Incoming! Rethinking Wide Reciever Recruiting

Streeter Lecka

Under the leadership of Butch Jones the Bearcats tended to recruit a ton of Wide Receivers. They signed 4 receivers in the class of 2010, 6 in the class of 2011, and 3 more in 2012. They loved receivers unconditionally. But that staff is gone, and with it goes their offense.

Matt Opper: At receiver the biggest difference between the outgoing regime and Eddie Gran's crew might simply be that they need less of them. That's not to say that Gran and Hinshaw will completely eschew multiple wide receiver sets, they won't. But Mike Bajakian always had a minimum of three wide receivers in his base sets, that might not be the case for Gran. Butch Jones always said that he wanted to have a 9 or 10 man rotation at receiver, Gran will only need 6 or 7. That automatically makes receiver slightly less of a priority than it was under the previous staff, and that showed in this class, Mark Barr and Johny Holton. Jeff, do you think either guy can make an impact in a receiver position that looks, on paper, very promising?

Jeff Gentil: I see no reason why Johnny Holton or Mark Barr can't crack the wide receiver lineup at some point this season. The only firmly established receiver of the incumbents is Anthony McClung. Chris Moore and Alex Chisum have both shown flashes of ability, but neither has been able to consistently prove themselves. As you said, on paper each player looks like they have the capability to contribute. I remember Dyjuan Lewis being quite possibly the best receiver ever to commit to UC, but he's not even on the roster today. Until camp opens and players start separating themselves from one another, we're in the dark as to how the depth chart reads.

Instead of picking four or five receivers each class and hoping one or two stand out, do you see this becoming a pattern where they simply target the two very best receivers so they can divvy up the remaining scholarships to different positions? Or is this just a one year aberration?

MO: Its seems that, at least for the first couple of seasons, they will target guys who bring something new to the table. They went out and got Johnny Holton, who may or may not even make it to Campus, because he has the ability to take the top off a defense. That is a quality that UC hasn't possessed since Armon Binns was here, and it has really stifled the offense, because no one respects the deep ball. UC loaded up on guys who were quicker than they were fast, and there is a role for those guys in this offense, but the staff has to go out and find different kinds of receivers. I expect that will continue for this year at least.

JG: I was curious as to why Butch Jones and his staff kept bringing in the same receiver. All were shorter, quicker guys who couldn't stretch the field at all. DJ Woods was great on shorter routes because Binns and Gilyard could stretch the field. Since Binns left, the middle has been clogged. I would love to see this new staff (for however long they are here) bring in a better balance of receiver. Now, obviously, those don't grow on trees, but I'm going to trust this staff, as good as Jones' staff recruited, is going to be able to take it up even one more notch. That's the positive side of me thinking UC being in the AAC isn't going to negatively affect their long-term recruiting.

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