SR.com Top 25: WR Quron Pratt (No. 20)

ScarletReport.com's Top 25 series counting down the most important players heading into the 2010 season stops on Quron Pratt on Friday. Pratt chimes in at No. 20. After a stellar spring and the need for someone other than Mohamed Sanu to show himself at receiver this season, Pratt has the ability. And as a red-shirt freshman, Pratt brings one other interesting thing into the process -- experience.

Tim Brown used his 4.4 speed to stretch the secondary and created more room underneath a defense as he worked out of the slot receiver spot, but none of the returning receivers possess that type of speed.

However, Brown's graduation and move to the NFL opened up a big opportunity in the receiving corps, and in the spring red-shirt freshman Quron Pratt took a big step in showing he is capable of helping pick up the slack left by Brown's departure.

Given Pratt's development in the spring and Rutgers' need to add receiving depth for the 2010 season, he is No. 20 on ScarletReport.com's list of the Top 25 most important players this fall.

Pratt capped a strong spring with eight catches for 55 yards in the Scarlet-White game, but it was how he accumulated those numbers that demonstrated his ability to be a valuable receiver for quarterback Tom Savage.

While Pratt doesn't have Brown's speed– a burner like Jordan Thomas could fill that role – at 6-foot, 177 pounds at the end of spring, Pratt is much bigger than the 5-7, 160-pound Brown.

In the spring, Pratt showed an ability to find holes in the defense and settle in to give Savage a target. Pratt ran precise routes, was able to get off the line of scrimmage and showed good hands.

There also should not be a "Wow" factor of Pratt needing to adjust to the speed of the game. Although Pratt is a red-shirt freshman, he has game experience on which to draw. He had one catch for 14 yards in two games last season before an ankle injury ended his season. Fortunately for Pratt, it happened early enough for him to gain a medical red-shirt, which means he still has four years of eligibility.

One of concentration areas for Pratt after spring practice was his weight. In addition to reading defenses and becoming more accustomed to the offense, Pratt said he was hoping to enter training camp between 185 and 190 pounds.

With Mohamed Sanu, Mark Harrison and Tim Wright more experienced, Pratt doesn't have to be the best receiver on the team. But it would help greatly if he developed into a reliable third or fourth receiver who could take some of the pressure off Harrison and Sanu and be a possession player.

Somehow Rutgers has to account for the 55 catches, 1,150 yards and nine touchdowns Brown brought to the offense last season. It is unfair to expect one of the unproven players to do it by himself, but it is reasonable to split the production among a handful of other receivers, and Pratt is in that group.


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