Breakout Vols: wide receiver

This is the third in a series of articles profiling potential "breakout" players for Tennessee's 2012 football team. This installment focuses on the wide receiver position.

Even Tennessee's coaches refer to Cordarrelle Patterson simply as C.P. Those letters also could stand for Consummate Playmaker. As far as opposing secondaries are concerned, the letters might stand for Corporal Punishment.

If Patterson proves to be half the player at the major college level that he was at the junior college level, he easily will be the breakout player among Tennessee wide receivers this fall.

Crunch these numbers:

In two years at Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College, he set more than a dozen program records. These included career marks for receptions (113), receiving touchdowns (24), receiving yards (1,832), kickoff return average (41.9), total touchdowns (36) and all-purpose yards (3,379).

Rated a five-star prospect by the major recruiting services, he was ranked No. 1 among all JUCO recruits by one of them.

Patterson's potential extends far beyond his junior college stats, however. This guy seemingly has everything going for him. Take it from Vol receivers coach Darin Hinshaw.

When asked if Patterson more closely resembles Justin Hunter or Vol teammate Da' Rick Rogers, Hinshaw replied: "Cordarrelle Patterson I'd say would be a combination of both of them. He's fast and quick (like Hunter) but has strength and size (like Rogers) that is very good."

Admit it: If you were an opposing defensive back preparing to face a guy described as a cross between Justin Hunter and Da'Rick Rogers, wouldn't you feel a little weak in the knees?

In case you've forgotten, Hunter and Rogers are pretty good. Rogers caught 67 passes for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns last fall. The reception total ranks sixth on Tennessee's single-season list. The yardage total ranks fifth and the touchdown total is tied for seventh.

For all Rogers accomplished as a sophomore last season, however, Hunter was even more imposing. He was on pace to record 96 catches, 1,812 receiving yards and 12 TDs when he tore an ACL in the first quarter of Game 3 at Florida.

As great as Cordarrelle Patterson was at the junior college level, you have to wonder how potent he could be now that he has Rogers and Hunter forcing opponents to single-cover him. Tyler Bray has to be vastly superior to the quarterback at Hutchinson last fall, so Patterson also will get better throws to handle.

At 6-feet-3 and 205 pounds, CP is a big receiver who poses a physical mismatch for opposing cornerbacks. He reportedly plays with the quickness and elusiveness of a little guy, however.

"The speed, size and strength we saw live and on film gives us a lot of excitement about what he can bring," Hinshaw said. "He plays like a little guy but he's huge."

And he could make a huge difference in Tennessee's passing attack this fall.

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