Position Breakdown: Receiver

In the next part of our 'Breakdown" series we talk about the wide receiving group. Last year they were a bit of a dissapointment, but the competition will heat up this spring as each of them will be fighting for a starting job.

Last Season
When your leading pass catcher only has 23 catches and not one receiver goes over the 300 yard mark, that constitutes a disappointing season. A lot of the blame was put on the quarterback play or the fact that only S.J. Green had more than one year of playing experience. That still doesn't explain why receivers routinely dropped balls that would either stall drives or kill momentum at key moments.

There were flashes of hope. Amarri Jackson's incredible performance against Louisville could be a glimpse of what's to come with this young group. Jackie Chambers also showed late in the season that he's got great moves in the open field both as a receiver and punt returner. Cedric Hill at 6-foot-3 and 240 pounds showed he can cause match-up problems when he lines up at either WR or TE. There were plenty of reasons to be disappointed last season, but there were just as many reasons to be hopeful for next season.

Chambers proved to be a quality punt returner.

Who's Returning
Nobody graduated this off-season but there was one departure. Johnny Peyton was dismissed from the team for the always popular, "violation of team rules". The team won't go into details, but it's a loss for all party's involved. I wouldn't call it a huge blow to the team because Peyton never did enough on the field to really miss him, however, there was enough potential balled up inside him that it hurts to lose a guy like Johnny.

Peyton just never got it together while at USF.

As for the rest of the returning receiver's Amarri Jackson, S.J. Green, Jackie Chambers and Amp Hill are going to have a dog fight this spring for that number one slot on the depth chart. Hopefully the competition will bring out the best in each guy and the WR position will be better for it regardless of who comes out on top. Other's that showed a lot of potential last season were Marcus Edwards and Jessie Hester Jr., both played sparingly but came up with the big catch when their numbers were called.

Incoming Freshmen
This year's recruiting class was only expected to bring in one, maybe two receivers. In the end they brought in three. Coach Dawsey was content with the early commitment of Carlton Mitchell, but when he found Edner Alcin and Jason Sherman he couldn't pass them up. Mitchell and Sherman are both big receiver's but they are also burners, running in the 4.5-4.4 range. Alcin is a bit smaller, but maybe a step faster. All of them have excellent hands, but I don't expect to see any of them make a significant impact this season. All of them need to add weight and with the players returning they will have plenty of time to make an easy transition to the college game rather than being immediately thrown into the fire.

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