Last year, the Sooners were shaky at the wide receiver and slot position, but after the spring there are signs that a change for the better may be in store for the 2010 season.
Wide out position one:
1. Dejuan Miller—Miller is a guy that is trying to step into the No. 2 position behind slot receiver Ryan Broyles. And he showed signs of having the potential to do that at various moments last year when he had 36 receptions for 434 yards and one touchdown catch, all for an average of 12.1 yards per reception and 33.4 yards per game. Miller excelled again in the spring and showed how he can use his 6-foot-4, 224 lb. frame to get in position to make plays like his leaping 38-yard reception in the Spring Game. He will be a pivotal part of OU's air attack.
2. Brandon Caleb—The thing that Caleb brings to this receiving core is leadership. Broyles even said throughout the spring Caleb's a guy that will step up and take on the responsibility of being a vocal leader on the field. He's not going to put people in awe, but he could be a player to step in and make some catches when guys like Broyles and Miller are covered.
Wide out position two:
Jaz Reynolds—Reynolds is another receiver that is trying to emerge as a reliable target when Broyles is locked up, and he was certainly flashy at times during the 2009 season. He only caught 13 receptions for 256 yards, but he came on at the end of the year, especially during the Sun Bowl when he caught three passes for 36 yards with a long of 16. And by all accounts, he has gotten much better in the offseason as well. He posted a two reception, 65 yard day in the Spring Game, so he was another Sooner to have a good day then.
Cameron Kenney—Kenney was one of the shakiest Sooner receivers last year, but he did finish with 22 receptions for 268 yards. Currently he is listed behind Reynolds on the depth chart, but he's a guy that needs to push to make the others in the group that much better.
Broyles—Everyone knows the breakdown on Broyles. He will lead this team in receptions and receiving yards, and he will emerge among the nation's best. The only thing that is still unknown is just how he'll rank among the nation's best. Broyles has continually been working on his vocal leadership to go along with his leadership by example. Hopefully for the Sooners' sake that will translate into better consistency all around with the group.
Mossis Madu—Madu only had seven receptions for 69 yards last year, so he didn't impact the receiving game much, and he doesn't figure to be a huge producer this year either, but the one thing that has come out of this spring is just the fact that he's more comfortable with all parts of the offense. He's admitted to understanding both the running and the passing game more because of working in the slot last year. So, that's encouraging for the OU receiving group.
Sleeper going into the fall:
Kenny Stills—Don't be real surprised if Stills comes in and makes an immediate impact at the wide receiver position. He proved he is poised to do so with a six reception, 84-yard outing that also included a touchdown catch in the Spring Game. For this reason, he's a guy to really keep an eye on to get key minutes and potentially earn a starting spot when it's all said and done.Status:
1. In great shape
2. In good shape
4. Not in good shape at allFollow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.