SPRING REPORT CARD: Wide Receivers

The Aggies' top two receivers last year were a tight end and a running back. But with a talented stable of wide receivers this year, and a new pro style offense in place, who are the guys that will step up on the outside? Aggie Websider's Dallas Shipp hands out his grades at wide receiver.

First-year head coach Mike Sherman inherited a wide receiving corps that lost its two leading receivers from a year ago (Kerry Franks & Earvin Taylor), along with tight end Martellus Bennett, who led the team with 49 receptions. Those departures, along with a depleted tight end unit, leaves the door open for several wide receiver candidates to earn playing time this fall.

The wide receiver unit is young, with three sophomores and one freshman among the top of the depth chart, and there aren't many "big names" at the position. But the Aggies' wide receiver unit is a very solid group who should fit nicely into Sherman's new pro style offense this year.

The veteran leadership will come from junior Howard Morrow and senior Pierre Brown, who is the leading receiver among returners this year. Morrow appears to be doing well after missing all of last season with a wrist injury that he sustained when he fell on the concrete track around Kyle Field—which has since been replaced.

Brown has also looked good in practice this spring, but it's the younger guys who have really seemed to turn heads—including Sherman's—the most during spring camp.

Sophomores Roger Holland and Terrance McCoy have spent a lot of time with the first team this spring, and they've both performed really well.

Holland is one of the best, if not the best, route runner on the team. He can plant his foot and make a move that sends the defensive back charging up on him and the next thing you know, he's three yards past the DB.

Freshman Jeffrey Fuller is a specimen to look at and really stands out in the huddle, etc. His route running is a little raw right now, but he's made a few spectacular plays this spring, using his height to go up and catch the ball at its highest point, jumping over one defender for a jump ball and coming down with the touchdown pass from Jerrod Johnson in one of the first practices of the spring.

He's probably the most naturally gifted wide receiver on the team, but will have to work on fundamentals to be ready for Division I football in the fall. The potential with Fuller is off the charts though.

There are also guys like E.J. Shankle, Antonio "Flip" Perry, Chris Caflisch and Nick Trice who are trying to earn their way into playing time, but with a front group consisting of Holland, McCoy, Brown, Morrow and Fuller, it's going to be tough for them to get meaningful playing time.

KEY WIDE RECEIVERS:

Roger Holland
STRENGTHS: Crisp route runner, speed, hands
NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Well, since he's not going to grow another 4-5 inches at this point, he's about as sound as they come. He runs good routes, can get yards after the catch, etc. Like the rest of the receiver corps, he just has to be consistent and make the plays he's supposed to make.

Terrance McCoy
STRENGTHS: size, hands
NEEDS TO IMPROVE: McCoy just has to be more consistent. He's made some great plays this spring, but he's also dropped some balls that he should have caught. You can't have your starting receivers drop balls in key situations.

Jeff Fuller
STRENGTHS: size, hands, speed
NEEDS TO IMPROVE: As I mentioned before, he's got all of the raw talent you could ever want at wide receiver. He just needs to clean up his routes a bit and realize that natural athletic ability isn't going to get it done at this level, but based on comments by coaches and teammates who have seen him working out this semester, he knows that and is working hard.

Howard Morrow
STRENGTHS: speed, route running
NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Morrow was the talk of training camp last August before getting injured and missing the season. He has slimmed back down a bit and hopefully that will improve his speed. He's going to have to work hard to jump ahead of the younger guys, but he's got the talent to earn playing time if he can be consistent—that's all Sherman asks.

Pierre Brown
STRENGHTS: speed
NEEDS TO IMPROVE: Brown is a really quick wide receiver, but he's struggled in the past to hold onto the ball at times. With a talented group of receivers in Sherman's arsenal, if he has those problems again this year, you won't see much of No. 6 on the field.

Big D's Grade for WR: B-




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