Depth chart beginning of April:
SE: Mike Hass, Josh Hawkins, Nate Johns, Zach Tarver
SL: Marcel Love, Brandon Powers
FL: Anthony Wheat-Brown, Sammie Stroughter, Kevin Swanigan, Nick Bodeman, Blake Normine
Depth chart end of April:
SE: Mike Hass, Sammie Stroughter, Nick Bodeman, Kevin Swanigan
SL: Marcel Love, Brandon Powers, Nate Johns, Blake Normine
FL: Anthony Wheat-Brown OR Josh Hawkins, Zach Tarver
- Kevin Swanigan - rehabbing hamstring, should be 100% in the fall
- Zach Tarver - right calf pull at the end of April, should be 100% in the fall
It was just last year at about this time that OSU fans were voicing their concerns about the receiving corp. James Newson was gone, Mike Hass would have to prove himself, and who was going to fill the two empty slots?
Hass had one of the best receiving seasons in Oregon State history while Marcel
Love and Anthony Wheat-Brown surfaced as reliable receivers who got better as
year wore on. With the whole starting receiving unit back there is plenty of
eager talk about the group and how good they are.
Hass looked exceptional, burning the defense often while eating up the corners during one on one drills. Some people have mentioned the Hass/Derek Anderson connection and how a new quarterback could hurt Hass’ production. While this is possible, it is highly unlikely.
The Oregon native is the favorite target of all the quarterbacks because he knows how to get open, hang onto the ball, and is not afraid to mix it up with the defense. The really good players make it look easy and Hass does just that. He is a master at using his body to gain an advantage and he knows how to get behind the defense.
Marcel Love also has reliable hands and is fearless over the middle. He is effective in the middle of the field on quick hitters and looked quicker then last year. Where Hass is smart and savvy, Anthony Wheat-Brown is just plain athletic. With a year under his belt he is even more confidence and is poised to have a big year. He doesn’t mind mixing up with the defense and going after a ball which makes him a favorite target.
Josh Hawkins is the most experienced receiver on the roster in terms of being in the program and will be looked to for leadership. Due to Wheat-Brown's off field problems, Hawkins may get a start or two. Just like George Gillett last year, this is his last chance to prove himself.
Sammie Stroughter had one of the better springs as he was almost unstoppable on deep patterns. Stroughter has a huge upside and will see plenty of time on the field this year. He is also an excellent up field blocker, a skill that is often overlooked at the receiver position. Nate Johns also had a decent camp, finding the holes in the defense and catching almost anything thrown his way. Walk-on Blake Normine, although small, has a way of getting open and has hands like Hass. He can be out muscled at the line, but is not afraid to go across the middle.
Brandon Powers and Zach Tarver remain the enigmas of the squad. One moment they are making a leaping catch while the next they make an awkward, head shaking lunge. Both are big and have athletic bodies, they just have not learned how to effectively control it yet. Kevin Swanigan spent half of camp rehabbing a hamstring injury.
The wide receivers are one of the deepest parts of the team and will be so for at least one if not two more years. The unit has a nice mix of veterans and up and coming talent. NationalChamps.net just rated the group as the fifth best in the nation. Not too bad for a squad that people were questioning just 16 short months ago.
Top spring performer:
Mike Hass. Even with a new quarterback Hass will get over 1,000 yards receiving. He just knows how to get open and he does catch almost everything. Seeing him up close is amazing and exciting, he by far the best receiver on the team and one of the best in the nation.
Spring wide receivers summary in three sentences or less:
Hass made it look easy. Love and Wheat-Brown looked solid while Stroughter will provide excitement in the long passing game.
Crosby is looking for early playing time and he will get a chance to prove
it on the field, but the receivers already in the system are talented and almost
all of them have a year under their belts. Jackson will definitely push for
playing time and he could be the speed threat, ala Chad Johnson, that the offense
needs. Brown was a late addition to the class and will redshirt. He could be
converted to another position in the future as he is an athlete.