A look at the Big 12 North Wide Receivers

InsideMizzou.com Erik Johnson continues with his expert analysis and comparision of the Big 12 North recruiting by positions. In today's edition, he takes a look at the wide receiver position. Go inside for a great look of how Mizzou stacks up against Kansas and Nebraska in this area.

Missouri – The most highly-regarded of the four receivers signed by the Tigers in 2009 is 6-foot-4, 190 pound Jaleel Clark. Hailing from Allentown, PA, Missouri was able to steal Clark out of Joe Paterno's backyard. Clark has great hands and is at his best when he meets the ball at its highest point. Despite not having outstanding speed, Clark is adept at creating separation from the defenders.

Perhaps the most underrated of Missouri's receiver recruits is Kerwin Stricker from Washington High School. Stricker comes in at 6-foot-1 and 185 pounds. Although he did not put up awe-inspiring numbers in high school, Stricker looks like a great find by the Tiger coaching staff. Stricker is the reigning Missouri high school champion in the 300-meter hurdles (37.71 seconds) and he shows that speed on the field as he easily separates from defenders as he tracks down deep passes. Stricker may need some work on the more technical aspects of playing receiver, but he possesses all of the tools to excel.

The third and final wide receiver signed by the Tigers is 6-foot-4 L'Damian Washington from Green Oaks High School in Louisiana. Washington was a late bloomer on the recruiting trail as he picked up offers from Minnesota, Nebraska and Missouri late in the game. Washington showed off his talents as a senior by hauling in 53 passes for over 1,600 yards and 12 touchdowns.

At the tight end spot, the Missouri coaching staff added Springfield, MO native Alex Sanders. Sanders committed to the Tigers in June of 2008 but had his senior season cut short due to an injury that tore his ACL, LCL and fractured his fibula. Since his injury, Sanders decided to enroll a semester early at the University of Missouri and continue his rehabilitation process with the Tiger's training staff. When he fully recovers, Sanders will be one of the next-in-line to carry on the Missouri tight end tradition. At 6-foot-5, Sanders shows good speed and agility. These attributes allow Sanders to line-up at the traditional tight end position or split out wide like Tiger fans are accustomed to seeing.

Nebraska – Much like Missouri only signed one running back in 2009 (so far), the Huskers only signed a single receiver. At 6-foot-3, 218 pounds with reported 4.3 speed, Brandon Kinnie of Fort Scott Community College looks like the prototypical receiver. Kinnie could help his chances for early playing time by always catching the ball with his hands as opposed to letting it get to his body. Kinnie chose Nebraska over Arkansas and hopes to earn playing time in 2009 with the departures of Nate Swift and Todd Peterson.

To find a tight end for their 2009 class, the Huskers went to California and found 6-foot-3, 220 pound J.T. Kerr. Kerr is a traditional tight end who is a very solid blocker and will not amaze fans with his speed. Kerr chose Nebraska over offers from Arizona and San Diego State.

Kansas – The Jayhawks added height with their first two receiver commitment for 2009 and then picked up a shiftier third commitment in January.

Chris Omigie is a 6-foot-5, 190 pound receiver out of Martin High School in Arlington, TX. A very slender athlete, Omigie has great potential with his solid hands and speed. Although he won't normally be the fastest player on the field, Omigie has big-play potential and is not afraid to throw a block.. Omigie could be a nightmare to defend in the redzone for opposing Big XII teams in the future. One area where Omigie could use some work is his running after the catch.

Also signing with the Jayhawks was 6-foot-4, 190 pound Erick McGriff from Tampa, FL. Like Omigie, McGriff is a big receiver who will not set the world on fire with his speed, but is not a pure possession receiver either. Although he does not show the same receiving skills as Omigie, McGriff is more elusive when he gets the ball in his hands.

The final receiver brought in by Kansas was 5-foot-9, 185 pound D.J. Beshears of Denton, TX. Beshears was originally an Iowa State pledge, but switched to Kansas after the Cyclone coaching change. As his size would indicate, Beshears is a shifty receiver who will probably play the slot and vie for time as a returner with the Jayhawks.

Black & Gold Illustrated Top Stories