Position Preview: Wide Receivers

The biggest question in Longhorns' camp is with the quaterbacks, but they're gonna have to throw to somebody. In today's position preview, Inside Texas looks at what will be a key position for the Horns in '06: wide reciever.

Players at the position:

Deon Beasley, 5-10, 168, Fr
Quan Cosby, 5-11, 200, Soph
Myron Hardy, 6-2, 210, Soph
Nate Jones, 6-2, 195, Jr
Josh Marshall, 6-4, 205, Fr
Philip Payne, 6-2, 205, Fr
Billy Pittman, 6-0, 198, Jr
Jordan Shipley, 6-0, 184, Soph
Limas Sweed, 6-5, 219, Jr
George Walker, 6-3, 205, Soph
Montre Webber, 6-3, 190, Fr

Last season, it was Vince Young who led the receivers. This year, it's the receivers who are leading the young quarterbacks. The strength at the position will be one of the most important factors in aiding the development of the freshmen QBs and it's something Texas definitely has.

Every single scholarship wide receiver on the roster has eligibility remaining and yet Mack Brown was able to bring in four freshmen wideouts this season. Add to that the fact that Brian Carter is the only receiver not returning and you've got a corps that is both experienced and exceptionally deep.

While there is not a defined "go-to" guy, Texas has each of the elements necessary for an effective group of receivers: the Homerun Hitter, the Possession, the X-Factor and depth.

Homerun Hitter: Billy Pittman

Pittman was second in the nation last year in yards per catch (22.1) and scored five touchdowns. What's important about those five TDs are how he scored them. He scored one touchdown apiece in each of Texas' five biggest games and those five TD catches averaged a mind-boggling 37.2 yards each.

Possession: Limas Sweed

Sweed is much faster than most receivers who have the title of "possession," but with his superior height (6'5") and sure hands, Sweed is the guy to throw to when you need someone to go across the middle or to, oh I don't know, the corner of the end zone.

X-Factor: Quan Cosby

A team's passing game can become truly dangerous when you have an exceptionally fast target in the slot lined up against their opponent's third cornerback. Cosby hadn't played competitive football in four years and yet was able to step in and immediately contribute as the third receiver. If he develops even more as a sophomore (a 23-year-old sophomore mind you), then expect him to improve upon his 270 yards from last season.

Sweed, Pittman and Cosby will be the starters in the Longhorns' three-wide, one-tight offense when Texas opens up against North Texas on September 2nd. There's little question there. The biggest battle at the position will be for the four spot. Because of the amount of rotation Texas uses, this competition will have an impact at the position (eight different wide receivers caught passes last year).

Nate Jones, Myron Hardy, George Walker and Jordan Shipley will all compete for that spot. Jones played the most out of those four receivers for Texas last season, hauling in nine catches and a touchdown, but from what we've been hearing out of the Longhorns' camp and based on his performance in the spring game, the edge goes to Jordan Shipley.

As the Old Spice "Red Zone" National Player of the Year and the second leading receiver in the history of high school football, Shipley had all of the hype in the world coming out of high school, but that was three years ago and because of injuries he hasn't played a down of competitive football since. It will be interesting to see if he can live up to the hype…or at least stay healthy for 14 games.

One of the freshmen who will probably have an immediate impact is Deon Beasley, but it might not be at wide out. Beasley played quarterback, wide receiver, safety, cornerback and running back in high school and it hasn't been determined yet whether he'll play on offense or defense.

"They told me that I would play but, where I will play, I honestly don't know," said Beasley. "I wish I could tell you but, honestly, I don't know."

Earlier this spring Mack Brown said Beasley's position on the 2006 Longhorns will be decided during August camp.

Monday, July 24: QBs
Tuesday, July 25: RBs
Wednesday, July 26: WRs
Thursday, July 27: TEs
Friday: July 28: OLs

Monday, July 31: DEs
Tuesday, Aug. 1: DTs
Wednesday, Aug. 2: LBs
Thursday, Aug. 3: DBs
Friday, Aug. 4: Special Teams

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