Spring Wide Receiver Outlook

Over the next couple of weeks, PonyStampede.com will be breaking down each position going into spring practices. Today we take a look at the wide receivers. Hear thoughts from Coach Reinebold on who is going to step up and who is ready to break out!

When you're a receiver in June Jones' offense, you know that the ball will eventually be heading your way. SMU has a total of six receivers returning who had 10+ catches last year.

"I have never had the opportunity to return this many good players at the position. With the freshman we have signed, I think this is going to be a special group of kids," said Coach Jeff Reinebold. "I think the biggest improvement in this group will be that we have depth at the position. We didn't have that last year."

Four of the six returning receivers who had double digit catches last year will be participating in their first June Jones spring practices. This is not counting Cole Lofton who had 5 catches against TCU before be lost for the season.

"We should be really good. The biggest thing about Coach Jones' offense is the receivers need experience running it in the games," said Cole Beasley. "As a receiver you have to make a lot of reads in the game. I will be a lot more comfortable. Now that we have a year under our belts and we will be a lot more comfortable."

1.) Emmanuel Sanders- Senior

6-1, 170 pounds, Bellville, Texas

67 catches for 958 yards, 9 touchdowns in 2008

*Ranked 11th in the nation with 95.8 receiving yards per game

Second Team All-C-USA in 2008

Honorable All-Mention C-USA in 2007

Notes:

Deciding to return for his senior season after getting advice from former NFL player Deion Sanders, Emmanuel Sanders is ready to have a 1st Team All-C-USA type performance in 2009. Last year defenses didn't know about fellow wide receiver Aldrick Robinson. This year as he gets more attention, Sanders should have more opportunities to find the end zone.

Wide Receiver Coach Jeff Reinebold on Sanders:

"I think he is has really done himself right by coming back for another year. You look at him physically, his upper body is so much better developed then what it was a year ago this time. He is going to have a much better understanding of the game. I think with this offense he is going to do enough to make himself a Top 10 in the nation in terms of guys coming out."

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Aldrick Robinson- Junior

5-10, 170 pounds, Waxahachie, Texas

59 catches for 1,047 yards, 11 touchdowns in 2008

*Ranked 6th in the nation with 104.7 receiving yards per game

 

Honorable All-Mention C-USA in 2008

Notes:

After putting up a school record tying 11 receiving touchdowns last year, Aldrick Robinson will not have the benefit of defenses not knowing who he is in 2009. It might not matter. According to multiple sources, Robinson is work extremely hard this off-season to get stronger. Robinson will be pushed this spring by teammates Cole Beasley, Terrance Wilkerson, Bradley Haynes, Cole Lofton and Justin Willis, but should do enough to keep the second receiver spot in the offense going into the fall.

Wide Receiver Coach Jeff Reinebold on Robinson:

"I think he is going to have even a better year this year. I'm judging that off the work he has been doing this off-season. So much what happens during the season depends on the work you are doing in the off-season. I have been impressed by him being more serious about his work this off-season…..I really anticipate him having an outstanding year and there is no reason he can't be ranked in the top 10 in catches and yards."

 

3.) Cole Beasley- Sophomore

5-9, 175 pounds, Little Elm, Texas

42 catches for 366 yards, 3 touchdowns

*had eight catches for 94 yards against Tulsa last season

Notes:

All reports have been Cole Beasley has been working extremely hard this off-season. After playing at 165 most of the year last season, Beasley is now up to 175 pounds.

"They are going real well right now. The off-season is big for me right now because I was a little under weight last year," said Beasley. "I was pretty much the smallest guy out there most of the time. It's really important for me and I'm trying to get 180 pounds."

Wide Receiver Coach Jeff Reinebold on Beasley:

"Beasley is so much stronger and better developed than he was last fall. I have been really impressed this off-season with the work ethic."

 

 

 

A Guy That Might Surprise:

 

Justin Willis- everyone that PonyStampede.com has talked with close to the program, is raving about Justin Willis. The former quarterback converted wide out did catch 11 balls for 88 yards against Southern Miss to end the season. With his speed and ability to read defenses, Willis might become a nice surprise for the Mustangs in 2009. "Justin is just one of those versatile guys. He is going to return punts, return kicks, he is going to play wide receiver, he is going to motion the quarterback. He can do it all for us," said starting quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell.

 

 

Someone We Know Little About:

 

Cole Lofton- After catching 5 balls for 52 yards and a touchdown against TCU, Cole Lofton hurt his shoulder and was lost for the season. In the process we didn't learn much about the true freshman receiver. Fully healthy from his injury, Lofton will participate in his first spring practices. Lofton runs a 4.5 forty and is a big threat to make something happen after the catch.

 

 

Trying To Build Off Of Last Season:

 

Bradley Haynes- After getting a chance to play significant playing time towards the end of the year, red-shirt freshman Bradley Haynes didn't take long to turn some heads. A 7 catch game against Southern Miss and a 5 catch game against Memphis. The coaching staff is anxious to get Haynes back on the field to see what he will be able to do.

 

 

Looking To Get Back On Track:

 

Terrance Wilkerson- will look to get back on track after missing the last three games of the season. Before that, Wilkerson was getting a chance to start and making progress. The red-shirt freshman had 6 games with three or more catches.

 

 

 

Top Wide Receiver Recruits:

 

These kids won't be here in the spring, but it will be hard keep them off the field this fall.

 

Darius Johnson- had late offers from Boston College and Iowa State. Only 5'10 and 160 pounds, Johnson runs a 4.4 forty. "He had a tremendous senior year and really blew up in the state tournament," said Wide Receiver's Coach Jeff Reineibold. "He had a bunch of people come in on him late: Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Boston College…. Here is a kid that has reset the bar for us when it comes to recruiting."

 

Deonte McDade– at 5'10 and 165 pounds, McDade just produces. His senior stat line read like this: 72 catches, 900 yards, and 11 touchdowns. "This kid has great speed. When you look at slot backs you want someone who can create in space and Deonte McDade is that," Wide Receiver's Coach Jeff Reineibold. "He has unbelievable balance, he catches the ball extremely well, he though he is vertically challenged he is certainly not challenged running in traffic."


Pony Stampede Top Stories