Pre-Camp Position Outlook: Wide Receiver

CINCINNATI - OCTOBER 30: D J Woods #3 of the Cincinnati Bearcats runs for a touchdown during the Big East Conference game agains the Syracuse Orange at Nippert Stadium on October 30 2010 in Cincinnati Ohio. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

QB | RB | WR | TE | OL | DL | LB | DB | ST

UC has had a stellar run with Wide Receivers of late. In each of the last three years there has been at least one Receiver who has eclipsed the 1,000 yard receiving mark. Dominick Goodman (twice), Mardy Gilyard (Twice), and Armon Binns. Part of that is the switch from the staid and somewhat conservative offenses of Mark Dantonio, and to a lesser extent Rick Minter, to the wide open offenses of Brian Kelly and Butch Jones. Taking that factor into consideration still it's 5 1,000 yard receivers in three seasons. It's also more 1,000 yard receivers in three years than in the other 122 years of Football combined. So yeah, Clifton is a pretty great place to be a WR, and I think that millennial streak will continue for at least another year.

The Starters

3 - D.J. Woods

The returning leader in receptions, yards and TD's. He is lock to maintain his stranglehold on the slot position. He is arguably the fastest WR of the bunch. One thing is for certain, Woods is always always involved in big plays. Might those be good big plays or bad big plays? Uh, yes and yes. His fumble issues last year are well documented. However I don't think they are going to be an issue this year. For a start I don't think he is going to be returning kicks which is where most of his fumbles were recorded and secondly because he seems to have taken the proper steps to rectify the issue. The one thing that you can't question about D.J. is his toughness, he is always willing to stick his neck out and make the big plays when he has to.

DJ Woods 2nd touchdown vs Louisville (via 513official4)

1 - Kenbrell Thompkins

The long and winding road Thompkins has taken to reach a playing field at the division 1 level is finally coming to an end. For those not in on the thread of the story Thompkins is from Miami, went to Northwestern High School, played but kinda not really there, decided to go to JUCO when his brother Kendall was part of a dozen Bulls to sign with BCS schools in 2008. At El Camino Community College Thompkins got tight with Matt Simms former Louisville Card who went to El Camino for a second chance for his career. Both committed to Tennessee to play for Lane Kiffen. When Kiffen left Thompkins left Tennessee and eventually landed at Cincinnati. The theory was that because he enrolled but never attended at UT he would be eligible to play last year. That did not come to pass and he was held out. He will finally see the field this year. He is obviously talented, but he has worked his ass off gotten in great shape and is one of the most respected guys on the team. In a way it is fitting that he will rock the number 1 because his background is very similar to Mardy Gilyard in terms of what he has overcome to get here. Obviously he is unproven at this level, but I would bank on him producing at a high level this year.

2 - Dyjuan Lewis

A freaking spectacular athlete who should fit in nicely to the Armon Binns "I am just going to run down here, if you throw it in this general vicinity I will catch it" part of the offense. From what I have heard and what I have seen Lewis is a little bit more of a technician as a route runner so he should be a goof fit for the offense over all. The staff really had to fight and scrape for a way to fit Binns into the offense last year. It shouldn't be a big problem for Lewis

The Backups

6 - Anthony McClug

The only player on the roster besides Woods who has double digit receptions to their name coming into the season. He will have a big role as the second slot in 4 WR sets. He made two starts last year in place of an injured D.J. Woods.

7 - Shaquille Washington

Was here for spring and made a mark before being injured. The expectation is that Shaq will be one of the primary backups to McClung and Woods. The time he spent in the spring gives him a leg up on the other Freshman.

80 - Alex Chisum

A true freshman who is likely to garner playing time this season. He will be more of an outside receiver rather than a slot and has a good chance to win the backup job to because he is, for a freshman, very polished in terms of route running.

15 - Chris Moore

The third of the incoming freshman who will be rotational players. Moore is a tweener he doesn't have the ideal height to strength to be a perimeter receiver and he isn't quite fast enough to excel in the slot. But he just makes plays.

Reserves

81 - Tomaz Hilton

Career backup and special teamer. He has yet to catch a pass wearing the Red and Black

83 - Danny Milligan

He was recruited as an athlete and placed at WR after a great senior season at St. X. Truth be told he has a better chance for playing time as a kicker. He had a great spring, but I don't see where he fits into the picture

84 - Orion Woodson

You can just copy and paste the byline for Hilton here because it's basically the same.

Incoming

82 - Max Morrison

Was slated to grey shirt this year but the ongoing questions regarding Rodriguez Coleman's qualification he might make the roster this year.

16 - Damon Julian

Far and away the biggest receiver of the bunch at 6'3" and nearly 220 pounds. Just another guy where I am not sure where I winds up. I don't think he was particularly impressive at his JUCO last year. He could work his way into the rotation, but given the potential of the freshman I wouldn't be shocked if he was somewhat neglected this year.

Pre Camp Position Rating: 8

The potential is off the chart. This is probably the deepest most talented WR. core in the current spread era. But the lack of proven production creates some cause for concern. Regardless, there is enough he to fashion one of the most productive receiving cores in the conference.

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