Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking Inventory: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

If, as we expect, Andy Dalton continues to climb the TCU passing record book, it'll be in large part due to the fantastic group of receivers he has coming back this fall. As exciting as this group's prospects are for 2009, they could be even better in 2010 because not one of them is a senior.

Jimmy Young was good as a freshman in '07, fantastic as a sophomore last year, and could become an All-MWC receiver as a junior. With his speed combined with his sure hands, Young has the potential to become the great receiver that Reggie Harrell never quite blossomed into. The other three wideouts that should comprise the main rotation and grab the biggest chunk of receptions are junior Bart Johnson, sophomore Antoine Hicks and do-everything junior Jeremy Kerley. Kerley’s superior athleticism should lead co-Offensive Coordinators Jarrett Anderson and Justin Fuente to get creative…I think the Wild Frog was just the beginning of the nightmare scenarios for opposing DCs. Hicks has the speed to compliment Young as another deep threat and the shiftiness to mimick Kerley’s gift to contribute it any number of ways. Johnson, a former walk-on, might possess the surest set of hands on the team, and will be looked upon to come up with important catches in key situations.

The next set of Frog receivers that should see ample time in the rotation are junior Curtis Clay (also a former walk-on), junior Alonzo Adams and sophomore Jonathan Jones. All of these guys played well, although somewhat sparingly, last year. Jones’ height (6’4”) could get him a little more playing time, as the Frogs are without a tall receiver due to the graduation of Walter Bryant.

Tyler Lutrell, a walk-on junior and Sam Shutt, a redshirt freshman from Tennessee, may find themselves too deep on the depth chart to rack up too many catches. But Lutrell has contributed well on special teams and Shutt has a boatload of speed, so don’t count them out. The Frogs will have two true freshmen at receiver this fall- Josh Boyce, the dynamic athlete out of Copperas Cove who was on campus for spring practice, and Skye Dawson, a late addition to last year's recruiting class from Dallas Christian. Barring an injury bug, my bet would be on both redshirting this fall.

At Tight End, the Frogs lose Shea Reagan and his uncanny ability to move the sticks with every reception, but they do bring back junior Evan Frosch, who has the potential to step in and contribute the way Reagan did. He had 10 catches last year, and 2 of them went for touchdowns. Behind him is a trio of talented younger guys who could all challenge Frosch for not only touches, but also even the starting job- sophomore Logan Brock and redshirt freshmen Walker Dille and Corey Fuller. Brock didn’t register a reception last year, but did play quite a bit and contributed on special teams as well.

Because there isn’t a senior at either position, the Frogs have an exciting next two seasons ahead of them in terms of a receiving corps. But because they will lose seven WRs/TEs to graduation next year, it will be important for the younger guys to step up as well as for the coaching staff to go out and recruit adequate replacements. While they don’t have any current commits for the Class of 2010 at either position, Stephen Bryant of New Deal is committed as an ‘athlete’ and has the frame to possibly play Tight End. They also do have a WR commit for the Class of 2011- Cameron White of Arlington Bowie. I don’t know that much about him, but I’d rather cheer for a guy from Arlington Bowie than from Austin Bowie…aka the Texas Tech of Austin high schools.
Up Next: The Offensive Line

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Sept. 26 vs. TCU: The Horned Frogs won’t be intimidated by Clemson; they were perhaps the best non-BCS team a year ago. They return only four starters from a great defense, but return six offensive starters. Expect a tight, defense-fueled game. TCU 24, Clemson 21