Gopher Football Preview: Wide Recievers

With the loss of star wide receiver, Eric Decker, the Gopher wide outs have lost their captain and leader. Stepping in to try and fill the shoes of Decker is a talented group of receivers that have the ability to surprise more than a few people this season.

Projected Starters:
The biggest target Adam Weber will have to throw at is 6-foot-3 wideout, DaJon McKnight. Last season, McKnight, a sophomore at the time, filled in well for the injured Eric Decker. In the five games after Decker's season ending injury, McKnight had 17 receptions for 311 yards, an amazing average of 18.3 yards per catch. McKnight's best game came in the Insight Bowl versus Iowa State where he had seven receptions for 124 yards. McKnight has only been playing football since his senior season in high school so as he gains more experience, McKnight may become a go-to target for Weber.

Another receiver that will play a bigger role this season is junior wide out Troy Stoudermire. In 2010 Stoudermire will be one of the Gopher's top receivers and kick returners. Last season, Stoudermire had 1,376 all-purpose yards to go with 26 receptions for 306 yards and two scores. Stoudermire's best game came against the Ohio State Buckeyes when he had four receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. If Stoudermire can improve on his 2010 campaign he should provide the offense with a jolt of excitement.

Junior, Brandon Green rounds out the Gopher's starting receiving core. The 6-foot-1, Chicago native had a solid sophomore season last year. Green compiled stats of 21 receptions for 293 yards and a touchdown. His best performance of the season came against Illinois when he had four receptions for 64 yards. This trio of junior wide receivers played well last year but with more experience and practice they could turn into a three-headed receiving monster in the future.

Projected Top Reserves:
The top reserve for the Gophers will be junior college transfer, Hayo Carpenter. Carpenter, who is entering his senior season, had a good first year with the Gophers last season. He is the type of player that can do a multitude of different things. He catches passes, runs the ball and returns kicks. Although Carpenter weren't great, he showed promise when he got his chance to play. His best game came against California where he had one reception for 18 yards to go with two rushes for 17 yards. If Carpenter is on top of his game he could prove to a quality reserve.

The second wide receiver back-up that the Gophers will look to this season is sophomore, Bryant Allen. Allen, who also plays basketball at Minnesota, gained some valuable experience as a receiver and a return man last season. He has season totals of five receptions for 45 yards as well as 28 punt returns for 73 yards. The experience that Allen gained last season will help him to garner more playing time this coming fall.

Incoming Freshman:
The top incoming freshman for the Gopher's receiving core is La Marque, Texas native, Logan Hutton. Hutton is a receiver who has great speed and pass-catching ability. Hutton reportedly has been timed running a 4.5 second 40-yard dash. In his senior season, Hutton caught 35 passes for 375 yards and three touchdowns. Expect Logan Hutton to redshirt, but possibly play a large role in the future.

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