One of former Temple coach Al Golden's points of emphasis last season was to revamp a disappointing wide receiver group.
The unit saw mixed results in 2010. Mike Campbell took a big step up, earning Offensive MVP honors after catching 45 balls for 724 yards and six scores, while Rod Streater came on late to finish with 30 catches for 481 yards and four touchdowns.
But Joe Jones – who led the Owls with 28 receptions in 2009 – played in just six games as he fell out of favor, and freshman Deon Miller – while showing flashes – caught just six balls. It didn't help that C.J. Hammond and Darryl Shine missed the entire season with knee injuries.
With Campbell gone, it's another uncertain outlook for the receivers, though new offensive coordinator Scot Loeffler feels some playmakers will rise up by the end of training camp.
"It's a great group of young men, I really like that group," said Loeffler. "(Wide receivers coach) Zach Smith has done a great job bringing them along, they've picked up things extremely quickly. They understand splits, they understand depths, they get out of breaks well.
"We have to work on consistency, that's every position, but I think they have the ability to make big plays."
Streater, a senior who came to Temple as a junior college transfer last year, flourished after Mike Gerardi took over at quarterback. While the quarterback position is up for grabs, Gerardi is one of the favorites, and if he is named the starter should continue to develop the rapport he had with Streater over the second half of the season.
Jones, a fifth-year senior, benefitted as much as any player by the coaching change from Golden to Steve Addazio, showing in the spring he had put the tough 2010 campaign behind him. Used mostly as a slot receiver under Golden, the former running back will likely be versatile in Addazio's offense, with the ability to line up wide or in the backfield, and seems poised for a big year.
At 6-foot-5 and 210 pounds, Miller has all the physical tools to be a great player, and he's only a sophomore. Shine and Hammond will have to prove they are healthy, and if so could find themselves contributing.
Shine was set to play a big role both at wide receiver and on special teams before tearing his ACL last August. Less than a year removed from surgery, it remains to be seen if Shine maintains the blazing speed that made him such a top prospect.
Sophomore Ryan Alderman, who walked on in 2009, is another player who could find his way into the wide-receiver mix. He caught eight balls for 114 yards in the final two games last season after catching just two balls the first 10 games.
Camp Preview: Wide Receivers
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