2013 was far from ideal for the Utah receivers with Kenneth Scott missing virtually the entire season due to injury and everyone other than Dres Anderson looking like either a marginal Pac 12 talent or too young to make an impact. If spring ball is any indication, the Utes won't be in the same boat in 2014.
Scott returned and boosted the receiving corps dramatically. He's not as quick as he was last year at this time, but the coaches had him taking it easy throughout camp, not participating in live work, and making sure he's completely healthy by the time the season rolls around. Even playing a limited role, the junior to be had an impactful spring, adding a deep ball threat and reliable ball catcher opposite Dres that the Utes didn't have during the 2013 season.
With Scott on the field, Anderson continued to excel. Coming off of one of the most productive receiving seasons in Utah history, the senior to be looks poised to be one of the top receivers in the Pac 12, if not the best overall. Anderson looked quicker, faster, stronger, bigger, and more explosive. The drops that have hampered him at times throughout his career were non-existant in spring. Whether it was a quick slant over the middle or a go route with a corner and a safety draped all over him, Dres caught everything. Get ready for 60+ catches, 1000+ yards, and 8+ touchdowns.
Brian Allen came into the spring with a lot of hype after we continued to hear about his work in the offseason. Looking faster and more explosive early, it didn't translate into more production as a case of the drops plagued him throughout camp. There has to be legitimate concern about his ability to catch the ball going forward and one has to wonder if a move to safety is in the best interest of both Allen and the team.
Are we ready for a breakout year from Dominique Hatfield? After getting games reps last year as a true freshman, the Los Angeles native continued his upward trend with impressive play in the spring, including grabbing a starting spot on the depth chart. He's shown a tremendous ability to get down the field and has enough shake to make defenders miss on the quick bubble screens that Utah used in the spring. Still developing himself as an offensive player, the sky is the limit for Hatfield. Another dangerous threat for the Utes that made great use of his four weeks in March and April.
It was a productive spring for Delshawn McClellon who has batled consistency and sometimes attitude issues while at Utah in the past. That all seems to be behind him as McClellon surprised many with his play, especially in the second half of camp where he vaulted to one of the starter positions (Scott will reassume this spot in the fall). McClellon is finally running crisp routes, and getting separation, which was probably his biggest issue since arriving at Utah. There's plenty of speed in those legs and he'll provide Utah an option in the receiving game that can be used in multiple ways. Meep Meep.
Geoffrey Norwood again showed that he's a decent receiver, but for the most part looked much like we saw last season. He'll likely be a smaller part of the game plan in 2014 than in 2013 with the increase in development from other players.
Andre Lewis had one good day in the middle of spring camp and then inexplicably disappeared (literally). He didn't make the impact in spring that would lead anyone to think he'll do much in 2014.
Micah Thomas made the move from quarterback to receiver and showed that he has a long road ahead of him. Too many drops out of Thomas, but he has good size and could be a player down the road.
Spring Wide Receiver Rankings
1) Dres Anderson
2) Dominique Hatfield
3) Kenneth Scott
4) Delshawn McClellon
5) Geoffrey Norwood
6) Brian Allen
7) Andre Lewis
8) Micah Thomas
Spring Review: Wide Receivers
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