Fall Camp Preview: Wide Receiver & Tight End

The top guys should be very good, but there are still some depth concerns at Wide Receiver. Tight End is pretty much locked down.

It was a bitter sweet year when looking at last year’s wide receiver and tight end group. We saw the ascension of a truly elite level wide receiver in Dres Anderson, but saw the untimely and unfortunate injuries for Kenneth Scott, Westlee Tonga and Jake Murphy. Scott and Tonga's injuries proved to be season ending, Scott's in game one, Tonga's in game four, and both received medical redshirts and an extra year of eligibility from the NCAA. Murphy missed games six through ten, but made a quick recovery for the last two weeks of the season, and showed why he was missed so much. Now off to the NFL, Utah will have to replace Murphy, as well as wide receivers Anthony Denham and Sean Fitzgerald, who proved to be serviceable starters for Utah, but ultimately weren't PAC 12 caliber players.

Wide Receiver Pre-Fall Camp Depth Chart

WR-X:
Dres Anderson
Geoff Norwood

WR-H:
Delshawn McClellon OR
Kaelin Clay

WR-Z:
Kenneth Scott OR
Dominique Hatfield

The Candidates

Dres Anderson (Rs-Sr) - To say that Anderson had a great year last year may be an understatement. When fellow receiver Kenneth Scott was lost to injury, Anderson virtually became Utah's only weapon at wide receiver. He faced numerous amounts of double coverage, yet still racked up over 1,000 receiving yards. He's proven to be one of the best receivers in the PAC 12, and will now look to be one of the best in the country.

Kenneth Scott (Rs-Jr) - As already mentioned, Scott suffered a lower leg injury in the first game of the year, and required season ending surgery for the second time since he's been at Utah. Now healthy, Scott needs to prove that two major injuries won't slow him down. Scott is likely Utah's most reliable pass catcher, and also is a great route runner. He doesn't have elite speed, but at 6'3-210lbs, he's a prototypical possession receiver. Having him healthy should make the offense much better.

Kaelin Clay (Rs-Sr) - Well, the drama is finally over, as Clay has officially been cleared to play for Utah, but now it's a matter of will he live up to the hype. Coming from Mt. Sac junior college, Clay is the epitome of a burner, as he runs a 4.3 forty, and is also an outstanding return man. Clay has average size at 5'10-188lbs, but will add a new dimension to the offense, adding another deep threat opposite of Dres Anderson. Clay is behind the eight ball in regards to the playbook, but his talent should make up for it.

Geoffery Norwood (Rs-Sr) - Playing time can be hard to come by as a walk-on, but for Geoff Norwood, it's something he saw more and more of last year. Norwood, who is also the starting punt returner, was the 4th leading receiver for the Utes last year with 13 receptions for 173 yards. Only 5'8-180lbs, Norwood has decent speed with a good amount of "shake" to him. With the overall talent at wide receiver being upgraded, Norwood may see his reps go down in 2015.

Dominique Hatfield (So)- Hatfield is a versatile receiver that can really do it all, but is best suited as a possession receiver in the slot. After seeing some limited playing time as a true freshman, Hatfield had a fantastic spring camp, and looks like a lock to be one of the top four receivers.

Delshawn McClellon (Rs-So)- We know that McClellon is fast, but what else is he? After redshirting in 2012, Delshawn saw some reps in 2013 as a kick returner and a little bit as a receiver, but didn't make any substantial impact. He's got the speed to be a PAC 12 wide receiver, but hasn't displayed the other tools necessary to this point. Fall camp will be an important one for him, if he's going to want to have an impact in 2014.

Andre Lewis (Rs-Sr) - Lewis came to Utah last year as a very heralded 4 star JUCO wide receiver, but failed to back up that ranking, and to this point hasn't shown anything that would make one think he's ready to make an impact in his final season. Lewis has got great size and decent speed, but has failed to really pick up the offense. Lewis was having a successful spring camp, but suffered a minor knee injury towards the end of it. He has a lot to prove this fall, and it would be a surprise if he saw meaningful reps this fall.

Kenric Young (Fr) - The true freshman from Gainesville, Florida has elite speed, as he placed second in the state finals in the 200m dash, and has good size to go along with that speed at 6'2-180lbs. One of Young's best assets though is that he's a very fierce competitor. Reports from summer workouts indicate that Young is very determined to play as a true freshman, and may be the surprise of the wide receiver group.

Raelon Singleton (Fr) - Size and ball skills is what Raelon Singleton brings to Utah, as he could develop in to a matchup nightmare for opponents down the road. The 6'3-190lb true freshman from Crosby, Texas has almost everything you would want in a receiver, but still needs to transition to speed of the game at the college level. Early reports indicate that Singleton is likely headed towards a redshirt year.

Projected Post Fall Depth Chart

WR-X:
Dres Anderson
Geoff Norwood

WR-H:
Kaelin Clay
Delshawn McClellon

WR-Z:
Kenneth Scott
Dominique Hatfield

Tight End Pre Fall Camp Depth Chart
Westlee Tonga
Siale Fakailoatonga

The Candidates

Westlee Tonga (Rs Sr) - After being injured in week four of last year, and subsequently missing the rest of the season, Tonga received a medical redshirt year, and is back for one final season. Tonga is extremely athletic and is a reliable pass catcher as well. When compared to former Ute tight end Jake Murphy, Tonga is more of a downfield threat than Murphy, but isn't as polished of a pass catcher, especially in traffic. Tonga should prove to be a valuable safety net to whomever is the quarterback, and has the starting spot locked down.

Siale Fakailoatonga (So) - Fakailoatonga played in 10 games last year as a true freshman, and was relied heavily on with the injuries to Murphy and Tonga. Siale is a physical specimen and had one of the best builds I had ever seen on a true freshman. Now another year older and having a full year in the Utah program, Siale should have a much bigger role this year, and may have the biggest upside of any of the tight ends.

Evan Moeai (Rs-Jr) - The Snow College transfer arrived to Utah last year close to the end of fall camp, and because of that he wasn't able to make the impact that many thought he would. Moeai is great at reliably catching passes, and is faster than he appears, but he'll need to keep improving his route running and run blocking if he wants to jump up in to the backup role that is currently held by Fakailoatonga.

Harrison Handley (Rs-Fr) - After enrolling at Utah in time for Spring ball in 2013, it was clear that Handley wasn't physically or mentally ready to contribute as a true freshman. After a redshirt year though, Handley looked like a completely different player in spring ball this year. He added a lot of necessary weight, while also keeping the good speed he already had. At 6-4-250lbs, he's got a great blend of size and speed, and could be a big threat in the passing game, as he's more of a wide receiver/tight end hybrid. Handley has a ton of upside, and will need a big fall camp to contribute in 2014, but has a very bright future ahead of him.

Projected Post Fall Depth Chart
Westlee Tonga
Siale Fakailoatonga

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