Warm Up: Wide Receiver Position Analysis

That's right. It's March. And March in Piscataway means spring football practice is right around the corner. To help get ready for Kyle Flood's first spring camp as Rutgers football head coach, ScarletReport.com is here to warm up the football talks by looking at a variety of different topics within the program. Today, we break down the wide receivers going into camp.

Like Ray Rice in 2008, Mohamed Sanu cannot be replaced with one man. The future NFL draft pick did too much for the Rutgers offense to put the pressure on one player to replace him.

But with Sanu gone, Rutgers will have to find new ways of moving the chains building rhythm for the quarterbacks.

The competition at quarterback will be fierce this spring, which will allow the receivers to catch passes and develop relationships with both Chas Dodd and Gary Nova. And with 115 catches and 1,205 yards gone from last season, there are plenty of touches to go around.

First Teamers

Mark Harrison will be the first to tell you he was disappointed with some of the performances he put up last season. After a stellar sophomore season, Harrison could have put his name in NFL Draft conversations with another strong year, but drops in big spots haunted his season. Against North Carolina and Louisville, drops by Harrison hurt momentum in both losses.

Look for Harrison, who has plenty of potential for an outstanding senior season, to use the spring to get his groove back. Harrison has all of the tools to be a 1,000-yard, 10-touchdown receiver. He just needs to start over and mesh with new offensive coordinator Dave Brock, who will coach receivers.

In addition to Harrison, look for Tim Wright and Quron Pratt to have big springs. Both have histories as big camp performers and are the most technically sound receivers on the squad.

Then there's Brandon Coleman.

Coleman finished his redshirt freshman season with incredible breakout games against Connecticut and Iowa State. He is a 6-foot-6 receiver with 4.4 speed and the ultimate matchup nightmare for other teams. He does not have the hands that Sanu had, but is the best down-the-field threat for Rutgers since Tim Brown (and he is 10 inches taller.).

Spring is the time for Coleman refine his game. His hands were circumspect last season and he was not as threatening on jump balls as he should have been.

Keep an Eye on

No receiver needs a bigger spring than Miles Shuler. The freshman speedster showed what he can do based on athleticism alone last season and will now be able to slow things down and become a master of his craft at the position.

A high school quarterback, Shuler never played receiver until the U.S. Army All-American Game in 2011, where he scored a touchdown. Without the need of preparing for an opponent, Shuler has 15 spring practices with Brock to turn himself from an athlete to a receiver.


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