Monday, February 13, 2012

Top Questions for Spring Practice: #10


With spring drills set to begin on February 25th, it's time to tackle the top ten questions facing the Horned Frogs heading into the all-important set of fifteen practice sessions which will be concluded with the spring game (date TBA). Today we start with the receiving corps.

There was no sophomore slump for Josh Boyce this past year, building on his fantastic freshman campaign of 2010 by catching 61 passes and coming up an agonizing 2 yards shy of the 1,000-yard plateau, good for second best all-time at TCU. His steady production and penchant for coming up in the clutch make him not only a lock to be a starter, but also a team leader and likely centerpiece for marketing the team next fall.

Penciled in at the other two starting WR spots going in to spring will likely be senior Skye Dawson (45 catches/500 yards/5 TDs last fall) and sophomore Brandon Carter (23/352/3), both of whom possess game-breaking athletic ability. They also displayed some inconsistency, though, which is why I'm leaving the door open for someone to jump them with a fantastic showing this spring. Sophomores David Porter (7/109/2) and Cam White (6/90/0) would seem to be the most likely candidates, but redshirt freshmen LaDarius Brown and David Bush should also be chomping at the bit to prove themselves.

At tight end, 6'6" senior Cory Fuller looks to take over as the starter after catching 2 passes for 35 yards last year in relief of Logan Brock. He'll have plenty of competition for the job, though- most notably from sophomore Stephen Bryant and redshirt freshman Dominic Merka. There hasn't been a whole lot of reliance on Horned Frog tight ends to produce yardage the past few years- but the way they've recruited them in recent years, it wouldn't be a shock to see that trend change a bit.

How do you see the 2012 receiving corps shaping up this spring? Do you expect the penciled-in starters to retain those roles, or do you see a young challenger taking one (or more) of those jobs? How comfortable are you with the Frogs' depth at wide receiver and tight end right now?

17 comments:

shortnkerley's said...

Pretty stacked in those 2 spots IMO. Any chance we see Griffin Gilbert or Geren Ballard play some at TE this year? I think Griffin needs to bulk up first.

Worth Hills Caddy said...

I hope that one of the new TE's allows us to add a new wrinkle in the offensive by flexing them out, come into full back, etc.

This should be possible with more athletic players in the fold @ TE.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

I think we are loaded at the skill positions and can't wait to see the 2011 crop of WR's in action, especially LaDarius Brown. It might be awhile before he makes a huge impact, but he has the physical tools to be really special. Can't wait to see Brandon Carter after a year in the strength and conditioning program. With some added bulk and strength he is gonna be a matchup nightmare because he can line up all over the field. Not sure Skye makes it the whole year as a starter with his spotty hands. I'm excited about the new bunch of TE's we have and hope that we actually use them more. I think Ballard is more physically ready to play TE right now. He's already around 250 lbs. Gilbert seems like a great talent, but at only 215 lbs I would think he'll need a year to add some weight.

Cro-magnon Frog said...

Skye Dawson 45 catches for 500 yards and 5 TD's and 1 gazillion drops.

bscooter26 said...

He'd have 46/about 560/6 had he caught Pachall's pass that hit him in the hands and in stride in the bowl game. But I'm not bitter or anything.

Jack Burton said...

I’m actually very interested to see what the coaching staff has in store for the TE position going forward, I believe GP has publicly mentioned adapting this position for the move to the Big 12.

SwissArmyFrog said...

This past season I kept wondering "why aren't we throwing to the tight end more?"

Tyler said...

I think I'd prefer a wide receiver over 6 ft tall be in the starting line-up. I'm really hoping LaDarius Brown is able to fulfill some of the expectations we had of him coming into the season.

Dawson needs to spend all spring and summer catching as many passes as he can... a jugs machine would be good. He gets open consistently, just extremely inconsistent.

The offensive coordinators need to spend all of spring and summer watching game tape of the WR bubble screen so that they realize it has a 5% success rate now that everyone knows its coming.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

I understand the frustration with the bubble screens, but they are a pretty good tactical tool that adds an element to an offense. It's something else that the defense must prepare for and I think functions almost like running the ball and setting up play action passes down the field. I still wish we'd throw fewer of them, especially to Skye. Always thought he'd be better used as a vertical threat, but his terrible hands prevent him from being reliable downfield.

dallasfrog said...

Hopefully Cam White and LB will step up and replace some of Skye Dawson. He just have too many big drops.

Lyle Lanley said...

No forgiveness for drops around these parts, I see.

For whatever it's worth, I think Dawson is going to have a big senior season.

churchfrog said...

It isn't Skye's drops that bother me, but rather his inability to make people miss on a consistent basis. He has straight-line speed, but minimal effective shifty-ness. Give me someone who can make the bubble-screen a legit weapon and I'll be happy.

EdK said...

Yeah, yeah, Dawson dropped a few big ones. But, actually, Boyce had MORE drops last season (although he was targeted more).

There were a few times when Dawson got clocked and held onto the ball, so I'm not ready to toss him into the Antoine Hicks pile just yet.

Lyle Lanley said...

As was mentioned earlier, I think you all need to re-examine your expectations for a bubble-screen when it's called.

Like the much-maligned short-side option and really any running play (which is essentially what a bubble screen is), it's not anticipated as a swing for the fences every time it's run. It's main purpose is to keep the offense on schedule (by gaining at least three yards), keep the clock running (to keep those precious seconds away from the opposing offense) and keep the defenders honest (and thus opening up a future play-action and/or deep pass play).

Not that you shouldn't be frustrated when it's not run right. But our coaching staff didn't learn offensive game-planning from playing Madden, so let's not complain when not every play is a home run...especially when ball-control has been part of their recipe for success for so long.

grady said...

Receivers are one of our strengths in 2012. We are set, Boyce, Skye, and Carter are gonna get off with the Mighty Tattooed one gunslingin' it like hell. Btw, In the spread, bubble screens are essentially a running play. The spread's closest cousin in offensive systems are the triple option based wishbone/veer teams of old. All the bubble screen wants to do is create space and isolation in open spaces and to quickly get to the edge the way a pitch to the tailback in the option used to be. Get on the edge quickly, with blockers in space.... It's merely a 2012 running play... like a quick pitch to the edge. You must have it to balance the ideas of the spread. Go Frogs...... In GMFP I believe...

Tyler said...

It seemed like we picked up less than three yards on the bubble screen at least 50% of the time last season. We also run that awkward play where the slot receiver makes a really shallow cut towards the QB... almost looks like a screen pass to the WR instead of a RB. Boyce scored a 70 yard TD on it once, but besides that it pretty much sucked.

The bubble screen is fine if you have someone like Kerley who is guaranteed to make at least the first guy miss and pick up those three yards minimum. Skye and Carter both get tackled on first contact most of the time.

Skye should be running deeper patterns all day... There were multiple times in the PB where he ran deep then made a deep in and was wide open because the safety had dropped so far back. (he dropped one)

Sir Wesley Willis said...

The short side option should never be defended by anyone as good strategy and should be put down.