Grading the Canes: Wide Receivers

The Hurricanes had big expectations at the wide receiver position going into 2007. Hopes were that Lance Leggett would finally put it all together and that Sam Shields would be even better than he was as a freshman and that newcomers like Jermaine McKenzie would have big impacts. It didn't exactly turn out that way.

Wide Receivers: D+

With the top two and four of the top five receivers coming back from the 2006 team, the Hurricanes had some high expectations at this position heading into the season. They were hoping to see some of the production in the passing game that Georgia Tech had over the previous few seasons under Nix.

Unfortunately, the Canes didn't have a Calvin Johnson on their team. Nor did they have a receiver who had proven capable of turning a game around. It's amazing to think of all the great receivers who have played here – even ones in recent years like Reggie Wayne, Santana Moss, and Andre Johnson. The Canes simply didn't have one like that on the team this year.

Recruiting mistakes and misses over the last few years have hurt and it showed in 2007. One of the two guys named starters in the season opener (Khalil Jones) turned out to be a non factor for most of the season. One of the two main guys from a year ago started the season suspended and never reached the consistency level the coaches were hoping for. For senior Lance Leggett, it was showtime. It was his chance to show the NFL what he could do. Instead, he was extremely inconsistent and struggled to make a difference in every game. Seven receivers caught balls for the Hurricanes in 2007 but only one, senior Darnell Jenkins, showed any consistency. Jenkins made the most of his last year at Miami, emerging as the go-to guy for the Canes and likely earning him a spot in the NFL Draft in April.

Freshman Jermaine McKenzie was said to be the most exciting newcomer at this position during summer workouts but an auto accident, like Robert Marve, ended his season before it began. The Canes will have to wait until 2008 to see what he can do.

There are a bevy of talented receivers in the current recruiting class – some of whom will strongly compete for starting spots next season. Many people believe Miami Northwestern's Aldarius Johnson is the most physically gifted wideout to come out of Miami since Andre Johnson. The Canes will need him and some other young players to step up and play well – something the 200 group didn't do on a consistent basis.

Canes Time Top Stories