Let’s get to what is maybe the deepest and most talented position group on the team, the inside receivers.
|9||Jonathan Giles||Inside Receiver||5-11/185||Junior|
|17||De’Quan Bowman||Inside Receiver||5-11/180||Junior|
|20||Keke Coutee||Inside Receiver||5-11/175||Junior|
|34||Hunter Rittimann||Inside Receiver||6-0/175||Junior|
|83||Ethan Davidson||Inside Receiver||5-10/180||RS Freshman|
|12||Ian Sadler||Inside Receiver||5-11/195||Senior|
|13||Cameron Batson||Inside Receiver||5-9/175||Senior|
|19||Zach Austin||Inside Receiver||5-11/195||Senior|
|15||Donta Thompson||Inside Receiver||6-4/215||Sophomore|
By far, the most explosive and best players last year were Jonathan Giles and Keke Coutee. Giles was terrific early, and Coutee stepped on the gas late in the year. And I’d also add that Ian Sadler and Cameron Batson are both exceptional players and finding time for them is something I’d be all for this next year. The problem will be finding them snaps between Giles and Coutee.
As a team, there were 428 receptions for 5,556 yards and 47 touchdowns. Those four receivers accounted for 209 catches, for 3,061 yards and 28 touchdowns. That amounts to 49% of the team’s catches, 55% of the yards and 60% of the touchdowns. That’s where your offensive firepower is and I’m absolutely okay with this scenario. I’ve always felt that with strong outside receivers it creates pressure points that the defense can’t really defense for without taking a defender out of the middle of the field. The idea is that with a strong outside receiver, the defense has to give some safety help to one side or another. If the defense isn’t worried about the outside receivers, then that safety can stay in the middle of the field, clogging things up for those inside guys.
I think that these inside guys did some pretty remarkable things without a guy that I think the defense had to double-team on the outside. (Dylan Cantrell was very good last year, but I don’t know how many double-teams he had.)
The only thing of concern for me on this position group is that this is going to be a relatively old group next year, they’ll all pretty much be juniors or seniors and there’s really not anything in the pipeline that’s young. There’s also the thought (rumor?) that Sadler may retire due to injuries, but that hasn’t officially happened yet.
I will be interested to see how Bowman develops this spring. He redshirted last year after coming out of a JUCO ranks. Thompson is one of those experiments that I hope comes to fruition and he can be a real red zone threat. Other than that, these are guys that are walk-ons (not that there’s anything wrong with that).