Spring Preview: Wide Receivers

The University of Miami began spring football yesterday, becoming the first Division 1 team to start spring drills. Lets take a closer look at the team's wide receiver situation heading into spring.

The Players:
Travis Benjamin (5-11, 160, SO), Laron Byrd (6-3, 210, SO), Thearon Collier (5-9, 165, SO), Leonard Hankerson (6-3, 200, JR), Aldarius Johnson (6-2, 195, SO), Davon Johnson (5-11, 165, SO), Tommy Streeter (6-5, 200, R-FR), and Kendal Thompkins (5-11, 165, R-FR)

What They've Done:
Benjamin: 18 catches for 293 yards and three TD's; 5 carries for 42 yards and 1 TD
Byrd: 21 catches for 228 yards and 4 TD's
Collier: 26 catches for 324 yards and 2 TD's
Hankerson: 17 catches for 203 yards and 3 TD's
A. Johnson: 31 catches for 332 yards and 3 TD's
D. Johnson: 5 catches for 71 yards and 1 TD
Streeter: has not yet played
Thompkins: 2 catches for 4 yards

As Recruits:
Benjamin: 3-star, #104 WR
Byrd: 3-star, #69 WR
Collier: 3-star, #110 WR
Hankerson: 4-star, #28 WR
A. Johnson: 5-star, #7 WR
D. Johnson: 3-star, #91 WR
Streeter: 4-star, #24 WR
Thompkins: 2-star, #209 WR

Outlook:
The young receivers played a key role for Miami last season as most of them got valuable experience in their first season in college. Aldarius Johnson has been the best one of the group so far and another offseason of learning the position should really benefit him. It'll be interesting to see if he can take his game to another level this season because the Canes will need it. Byrd is a mismatch waiting to happen because of his size and strength coming off the line of scrimmage. Collier doesn't have ideal size or blazing speed but his instincts are excellent and as good as anyone among the group. Davon Johnson is a flat speedster. Benjamin was used in so many different ways last season that he began to wore down late in the season. The challenge for him and the coaches this offseason will be to figure out how to utilize him as effectively for the entire season. He's the most explosive playmaker on the roster. The wild card here is Streeter, who was the second most heavily recruited receiver on the roster. He redshirted last season because of an injury but he has all the physical tools to become a real good one and a lot of people thought he was as good as Aldarius when they were coming out of high school together. There's no shortage of talent and different types of players here and hopefully Coach Whipple's new offense can get the most out of this young but very talented and experienced group.


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