Position Analysis: Receivers

Rutgers offense had loads of trouble in 2010, but the play of the receivers wasn't an issue as Mark Harrison broke out, Mohamed Sanu was solid despite injuries and Jeremy Deering and Keith Stroud showed promise. ScarletReport.com continues its positional analysis by looking at the receiver position, and it looks pretty darn good as the transition to 2011 is underway.

During a season of offensive ineptitude, Rutgers' receiving corps was full of surprises.

And the best part?

Nary a one graduated.

The emergence of Mark Harrison, Jeremy Deering, and Keith Stroud answered questions about the depth of the unit, and created promise for the 2011 season.

The only known commodity entering the season was Mohamed Sanu, who still managed to tie for the team lead with 44 catches (418 yards, two TDs) despite being hampered by an ankle and hamstring injury much of the season.

Sanu still needs to develop his route-running and his adjustments to balls in the air, but at 6-foot-2, 220 pounds, he was a reliable target.

However , it was the stellar play of Harrison, a sophomore, that was the most eye-popping positive development for the offense. He became Rutgers' big-play threat, catching 44 passes for 829 yards and nine touchdowns.

It was quite the explosion considering Harrison caught five passes as a freshman, and he also displayed an ability to make tough catches and make plays after the catch.

The offseason will be crucial in the development of Sanu protégé Jeremy Deering, who was forced to run the Wildcat package the second half of the season because of Sanu's injuries. Deering ran for 352 yards, but all the time he spent in the Wildcat curtailed his development as a receiver.

Still, Deering caught 16 passes for 338 yards and a touchdown.

Red-shirt sophomore Keith Stroud also became a factor in the passing game, especially late in the season. He finished with 17 catches for 157 yards, and should have gained the confidence needed to develop more in the offseason and challenge for more playing time as the season approaches.

Red-shirt sophomore Tim Wright remains on track to participate in a limited capacity as he recovers from reconstructive knee surgery.

The spring competition for playing time will be intense as red-shirt freshman Quron Pratt, red-shirt junior Mason Robinson and sophomore JT Tartacoff compete with highly-regarded freshmen Brandon Coleman and Jawaun Wynn, both of whom red-shirted.

In fact, the 6-6 Coleman was markedly bigger and stronger at the end of the season and performed well in the passing game on scout team in the final month of the season.

There is also the potential impact of yet-to-arrive players. Tejay Johnson, the 2009 New Jersey champion in the 100 meters, spent the fall at Fork Union (Va.) Military Academy, and is awaiting SAT results to determine if he will be eligible.

The Scarlet Knights also have a commitment from Long Branch (N.J.) High four-star athlete Miles Shuler, who is the reigning state champ in the 100 meters. And while a red-shirt season would benefit him greatly, the speed he brings as a slot receiver could be too much for the Scarlet Knights to pass up.

Finally, there is Cocoa (Fla.) High's Chevelle Buie, whose fall was dotted with controversy since his June commit to the Scarlet Knights. Buie has since re-opened his recruitment, and was suspended for the last few games of his high school season.

While Buie has Rutgers, East Carolina and Marshall in the mix, the Scarlet Knights may back off after Shuler's commitment.

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