJ Small by one reception for the team lead. However, the sophomore from Tampa now leads the team in total yards at 255 and yards per game at 85. Not bad for a guy who seemingly tripped himself up every time he broke into the open field. Caldwell is the only receiver who has not scored a touchdown in 2004.

Jackson has been the Gator's big play man. The Alabama native had a 39 yard reception against Eastern Michigan, an 81 yard touchdown catch versus Tennessee, and 65 yard catch today against Kentucky. He easily leads the Gators and probably the nation with an eye-popping 42.3 yards per catch. Jackson is Florida's second leading receiver in yardage with 254, one less than Caldwell.

Cornelius has caught five passes for 36 yards and a touchdown in two games.

Baker hauled in four passes today, a career high. While it was long thought that the athleticism and speed of Baker would translate into big plays; that is not the case. In fact, Baker is averaging only 8.6 yards per catch. Baker should shake a defender loose soon.

As their comfort level continues to improve, don't be surprised to see their big play ability hop along for the ride. Ron Zook and staff have recruited well and the playmakers in Larry Fedora's Circus of Stars appear ready for a turn under the big top.

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