Position Battle Spotlight: Wide Receiver

With the departure of standout receiver Tandon Doss to the NFL, the Hoosiers spent the offseason looking for leadership in their receiving corps. DaMarlo Belcher is primed to assume that role and have his most productive year yet, but there are plenty of challengers to his top dog status.

The Cast

DeMarlo Belcher
Jamonne Chester
Connor Creevey
Kofi Hughes
Cody Latimer
Brett Martin
Jay McCants
Dre Muhammad
Tim O'Conner
Logan Young
Duwyce Wilson
Shane Wynn
Nick Zachery

The Leader

Damarlo Belcher – 6-foot-5, 214 pounds, Senior

2010 Production: 78 catches; 832 yards; 10.7 yards per catch; four touchdowns; 69.3 yards per game

Strengths: Big target; great leaper; good speed; above average hands

Weaknesses: average route runner; average strength; blocking

The skinny: Belcher came into the IU program as the hopeful heir apparent to Hoosier great James Hardy. With a similar build and also hailing from Fort Wayne, Belcher a lot was put on Belcher's shoulders at an early stage. He enters his senior season primed to possibly delivery on those big expectations. His production has improved each season and the Hoosiers are hoping that his senior season is by far his most productive yet.

Outlook: Coach Kevin Wilson has challenged Belcher to improve in every aspect of his game and become a true leader of the receiving corps. The coach was hard on him this spring and that will likely continue this season as Wilson looks to exploit every ounce of Belcher's tantalizing potential. His improvement as a route runner and blocker will likely determine just how productive he will be. Look for Belcher, who has always been a solid possession receiver, to be relied on in the red zone and for Wilson to try to stretch him into a more potent deep threat as well.

The Contender

DuWyce Wilson – 6-foot-3, 197 pounds, Redshirt sophomore

2010 Production: 32 catches, 488 yards; 15.2 yards per catch; three touchdowns; 40.7 yards per game

Strengths: great speed; good hands; superior athleticism

Weaknesses: blocking; physicality

The skinny: Wilson was the Hoosiers best deep threat last season and progressed steadily throughout the season. He's athletic and a solid route runner and will be relied on to stretch the field once again the season. His ability to get off press coverage quicker needs to improve.

Outlook: Look for Wilson to become a key weapon in the Hoosiers attack as a deep threat to keep teams from crowding the box. His ultimate effectiveness, however, perhaps more than any other Hoosier receiver due to his speciality will be determined by the performance of the Hoosier quarterbacks and how successful they are in getting time to pass and delivering an accurate deep ball.

The Darkhorse

Shane Wynn, 5-foot-8, 155 pounds, True freshman

2010 Production: N/A

Strengths: great speed; tremendous elusiveness; playmaker

Weaknesses: physicality; average hands; blocking

The skinny: Wynn was a late commit for the Hoosiers out of perennial football powerhouse Cleveland Glenville High School. Wilson was extremely happy to bring him aboard saying in February "he is a great returner, great in space and does have some substance for a smaller guy with big hands, big boned, strong kid. A 5-7 guy with a great change of direction…he brings something we needed. He brings a little more quickness and a little guy in the slot to give us some juice."

Outlook: Wynn's chance to contribute will likely come as a special teams return man first due to his natural ability there. However, if he can prove himself a solid route runner and competitor in the slot position this fall he could see plenty of playing time there as he would give the Hoosiers an excellent change of pace in their receiving corps. With a stable of mostly bigger, stronger receivers Wynn could find a knack as a specialist.


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