A first look at 2008 - Wide Receivers

Aggie Websider continues to take a look at what new head coach Mike Sherman has to work with in 2008. Today, Dallas Shipp takes a look at the wide receivers. Are there any clear favorites to take over for Kerry Franks and Earvin Taylor? Who are the young guys who can step up in 2008?

Wide receiver is wide open heading into 2008. The Aggies have Pierre Brown (19 rec, 217 yds) returning, but leading receivers Kerry Franks (25 rec, 469 yds) and Earvin Taylor (25 rec, 252 yds) will not be back after the Alamo Bowl.

The trio combined for 85 percent of the passes to wide outs, and without them, there wasn't much production from the wide receivers in the way of receptions this year. But that is probably more of a reflection of the Aggies' run-based offense in 2007.

The next highest total of receptions by a wide receiver belongs to true freshman Roger Holland and sophomore E.J. Shankle who each caught four passes this year. Terrence McCoy added one reception for a touchdown as well, but the rest of the receptions belonged to the tight ends and a slew of running backs coming out of the backfield.

With the departure of Taylor and Franks, combined with a new offensive scheme in 2008, expect lots of competition among returners and newcomers alike as they try to turn the heads of Sherman and his staff.

But as competitive as the spring could be, assuming Morrow comes back healthy in the spring, he, Brown and Holland will probably be the three primary receivers heading into the season. But Shankle and talented underclassmen like McCoy and Nick Trice will be pushing hard for playing time as well.

KEY RETURNERS
Pierre Brown (6-2, 193, SR) – Caught 19 passes for 217 yards this year, averaging more than 11 yards per reception. He caught four passes for 51 yards in the game against Texas and was one of McGee's go-to receivers in the upset. His 19 receptions are the most of any returning wide receiver next year.

Roger Holland (5-10, 175, SO) – Showed flashes of brilliance, including an incredible touchdown reception that was nothing short of spectacular. He's a great athlete who caught just four receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown this year, but expect those numbers to go up with Sherman's new offensive scheme.

Howard Morrow (6-0, 208, SR) – Aggies were excited about Morrow coming into this year after he lost weight and improved his speed in the offseason. He went down with a season-ending injury early in the year, so he'll probably have a little extra motivation heading into his senior year next season.

EJ Shankle (5-11, 179, JR) – Began to see regular playing time as a sophomore in 2007, but still only caught four passes for 33 yards in the Aggies' run-dominated offensive system, including a career-high 2 catch, 22 yard performance against Oklahoma. He's a fast guy who may also work out with Pat Henry and the track team this off-season.

YOUNG GUYS WHO COULD STEP UP
Chris Caflisch (6-2, 196, SO) – A converted quarterback who is an incredible athlete. Named San Antonio Area Offensive Player of the Year by the San Antonio Express News and played in the U.S. Army All-American Game. As a senior in high school, he threw for 1,507 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for 1,374 yards and nine touchdowns.

Terrence McCoy (6-4, 199, SO) – He was the leading receiver for Midland Lee his senior year and was a consensus Texas top-100 recruit who caught 43 passes for 747 yards and six touchdowns in his senior year of high school. He caught one pass this year for the Aggies, but it was a 17-yard touchdown from fellow redshirt freshman Jerrod Johnson. Those two should be making a habit of that over the next three years.

Antonio "Flip" Perry (6-2, 180, JR) – He's not really a "young guy who could step up," since he's going to be a junior, but the highly-touted receiver coming out of high school still has yet to catch a pass at Texas A&M. He was an extremely quick receiver in high school, but has struggled with injuries during his time at A&M.

Nick Trice (6-2, 198, RS-FR) – An incredibly gifted receiver who has a combination of size, strength and speed (ran a 10.55 100-meter dash in spring 2005) who was rated the No. 48 receiver in the nation by Scout.com in the Class of 2007 and could help fill the void left behind with the departure of Kerry Franks.

KEY LOSSES
Kerry Franks (5-11, 192); Earvin Taylor (6-3, 231)




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