Mike Hass the kind of year that most kids dream about. He demolished several school records en route to becoming one of the top receivers in the nation. Marcel Love emerged as a reliable man across the middle while Anthony Wheat-Brown showed flashes of greatness. George Gillett came up with some big catches and Josh Hawkins continued to perform below expectations.
One person that consistently amazes me is senior Mike Hass. Hass will most likely end up statistically as the best receiver ever to put on an orange and black uni. He will once again be the favorite target of quarterbacks due to his solid hands, superb route running and his ability to go up and grab a errant pass.
Senior Josh Hawkins has his last chance to have a big year. He has struggled with the depth over the years, but remains committed to the program. Hawkins has a good work ethic and attitude and could have a big year.
Senior Marcel Love was a pleasant surprise allowing Hass to receive more one on one coverage. Love was supposed to be tough over the middle and he is as he made a ton of catches on slants. Look for him to have another good year in a similar role
Sophomore Brandon Powers made some noise during spring and fall camps with his size and athleticism, but rarely made it into games. Powers will have to work hard to receive playing time, but could be the big body the Beavers are looking for in short yardage situations.
Sophomore Anthony Wheat-Brown made the transition to offense with ease and took over a starting role early in the season. Wheat-Brown is fast and similar to Hass can go up and get the ball. Big things are in store for Wheat-Brown if he can stay out of trouble off the field.
Sophomore Sammie Stroughter was impressive as a true freshman on special teams. He is thirsty to contribute on offense and will push the starters for playing time. Stroughter is a play maker and the coaches will find a way to put the ball in hands more this year.
Senior Kevin Swanigan got lost in the shuffle last year and
due to the depth and the number of talented lower classmen, he will see limited
The new guy(s):
Redshirt freshman Nate Johns and Brandon Hughes spent 2004 on the scout team in quiet fashion. They will have a chance to show the coaches what the got, but the odds are against them taking a starting or even backup role.
Redshirt freshman Zach Tarver is big, lanky, and raw.
Tarver still has to refine his fundamentals and another year in the Beaver system
will do him some good.
Hass has a lock on his position, but the slot and flanker positions will be highly contested. Despite the young make up of the receiving core, the Beavers have talented depth at this position. They still lack the speedster who can stretch the field, in the mold of Chad Johnson. The coaches will be taking a hard look at anyone who can fill that important void.
One to watch:
Sammie Stroughter is a playmaker, plain and simple. Put the ball in his hands and the crowd holds it breath and opposing players start to sweat. Stroughter certainly has his work cut out for him to grab a starting spot from Love or Wheat-Brown, but the veterans better watch their backs as Stroughter will see plenty of time in ’05.
- SE: Mike Hass (6-1, 209) – senior, reliable and one of the top receivers in the nation, yes the nation
- SE: Josh Hawkins (6-1, 186) – senior, last year to prove he belongs on a Pac-10 team
- SE: Nate Johns (6-0, 175) – redshirt freshman, faces an uphill battle for playing time
- SE: Zach Tarver (6-5, 208) – redshirt freshman, big player who needs to work on his fundamentals
- SL: Marcel Love (6-0, 180) – senior, tough and steadfast over the middle
- SL: Brandon Powers (6-2, 211) – sophomore, lots of potential, will he live up to the hype?
- FL: Anthony Wheat-Brown (6-1, 214) – sophomore, a tremendous athlete with big play ability
- FL: Sammie Stroughter (6-0, 178) – sophomore, the next Tim Alexander?
- FL: Brandon Hughes (5-11, 172) – redshirt freshman, faces an uphill battle for playing time
- FL: Kevin Swanigan (6-1, 202) – senior, lost in the shuffle and will remain so
- FL: Nick Bodeman (5-10, 189) – junior, walk-on in his second season with the team
- FL: Blake Normine (5-11, 182) – redshirt freshman, walk-on