Moving Forward: Wide Receiver Preview

Senior Leonte Carroo grabs the headlines at receiver, but it is the other players at the position that have to take Rutgers to the next level in the passing game under new coordinator Ben McDaniels.

The Competition -- Leonte Carroo does not face any competition for his No. 1 spot on the food chain, but there are plenty of capable bodies behind him with hunger for opportunity.

Juniors Andre Patton and Janarion Grant both flashed brilliance by the end of 2014, and have to be more consistent this season. Patton worked a hot-and-cold spring practice, and Grant is back to full health after he missed most of camp.

Junior Carlton Agudosi, who remains behind Carroo at the X, improved most in spring camp and classmate John Tsimis remains in the mix.

With no clear pecking order behind Carroo, receiver becomes a position where a true freshman can earn playing time.

Storyline Central -- As all eyes fall yet again on Carroo, how will the superstar do without his longtime counterpart at quarterback? Carroo must build chemistry with a new starter, and also has to prove he is a better route runner when it comes to NFL potential. Carroo is in line for many broken records at receiver and could leave as the most productive in school history.

Prospect Development -- After a rough recruiting year at the position, Kyle Flood started the bounce-back when he signed Jawuan Harris, Rashad Blunt and Dontae Owens. When it comes to development, Owens has the lowest instant expectations. He camped well to earn an offer last year. He plays a physical style and can be a strong possession receiver.

Harris and Blunt, however, have better chances at freshman playing time. Harris was the most productive receiver at one of the best high school programs in the country, and Blunt was a long-time Rutgers target at the position. Harris and Blunt come from Florida, where the sped up calendar and busy 7-on-7 seasons have them primed for an impact.

Preseason Grade -- B – Carroo is an A+ player, but there is too little proven talent behind him to be comfortable with the overall position group. As impressively as Agudosi, Grant and Patton performed in spurts over the last seven months, they have to do it more consistently than ever. The good Big Ten defenses take away Carroo as an option. Ben McDaniels needs other receivers to get involved.


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