Phillip Dorsett (So) – Miami's most explosive playmaker on the outside this season, Dorsett took his game to another level after a couple subpar seasons to begin his career. He finished the season with 58 catches for 842 yards and five scores. Those numbers could have been much better had he not dropped so many balls early in the season. He made a living catching long passes from Stephen Morris this season. He eclipsed the 100-yard mark four times this season (NC State, Ga Tech, Virginia, and USF) and his 18 catches over the final three games indicate that he kept getting better as the season wore on. Dorsett, widely considered the team's fastest player, added 251 yards on 11 kickoff returns, and 85 yards on 15 punt returns. He was solid as a kick returner but didn't offer much as a punt returner, despite the speed. He will enter 2013 as Miami's top weapon outside.
Rashawn Scott (So) – After catching just one pass during his entire freshman season in 2011, Scott emerged as a legitimate starter early in the 2012 season. He turned in some quality performances, and was actually the team's leading receiver after nine games. Then he got suspended for the final three games of the season, capping a disappointing campaign as a result. He caught 35 passes for 512 yards and three scores, but his numbers may have been skewed just a bit. He caught a long touchdown pass in his most productive game of the season – NC State – on a free play because of a defensive penalty. The only other touchdown he scored, aside from that game, came in garbage time against Florida State with just a few minutes left and down a few touchdowns. He has the ability to be a solid player for the Canes but just didn't have the consistency needed in 2012.
Davon Johnson (Sr) – A former four-star recruit coming out of high school, Johnson's career never took off like many thought it would. He moved back to wide receiver prior to this season, after spending the previous few seasons in the secondary. Although he turned in a few catches here and there in various games this season, and was a starter at one point, the only games he truly impacted were Boston College (catching an important third down pass) and Georgia Tech (catching several key passes that kept drives alive). His season ended a few games early because of an injury, and he finished the season with 21 catches for 348 yards and no touchdowns.
Allen Hurns (Jr) – After entering the season as Miami's most proven receiver and catching eight passes in the season opener against Boston College, Hurns slowed down tremendously. He caught just seven passes over the next five games before turning in a solid performance against North Carolina. His best game came against Virginia, when two of his four catches went for touchdowns. Hurns caught just one pass over the final two games of the season while dealing with a broken bone in his hand, and finished the season with 28 catches for 314 yards and four scores – production numbers slightly down from his sophomore season.
Herb Waters (Fr) – After playing prep quarterback mostly as a senior last season, Waters entered the 2012 season as what most called Miami's third best freshman receiver (behind Malcolm Lewis and Robert Lockhart). He was the second one to see the field, behind Lewis, but caught just five passes for 32 yards over the first ten games of the season. With Scott suspended and Hurns and Johnson injured, Waters saw a lot more opportunities over the final two games of the season, and he certainly made the most of them. He caught five passes for 195 yards and two scores against USF and Duke, giving Morris another major weapon on the outside. You could just see his confidence growing late in the year, and he should enter 2013 as a major target for Morris and this offense.
Kendal Thompkins (Sr) – After catching just eight passes in his first four years in Miami, Thompkins entered the 2012 season near the top of the depth chart thanks to a solid offseason. Unfortunately, that didn't translate to yards – or targets. His playing time dwindled in the second half of the season, and he had just two catches after 10 games. Then the wide receiver depth chart got thin going into Senior Day against USF, and he made the most of it, catching three passes for 80 yards and his second career touchdown. He added another six-yard reception against Duke in the season finale.
Malcolm Lewis (Fr) – Entering the 2012 season as the most ready of the freshman receivers, Lewis made an impact right away. He caught four passes for 42 yards and a score against Boston College in the opener. That brought upon big expectations for the rest of his freshman season. After slowing way down in his next two games, Lewis was then lost for the season with an injury in the Georgia Tech game. He was able to get a medical redshirt, and will return in 2013 as a redshirt freshman.
Robert Lockhart (Fr) – After spending the first six weeks of the season working on the scout team, Lockhart finally saw the field in the seventh game of the season – against North Carolina. He only saw one target in that game, and didn't catch a single pass in the two games he played (FSU being the other). He then suffered a season-ending knee injury. He will likely miss spring football but is expected to return in 2013 as a sophomore.
Jontavious Carter (Fr) – Redshirted, and was singled out by Al Golden in his post-season press conference as someone the coaches are excited about for the future.
D'Mauri Jones (Fr) – Redshirted.
2012 Recap: It was an up and down year for this group this season. While Hurns was the most proven player entering the season, it was up in the air who would emerge as the go-to guy, if anyone did. Dorsett became the big play guy of the group, but not necessarily the go-to guy. Scott ended up being suspended for ¼ of the season. Hurns dealt with some injury issues. Johnson, Lewis, and Lockhart suffered season-ending injuries. A walk-on (Garrett Kidd) was a starter in the USF game. Two players redshirted through all of that. Even with a solid opening game from Lewis and a solid late-season finish by Waters, UM probably didn't get the overall production it wanted to from the freshman group. Still, it was a solid group that caught 15 touchdown passes and averaged 14.5 yards per reception. Drops were an issue – especially early in the season – and that limited the overall numbers somewhat.
Looking ahead to 2013: It should be a very exciting group in 2013. Only Thompkins and Johnson – two players who were largely ineffective for nearly the entire season – are gone. Everyone else is back. Dorsett has a chance to be among the top big play receivers in all of college football. Scott and Hurns are proven possession-type receivers. Waters and Lewis offer a little bit of both. And it should be fun watching the development of guys like Lockhart, Carter, and Jones. The entire unit should be much improved in 2013.