What to expect: WR's

The Hurricanes are set to begin fall camp the first week of August. In the meantime, lets take a closer look at what to expect from the 2010 Hurricanes. Our next look is at the wide receiver position.

--Leonard Hankerson, 6-3, 205, Senior

So far: After arriving with a lot of recruiting hype, Hankerson was very quiet in his first two college seasons. He struggled with dropping passes, running proper routes, and just getting adjusted to playing major college football. He caught just 17 passes in his first two seasons. Then the light went on as a junior and he emerged as one of the top receivers in the entire conference, catching 45 passes for 801 yards and six scores -- all of which were team highs. He was Jacory's go-to receiver all season long and came up with clutch catches all season.

Outlook: What a difference one year made. He went from being considered a possible bust after his first two seasons to becoming one of the better receivers in all of college football. He had a very good junior season and now will be counted upon to take the next step and play at an elite level in 2010. Can he do it? That remains to be seen but there's definitely hope for it. Hankerson also understands that this is his year to impress the NFL scouts. A huge year could earn him a lot of money.

2010 Prediction: Going from 11 receptions to 45 was a very big jump. Expecting another big jump like that is unrealistic and it's going to be hard for him to catch a whole lot more balls because there is so much quality depth at the position this year. Seeing Hankerson catch over 40 balls again with around a half-dozen touchdowns is probably expected. That would further solidify his spot as one of the nation's top senior wide receivers.

--Travis Benjamin, 5-11, 165, Junior

So far: He quickly became one of the biggest impact players from the Class of 2008 when he saw the field in a number of ways as a true freshman. He caught 18 for 293 and three scores but also added a lot of yards as a kick/punt returner and even as a runner on various reverses and end-arounds. He took a big step up as a sophomore, catching 29 for 504 and four touchdowns. The number of touches he got in the return game went down from 38 in 2008 to just 10 in 2009 so the coaches limited his role there as his wide receiver duties increased. He's averaged 17 yards per catch over his first two seasons and has been Miami's most explosive offensive player over the last two seasons.

Outlook: The most explosive player on the team over the last two seasons, Benjamin is one of those guys who can make big things happen every time he touches the football. That's what he's done. The coaches were careful not to overuse him last season and expect more of the same this season -- less involvement in the return game and more as a receiver. Either way, he's a big play waiting to happen -- something all the great Miami teams over the years had on its roster.

2010 Prediction: He averaged over 17 yards per catch as a junior and don't expect that number to change much this season. He'll be counted upon to make big things happen in the downfield passing game and we expect him to do it. A similar season to what he had last year, with a few more scoring opportunities, is probably realistic to expect from this very talented junior.

--Laron Byrd, 6-3, 215, Junior

So far: So far the best of that big class of receivers from two years ago, Byrd's had two solid seasons in a row. 21-228-4 were his freshman numbers, followed by 33-460-1 as a sophomore. He was Jacory's go-to guy at times last season and has come up with some huge catches in his young career, including one against Virginia at the end of the 2008 game. Only five of his 54 career receptions have gone for touchdowns so he hasn't been a major redzone threat just yet. He's coming off an excellent spring.

Outlook: Byrd's been Miami's best outside receiver over the last two seasons. Interestingly, he was the last receiver offered when that whole group came in a few years ago and until now, he's been one of the two best of the bunch. No one will outwork him and he has a strong passion and desire to always improve. He plays the game the right way and has a big time future. His upside is tremendous.

2010 Prediction: He got better in 2009 and expect him to get better in 2010. And while he's getting better, Jacory will look for him more and his numbers will improve. Look for him to be close to 40 catches this season and hopefully become more of a redzone threat. Look for him to score more than the one time he did in 2009.

--Thearon Collier, 5-8, 190, Junior

So far: Collier was able to make an impact right away as a true freshman in 2008. He caught 26 passes for over 300 yards and one touchdown and also played a role in the return game. His production numbers went down some as a sophomore, catching just 18 passes for 250 yards but his role as a punt returner increased slightly. He's been a decently productive backup receiver through his first two years and an above average punt return guy.

Outlook: The Canes looked his way often in the bowl game, especially in the second half. That could be an early glimpse into 2010. He has playmaking skills and will be looking to turn in his best season yet. He's the shortest receiver on the roster but just knows how to get open. He'll also likely improve on his punt return totals because of all the experience he now has at doing it.

2010 Prediction: He caught 26 passes as a freshman and 18 as a sophomore. Look for him to have his best season yet and have a catch total somewhere in the 30's this season.

--Aldarius Johnson, 6-2, 210, Junior

So far: He was able to come in and play right away as a true freshman in 2008 and made a decent splash, catching 33 passes for over 300 yards and three scores. That brought upon some high expectations for the talented youngster. The transition to his sophomore year wasn't quite as smooth, as he caught just 16 passes for 276 yards and a touchdown. Averaging about 12 yards per catch over his first two seasons, he's been more of a chain-mover than anything else. He did have a huge catch against Wake Forest last season that helped lead a fourth-quarter comeback for the canes.

Outlook: He's ultra-talented and you could see that very early in his career. He's the slowest of all the receivers, though. That will limit his upside but if he stays focused, he can be a legit first down type of receiver for the Canes.

2010 Prediction: He played with Jacory in high school and will likely go back to having around 30 receptions and a few touchdowns for the Canes this season. The top three guys in the rotation will make it tough for him to have a huge, breakout type of season that far exceeds what he's done so far.

--Davon Johnson, 5-11, 165, Sophomore

So far: He played a few snaps as a true freshman in 2008, catching five passes for 71 yards and one touchdown. He didn't play a single down last season and redshirted. He had a decent spring.

Outlook: He did some small things as a true freshman but then regressed last season. Will the regression continue or will he become a regular in the rotation again? He showed flashes during the spring but it's still hard to see how he's going to get a lot of balls thrown his way this season.

2010 Prediction: Of the eight receivers expected to be in the rotation, he might be the least active. Like Thompkins, watching him catch more than a few balls this season seems a bit unlikely right now.

--Tommy Streeter, 6-5, 200, Sophomore

So far: He sat out all of his first year in 2008, taking a redshirt. He played in all but two games last season and caught just five passes but they went for 133 yards, including a 47-yarder against Wisconsin in the bowl game. He had an OK spring.

Outlook: He's the tallest of all the receivers and has the ability to really go up and get the ball. He's been banged up a lot his first two seasons and will need to stat healthy for a long period of time before he can make the type of impact he's capable of. He played with Jacory in high school so there's already a natural connection that could help him see more balls when he's on the field. He's too talented to do the little he's done so far.

2010 Prediction: Look for him to have a much better season in 2010. If he can stay healthy, he'll be a regular part of the rotation and catching 20-25 balls isn't unrealistic to think. His size will help create some mismatches in the redzone, too, so his touchdown numbers could be good.

--Kendal Thompkins, 5-10, 170, Sophomore

So far: Playing in just two games as a true freshman in 2008, he caught just two passes for four yards and was given a redshirt. He played a very limited role last season and caught two more for 33 yards, including a touchdown. He's done very little in two seasons and wasn't a major standout in the spring.

Outlook: The least heralded of the three Miami Northwestern wide receiver recruits in the Class of 2008, Thompkins has been the least productive of the three to this point. He's shown flashes, including a few good spring scrimmages, but it's unclear whether he can put enough of a season together to garner a whole lot of playing time.

2010 Prediction: Look for him to again play a very limited role behind a very talented group of receivers ahead of him on the depth chart. He's caught four passes in two seasons and he'll likely catch a few more balls in 2010.

--Allen Hurns, 6-2, 175, Freshman

So far: A decent spring. An early graduate from high school, Hurns went through spring drills after recovering from a knee injury that ended his senior season early.

Outlook: The three-star recruit came to Miami without a whole lot of recruiting hype. He wasn't recruited nationally like most of his wide receiver teammates were coming out. He had a decent junior season, an outstanding summer at various camps (including Miami's, which resulted in his scholarship offer), and then missed his senior season to a knee injury. He's never been ultra productive but the tools are there for him to become a solid wideout down the road. It probably won't happen right away, though.

2010 Prediction: Redshirt. Eight guys are in front of him and that's more than enough to keep him on the bench.

Quarterbacks
Running Backs
Fullbacks


Canes Time Top Stories