Post Spring Breakdown: WR's and TE's

Now that Cyclone star Todd Blythe has graduated and is pursuing his NFL dream, who will step up and become the next Cyclone go-to guy at wide receiver?

"The thing about Todd was that he was clearly our go-to type guy. You could at times just throw it up near him and he would make plays," said Offensive Coordinator Robert McFarland. "We need a guy to step up and be special. All the guys will be given a chance to be that guy."

The two guys leading to become that go-to guy are junior Marquis Hamilton and senior R.J. Sumrall. "I thought R.J. and Marquis have the most experience and they had really good springs," said McFarland. "They are getting more comfortable with their role and are playing with a lot more confidence."

McFarland feels there will be a healthy competition overall at the position and that one player in particular is clearly climbing the depth chart. "One guy who really jumped in the mix is Houston Jones. He really had a good spring and he physically has a lot of tools. I would say that he definitely showed the most improvement."

Along with Jones, McFarland also feels that some of the Cyclone newcomers could also push for playing time. "If there was one position that we had to get an upgrade in speed and athleticism it was definitely wide receiver and I really think we accomplished that."

The one guy with a slight advantage might be junior college transfer Jason Carlson who caught 46 passes for 743 yards and 9 touchdowns. "The fact that he got to compete against college defenses means that coming and playing here won't be such a big jump for him."

The tight end position should come down to a battle between two players. "One position that took a hit with graduation was tight end," said McFarland. "But Collin (Franklin) had a really good spring and just got better. Derrick (Catlett) has experience and should also get time there."

Filling in the third spot according to McFarland will likely come down to two incoming freshmen. "Kurt Hammerschmidt can come in and playing the receiving tight end spot or H-back for us and Carter Bykowski is a really good blocking tight end so they both should definitely be helping us down the line."


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