Creating space between the wideout and the defender can be a simple product of route-running and footwork whether the playmaker has pure speed or strength or not.
When Tennessee signed former U.S. Army All-American wide receiver DeAnthony Arnett, it locked up one of the best pure pass catchers in several years. However, when issues back home in Michigan left Arnett asking for and receiving a release from his scholarship, it left the Volunteers needing to fill that void.
Arnett possessed that aforementioned skill set and was in the process of becoming a reliable option within the Tennessee offense. Now, UT offensive coordinator Jim Chaney is thumbing through film in search of filling that role.
A Class of 2013 wide receiver already hearing from the Vols and Chaney is Ryan Jenkins.
The Marietta, Ga., native shared with InsideTennessee at last weekend's MVP Camp his thoughts on his relationship with Chaney.
"It's good," Jenkins said. "He told me he's going to come see me at spring practice and further evaluate me from there in terms of an offer."
Jenkins currently has three BCS school offers — Clemson, Louisville and Missouri. His brother Martin Jenkins is a rising junior at Clemson, but Ryan Jenkins maintains that does not make them No. 1 on his list and he is not ready to release his favorites.
He mentioned that he was a Georgia fan as a youngster.
"I'm not holding out for (a Georgia offer), but it would be exciting to get one," he said.
The 5-foot-11, 177-pounder made his way up to an invite-only trip to Knoxville the weekend of Jan. 28 and caught a men's basketball game at Thompson-Boling Arena.
"I liked it a lot," Jenkins said. "The fan base as going crazy like always, and it was exciting."
Jenkins has enough straight-line speed to go with his suddenness and ball skills, having clocked a laser-timed 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the Atlanta Nike Combine this spring.
He said his talents most closely resemble those of Carolina Panthers wide receiver Steve Smith, noting that his strengths are "really just my route running and my quickness. I feel like it's up there with anybody that's the best."
As a junior, he totaled 25 catches for 415 yards and five touchdowns for a Milton (Ga.) High team that plays Class AAAAA ball. To give an idea of how tough that classification is in the Peach State, the Eagles finished 4-7 with a first-round exit from the GHSA state playoffs 48-14 at the hands of Walton in spite of having talent like Jenkins, Syracuse signee Josh Manley, Auburn commitment Carl Lawson, multi-BCS offer holding Peyton Barber and Eason Fromayan.