Wyatt expecting big things from receiver corp

OU receiver coach Darrell Wyatt hopes juniors Mark Clayton and Will Peoples (pictured left) can lead a young and talented corp of Oklahoma receivers.

Below is a transcript of James Hale's interview last week on WKY radio with OU wide receiver coach Darrell Wyatt.

JH: Bob Stoops has said that he thinks this will be the most athletic receiver corp he's had at OU. When you break it down, how athletic do you think it's going to be?

DW: "It's really a diverse and athletic group of receivers. They all have a chance to be explosive players. Will Peoples, Brandon Jones and Travis Wilson all are six-foot-plus guys right around 200 pounds who can really run. Then you've got (Mark) Clayton and (JeJuan) Rankins in there who are under six-foot, but are really athletic, quick guys who can make you miss. The thing about all these guys is they have a chance to take the short pass and turn it into a big play, and they also have a chance to make big plays down the field."

JH: Even though you've lost two seniors (Curtis Fagan and Antwone Savage), isn't this still a corp that has some experience?

DW: "There's not doubt about it. Mark Clayton started his redshirt freshman year and caught a lot of passes. Will Peoples caught around 40 passes last year. Brandon Jones got some significant minutes in some big games, along with Travis Wilson. And we feel good about the potential of JeJuan Rankins. So, it's a corp that is certainly experienced. Savage and Fagan did a great job here, and we're going to miss them no doubt about it, but we feel really good about this group and their potential."

JH: You added some things to the offense this spring in regards to how you use the tight ends and fullbacks. Were there any adjustments to the receiver position this spring?

DW: "Not really. We just really tried to work on polishing up our technique, being more consistent and really having a chance in terms of making plays when called upon. The one thing we like in our offense, is if we can add an explosive passing game we'll be tough to stop on Saturday's."

JH: Give us your assessment on the key guys in your wide receiver corp.

DW: "I think Mark Clayton brings us a lot experience and athleticsm to the position. He's really a polished route runner with good hands and is great after the catch. He's really starting to emerge as a leader for us.

"Will Peoples is another guy with experience who brings a little more size to the table. He can go down the field and make the big catch, and he's also really good after the catch.

"Brandon Jones has tremendous potential with his size and speed. He's got the entire package. We're just working with him to be consistent, and we really feel like he's going to be a playmaker for us this year. We're really excited about his potential and what he could do for us this year.

"Travis Wilson is a younger buy, but really big. He goes about 6-2, 215, but he's really fast and brings that 10.3 speed to the table. He's showing he's really going to be an explosive player for us.

"JeJuan Rankins is another guy with great potential. A little undersized, but really quick, great hands. We really thought he was going to play a significant amount of time last season with Clayton struggling with the knee injury, but he's another guy with great potential.

"Ataleo Ford is making some strides to get into that top six, and Tristen Ross will bring a lot of athleticsm and size from high school. He's more of a pure wide receiver we'll add to the group in the fall."

JH: It looks like Brandon Jones is going to be one of your starters. Talk about his development and what kind of strides he needs to make during two-a-days to lock up a starting spot.

DW: "Two springs ago Brandon really had some great scrimmages for us and showed flashes of great talent. He started out slow in the fall last year, but toward the middle of the season he really started to come on as a player and become more consistent. We put him in our two-tight packages and he had three touchdowns for us."

"He had a really good spring, his best spring for us here. He's really started to show more consistency. If Brandon will realize his amazing talents and learn to compete every play every day, he's got a chance to be a really special player. But you have to earn everything you get here, you don't assume everything and you've got to go out and produce and be consistent. Coach Stoops is really big on potential doesn't win anything for you. You've got to make plays and be consistent. I think he's starting to understand that, and is making strides toward being the player we all think he can be."

JH: Do you still hope there's a chance that DaBryan Blanton could come back to the football team next season?

DW: "Certainly, the door is always open. He did a great job for us last year. Obviously, he was a running back in high school and had to learn about playing the wide receiver position at a higher level. He's got some development left, but he certainly has a chance with his speed to be an explosive player. We just wish him the best, and we certainly hope he will join us at some point."

JH: Now that OU has named the Jason White the starter heading into two-a-days, how much is that going to help the receivers when they get more reps knowing who the top quarterback is?

DW: "There's no question about it. You want to be in tune with the guy who is going to be throwing the passes in the game. The quarterback situation will work itself out. I've got a lot of confidence in Coach Long, and he'll have somebody ready to play. Our guys will get in tune with whoever is the starter as we get close to gameday."

JH: I guess it doesn't surprises you that you guys are ranked high in all the preseason magazines? You wouldn't want it any other way would you?

DW: "No doubt about it. It's great to be ranked high and thought well of by the people out there, and certainly you've got to go out and play the games and prove it. It certainly means you're doing the right things when people think well of you and your team. We understand you've got to take one game at a time and produce and get it done on the field."

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