Up next are the wide receivers where there is some proven players and lots of potential.
Just to clarify, Michael Coley has left the team. I think that happened the second week of January, but it slipped my mind.
The starters returning are Derrick Willies and Dylan Cantrell. I found this Willies’ Instagram post said that last year he suffered two broken hands, torn ligaments in his ankle, a tear in his MCL and a ruptured appendix. I guess if we wanted to know why Willies struggled a bit with consistency, this is a pretty good reason why. And don’t forget that the rumor was that Willies and Nik Shimonek had issue with Nigel Bethel, hence the broken hands. Again, that’s rumor, but Willies and Shimonek are tight and I expect that relationship to somewhat flourish with Shimonek at quarterback.
Dylan Cantrell was 3rd on the team with 57 receptions, 669 yards and 8 touchdowns. After redshirting all of 2015, I thought he played terrifically. Derrick Willies was 7th in receiving yards, 18 catches in just 8 games, for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns. I really do expect his production to improve significantly over the year as he (hopefully) stays healthy.
The potential is there with Tony Brown, Quan Shorts, Antoine Wesley and T.J. Vasher. There were some questions as to whether or not Vasher redshirted and I’m almost positive that he did even though he played two games. Wesley actually did lose his redshirt and I think if you had a complaint about last year, that would be it. The thought was that there just wasn’t enough players to finish the year, but Wesley ended up dropping a couple of passes and not registering a catch so, you know, this was it. Vasher apparently had some attitude issues that derailed his playing early in the year.
Still, guys like Brown and Shorts will hopefully improve to the point that they can see some regular rotations like the inside receivers. Boyd is raw and will most likely redshirt, but with him already on campus, that should help his progress. I love his potential.