Season Preview: Wide Receivers

Despite losing Aldrick Robinson, who led the team with 1,301 yards last season, the Mustangs have a veteran group of wideouts and quite a bit of depth.

Last season receivers Cole Beasley and Darius Johnson combined for 165 receptions for 1,905 yards and 12 touchdowns, setting a school record as a single-season tandem.

This year, they want to improve on that. And despite losing Aldrick Robinson, who led the team with 1,301 yards last season, this receiving corps still has depth and experience.

"We'd really like to see us get 4,000 receiving yards," Johnson said as a goal of the group. "I think we can do it. We're capable of doing it. We have a quarterback who's been in the system three years now and he knows what he's doing with his reads, so that makes it a lot easier."

Johnson and Beasley will lead the receivers in the slots while senior Terrance Wilkerson and sophomore Keenan Holman (the only underclassman starting on offense) will be on the outside.

Johnson says he's most excited about this season because of how much he's matured since his freshman year.

"My work ethic is a lot better. Coaches tell me all the time how far I've come," Johnson said. "My freshman year, not just on the field but off of it, I struggled a little bit in academics. I've really matured a whole bunch."

Johnson isn't really physically imposing, standing at 5-foot-10, 169 lbs., but he's stronger than he's been in three years because of the conditioning he's been doing with strength coach Mel de Laura.

"I have a lot more muscle now than I ever have," Johnson said.

Wilkerson, who did not play in 2010 due to academic eligibility issues, adds speed and the ability to gain yards after the catch to this offense

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"He brings another dimension that we can use," Johnson said. "He's a great receiver and can do a lot of things with the ball."

Holman, who only caught nine passes last season as a freshman (six coming in the final three games), has really caught the coaches eyes during fall camp, earning a starting spot on the depth chart.

Coaches say he still isn't as polished as they'd like, and he has a ways to go, but he has a lot of potential.

Also in the mix this year is redshirt freshman Der'rikk Thompson, senior Bradley Haynes, sophomore Jeremy Johnson and true freshman Arrius Holleman.


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