Texas Camp Analysis: WR

With two Texas commitments in attendance and other targets like Dorian Leonard and Damarkus Lodge not making the trip, all eyes were on Lorenzo Joe and Roderick Bernard.

And both players lived up to the hype.

First, this was my first chance to get to see Bernard in person, though I'd seen plenty of film on him. And while Bernard ran well in the 40-yard dash, clocking 4.45 seconds, it's worth noting that he is much, much faster in terms of game speed. Bernard absolutely explodes in his acceleration and was an absolute nightmare for anybody who had to go 1-on-1 with him in space. He can go stop-to-fast really quickly. And he blows by coverage in his cuts and breaks, creating tremendous separation whenever he cuts. The other part of Bernard's speed that stood out was the fact that he had an extra gear at the top end. There were several times on deeper routes where it looked like he was overthrown, only to have Bernard kick his speed up a notch and catch up just at the end.

One of the few knocks I have on Bernard is that he doesn't appear totally confident in his hands at this point. So much of his work at Sharpstown comes in the short passing game, and there were times where he didn't seem sure of himself when trying to adjust to a ball thrown a bit off target.

Joe was also as advertised. He's developed a ton physically in the year since he's been committed to Texas, blossoming into a player who's just shy of 6-foot-3 and around 200 pounds. And he used his body like a weapon when running routes, shielding off defenders and presenting a big, thick target for quarterbacks. Joe seemed to thrive on contact, and even knocked over one defensive back who tried to jam him at the line.

He wasn't quite as impressive when it came to getting to the deep ball. Joe has good, but not elite, speed, so when he's asked to go down the field, he doesn't separate as much. But on routes like slants and crosses, he's excellent, with smooth change of direction that allows him to get position, and when he gets that position, it's almost play over. Joe also has really soft hands and catches the ball naturally, even when under duress.

Together, those two receivers really complement each other well, with Joe as the physical possession receiver and Bernard as the speedy slot.

In the 2015 class, Round Rock Stony Point's Justin Gamble didn't run well but performed well in drills and made a few highlight catches over the day's work. Gamble is intriguing because most people expect him to grow quite a bit in the next year or so. He's currently about 5-10 or so, but he's high-cut (meaning he has long legs and a short torso) and has size-16 feet. He's not a take at this point. But if he grows to be 6-2, as some think he might? Then it becomes an interesting discussion.


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