Fall Camp Preview: Wide Receiver/Tight End

Previewing the Wide Receivers and Tight Ends heading into fall camp.

With the Utes transitioning back to the spread offense, it will be interesting to see how this group of receivers and tight ends will be used. The receivers are made up of quite the mix of players. Everything from speed, agility, inexperience, experience, size, length, and all the different attributes you can think of are mixed in with this group of receivers. Of these attributes, the one that sticks out above the rest is size. This group of receivers have an extraordinary amount of size amongst them (5 of them standing at 6'3" or taller). This is going to cause a lot of mismatches out there for opposing defenses, and will force a lot smaller corners to be matched up with these receivers who may have 6 or so inches on them at times.

The downside of this group, the only receivers with a good amount of experience are Kenneth Scott and Dres Anderson. Other than those two, there just isn't another receiver with that much D-1 experience on this roster. On top of that, due to the lack of slinging the ball around the past couple seasons, K. Scott and Dres really don't have that much to show from the time that they have played. But, with Co-offensive coordinators Brian Johnson and Dennis Erickson running this new spread offense, they will look to get the ball in the hands of the receivers and tight ends a lot more so than seasons past. If quarterback Travis Wilson can continue to develop and show some poise from under center, I expect this group of receivers and tight ends to have a great fall camp and be much improved from seasons past.

The Candidates:

Wide Receiver

Kenneth Scott (JR)

Scott is arguably the most "set in stone" as a starter at the wide out position. At 6'3" and about 215 pounds, Scott is a tough matchup for pretty much every DB he will matchup against. With the ability to go up and get it with the best of them, Scott will be a huge asset in the red zone. Look for Wilson and Scott to make many big time connections in fall camp.

Dres Anderson (JR)

With all the potential in the world, is this the year that Dres has that breakout season we've all been waiting for him to have? At 6'1" 190, Dres has great length and leaping ability which allows him to go up and get the receptions that the taller 6'3" or so receivers are able to go up and get. Combine that with his exceptional speed and in madden terms "spectacular catch" ability, Dres has everything it takes to be an all Pac-12 receiver. As consistency has been a problem from Dres, it is time for him to step up and become that leader at the wideout position as this is now his fourth fall camp including his redshirt year.

Andre Lewis (JR)

Coming from Diablo Valley College, where he absolutely dominated at the JUCO level, Lewis immediately provides the Utes with another tall receiver that will be tough for opposing defenses to matchup against. Brother of Steve Johnson of the Buffalo Bills, Lewis has that NFL blood, which is quite apparent by the way he plays. Expect Lewis to come right in and turn some heads in fall camp. When it's all said and done, I expect Lewis to be on the two-deep when camp is over.

Anthony Denham (SR)

Physically, Denham is a freak. Standing 6'4" 220 pounds, Denham is a nightmare for opposing defenses. The only thing stopping Denham from becoming a great receiver is his inconsistency. During spring camp, Denham really struggled catching the ball. Being Denham's senior year, it's now or never. If the consistency can come, Denham would be a huge asset to the Utes' offense this fall.

Delshawn McClellon ( R-FR)

After redshirting in 2012, McClellon looks to make an immediate impact at the wide out position. While the majority of the Utes' receivers have great size and length, McClellon is just the opposite. Standing 5'9" 170 pounds, McClellon could be that slot receiver that has the ability to take a 5 yard reception and take it to the house any chance he gets his hands on the ball. As he displayed in the red and white game this spring, McClellon has great speed and is exceptionally shifty.

Brian Allen (R-FR)

Another tall receiver at 6'3", Allen could develop into that next Kenneth Scott for the Utes. While he doesn't have that dangerously fast speed that DB's have nightmares about, he's actually quite shifty for a guy that stands 6'3" and has the ability to make people miss. I personally am expecting Allen to have a great fall camp and to surprise some people that may not know much about him.

Sean Fitzgerald (SR)

As part of the 2006 signing class, Fitzgerald has been around the program for forever. After serving a mission right out of high school, redshirting his freshman year, then not much playing time the past three seasons, this season has been a long time coming for Fitzgerald. A big, reliable, smooth route running receiver is what Fitzgerald provides for the Utes. He may not have that breakaway speed, but when a ball is thrown his way, it is very rare to see him with a drop.

Tight Ends

Jake Murphy (JR)

If you look up the word ‘consistent' in the dictionary, the name Jake Murphy should appear in bold letters. Receiving honorable mention all Pac-12 honors last season, I expect Murphy to make one of the all pac-12 teams in 2013. As expected, Murphy had a tremendous spring camp catching every ball thrown his way. Out of every single player on the Utes' roster, Murphy is the one I have the least worries about. Size, strength, football IQ, good set of hands, he's got it all. Murphy should get plenty of balls thrown his way this fall, especially as he and Travis Wilson continue to grow their relationship on the field.

Westlee Tonga (SR)

Another player who has been in the program for quite some time (signed with the Utes in 2007). While Tonga doesn't get near the amount of balls thrown his way as Murphy does, he is still a reliable option in the passing game. In fall camp, look for Tonga to take on one of the leader roles on the team, as he can be very beneficial to incoming freshman Harrison Handley and JUCO transfer Greg Reese.

Greg Reese (JR)

With Murphy and Tonga most likely getting the majority of the reps at tight end during fall camp, don't count out JUCO transfer Greg Reese. Though raw, Reese has the ability to become a solid tight end. At 6'5" 250 pounds, the size is there. With the help of Murphy and Tonga, Reese should be able to learn the Utes' system and get some good reps this fall.

Harrison Handley (FR)

Out of Alta High School, Handley comes to the Utes as one of the more overlooked recruits in the 2013 signing class for the Utes. He has great hands and catches anything thrown his way. At 6'5" about 230, Handley comes into fall camp as a freshman at a pretty good size. If he can put on a bit more muscle, learn the offense, and adapt to college ball quickly (spring ball will have helped with all of this), Handley may very well have an excellent fall camp and push for some playing time this fall.

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