Scanning the rosters of FSU's two primary rivals, Florida and Miami, I found myself asking "where are the playmakers at receiver?" Recruiting in a state that produces a lot of skill talent, the lack of fearsome wideouts on each roster is surprising. Here's a look at each receiving corps.
|Miami's Receiving Corps|
|Hurns, Allen*||6-3/190||JR||31 Catches, 415 Yards|
|Dorsett, Phillip||5-10/186||SO||14 Catches, 147 yards|
|Scott, Rashawn||6-2/200||SO||1 Catch, 2 Yards|
|Thompkins, Kendal||5-10/182||RS SR||8 Catches. 66 Yards.|
Miami lost 67% of its receptions by receivers when Tommy Streeter, Travis Benjamin and LaRon Byrd graduated, as well as an incredible 73% of its receiving yards by receivers!
The 'Canes have not recruited this position well at all, and the replacements for Streeter and Benjamin are not on the roster. Nor are they on the way in the 2012 recruiting class. The 'Canes are counting on major contributions from Hurns, who has been a practice All-American, and Dorsett, who could be a nice slot receiver for many teams, but doesn't exactly scare anyone. The other two have not shown any reason to believe they should be feared.
There's also a huge numbers issue here, with just four returning scholarship players. And Miami failed to bring in any star receiver recruits, though they did take five at the position, so there is a chance one could surprise.
*Hurns is limited/out for spring practice as he recovers from an injury.
|Florida's Receiving Corps|
|Andre Debose||5' 11"||191||RJR||25 Catches, 519 Yards|
|Quinton Dunbar||6' 1"||184||RSO||14 Catches, 216 Yards|
|Frankie Hammond, Jr.||6' 1"||184||RSR||41 Catches, 514 Yards|
|Solomon Patton||5' 9"||169||JR||7 Catches, 62 Yards|
|Stephen Alli||6' 6"||222||RJR||3 Catches, 17 Yards|
|Ja'Juan Story||6' 3"||206||RFR||Redshirted|
Florida is a bit harder evaluation, due to the fact that they had freshmen quarterbacks playing in the SEC. Still, the production from the receiving corps was terrible: 76 catches and 1234 yards. Total. For the entire year.
Deonte Thompson accounted for 28% of Florida's receiver catches (21) and 21% of the Gators' receiver yards (264). He's a loss, but hardly irreplaceable.
Of the returning players, Debose is the only one who has to be considered a legitimate weapon. His deep ball skills and long speed are excellent. But he's proved to be a bit of a one-trick pony, and after he surprised LSU and Alabama, defenses caught on and refused to allow Debose to beat them deep. The results against Auburn, Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida State and Ohio State? 5 catches for 62 yards. Debose doesn't run routes well, and doesn't really know how to play the position. That makes him a fairly easy cover on the underneath routes. After taking away the deep ball, those five defenses held him to an average of 1 catch and 10 yards. If he can learn to play the position, he has superstar potential. But until then...
As for other players on the roster, Dunbar and Hammond Jr. both have the potential to be good #2 receivers, but neither seem to have superstar athleticism. Patton is a slot guy better fit for the spread of Urban Meyer, and Alli is still a project after three years in Gainesville. Story has a ton of athleticism but was extremely raw coming out of high school, and I doubt much has changed.
UF also didn't bring in any top receiver recruits in an otherwise stellar recruiting class, so there's not exactly help on the way.
If this group makes major improvements during the spring, it could be pretty good. As of today, though, I don't exactly think FSU's defensive coaches are losing any sleep over the prospects of facing these guys.
But among the two schools actually considered rivals by most FSU fans, the playmakers just aren't there. We'll see if that changes in Spring.
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