Position Breakdown: Wide Receivers

For part 4 of our position breakdown, USFnation.com focuses on the wide receivers. The Bulls have been fortunate to have six of the top eight receiving leaders from 2005 return for this season. With a deep depth chart full of experienced players, there is a plethora of choices available for Coach Leavitt to choose from.

The Veterans:

 

S.J. Green 6-3, 220 Senior

Entering the 2006 season as the team's most experienced receiver, Green has a slight advantage in the battle for the number one spot. Known as a great route runner, expect him to be named the number one Z receiver for the third straight year. After being the second leading receiver in 2004, he had 16 catches for 229 yards and one touchdown last season.

 

Ean Randolph 5-9, 175 Senior

The coaching staff of the Bulls has seen plenty of Randolph but not in a USF uniform. He transferred in 2005 from Webber International where he led the team with 50 catches for 713 yards and four touchdowns. He is expected to help out as a return specialist and as a receiver because of his speed. The coaching staff rewarded him with a scholarship because of a strong spring practice and will hope to capitalize on his only year of eligibility with the Bulls.

 

Jackie Chambers 5-11, 185 Junior

Chambers is the type of player that coaches dream of landing on the recruiting trail. He quickly developed a reputation on the Bulls as being one of the most dedicated and reliable receivers in the locker room. After the team chose him to be the Rookie of the year in 2004, he became one of the most dangerous return men in the Big East during his sophomore season. At this time he was also starting in 11 games as a receiver. In March the soon to be feature receiver suffered a torn meniscus during the first week of spring practice. This is an injury he seems to be fully recovered from. Entering the season Chambers has to be one of the favorites to be the number one guy on offense and special teams.

 

Amarri Jackson 6-5, 195 Junior

The only word to describe the playing style of this future star receiver is exciting. He has the athleticism and size that some players dream of having. In his first season with the Bulls, Jackson became the team's second leading receiver with 22 catches for 242 yards. This also happened to be the first time he played football since high school. He spent two years of his college career playing basketball at Hillsborough Community College. In 2005 he also rushed seven times for 86 yards and three touchdowns. He became recognized on a national level against Louisville when he ran two reverses for touchdowns as well as throwing an 11 yard touchdown. The only thing stopping him from being one of the top players in the nation is his questionable hands. Look for Jackson to answer those critics on his way to becoming a true playmaker as a wide out and as the top return specialist.

 

Marcus Edwards 5-11, 175 Sophomore

Although he only had five catches for 110 yards last season, Edwards made his presence known during spring practice and was named the breakout offensive player by Scout.com. The one thing that he has showed which makes him stand out above the others is consistency which also helped him find the field more in his first year. He says his recent success is in part due to wide receivers coach Lawrence Dawsey.

Jessie Hester Jr. 6- 0, 170 Sophomore

Last season as a true freshman, Hester saw limited action in 9 games and was able to start against UCF. He quickly started to develop a reputation as a hard worker with outstanding skills. During spring practice he seemed to never drop a pass but a dislocated shoulder put his career temporarily on hold. In High School Hester was ranked by The Tampa Tribune as the 38th best prospect in the state of Florida.

 

Amp Hill 6-3, 205 Sophomore

After playing two years at LSU, Hill transferred to USF and was forced to sit out in 2005 because of NCAA rules. This all came after a serious knee injury sidelined him during his true freshman season. He stood out as one of the top receivers during spring practice and had eight catches for 87 yards at the spring game. Prior to college, he was one of the nation's top recruits because of his height, speed, and hands. He was named a High School All-American after catching 60 balls for 765 yards and eight touchdowns in his senior season.

 

 

Taurus Johnson 6-1, 190 Sophomore

Johnson was only one of five true freshmen to gain game time experience last year. This gives him a slight edge over others for the battle over the starting spot. He was able to make an appearance in all 12 games. After having a great spring and adding some much needed muscle to his frame, Johnson has all the makings for a breakout season. He will be joined on the Bulls by Nate Allen, his former quarterback at Cape Coral High School. There he had 24 catches for 258 yards and 203 kick return yards.  

 

Antwon Hanks 6-3, 210 Freshman

After spending time competing on the USF track and field team, Hanks decided to walk on at USF. His height and great speed gives him a great chance of getting some playing time after being redshirted for the 2005 season.

 

The Newcomers:

 

Edner Alcin 6-2, 180 Freshman

With a noticeable speed burst that could cause him to blow past nearly any defender, the USF coaching staff was ecstatic about the possibilities of having Alcin line up on the first team in the future. During his senior season at Chamberlain High School, Alcin had 34 catches with 513 yards and five touchdowns. He was most impressive as a recruit because of having great hands along with the fact that he ran a 4.4 40 yard dash.


Carlton Mitchell 6-4, 190 Freshman

Of all the newcomers at USF, Mitchell is the one the fans are most excited about because of his local connections. At Gaither High School, he was ranked by the St. Pete Times as the 19th best player in the Tampa Bay area. So far Mitchell, who was an early commitment to the Bulls, has looked the best at practice of all the newest Bulls.

 

Jason Sherman 6-4, 200 Freshman

Prior to his senior year at First Coast High School, Sherman was only known as a solid basketball player. During his only season a football, he caught 16 passes for 450 yards and 3 touchdowns. Though there are some questions about how well his transition to football work, his size has helped him develop a reputation for flattening defensive backs. A 4.4 40 yard dash has the fans excited about finally seeing this playmaker in action.

 

Prediction: This is one of the more difficult positions to predict because of the incredible amount of talent. With 11 of the 14 receivers standing at over 6 foot, the Bulls are guaranteed to take advantage of their deep depth chart. This will also allow the coaching staff to give the incoming freshman extra time to ease into the system. The majority of the time fans will see the Bulls running three and four wide receiver sets. In addition to last years returning starters Amarri Jackson, S.J Green, and Jackie Chambers who isn't 100 percent yet, the players with the best chance at having a breakout season are Marcus Edwards, Amp Hill, and Ean Randolph. Along with those playmakers, the Bulls will utilize Taurus Johnson and Jessie Hester Jr. for their four receivers set. More players will have multiple chances to contribute and could be thrown into the starting lineup any given week.

 

 

 


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