2012 football position by position: receivers
As we’re just weeks away from the start of the football season, it’s time to take a detailed position-by-position look at the 2012 EMU football team. This is our time to refresh our memory about returning players, and learn a little about the new faces.
Lost: Trey Hunter, Corey Welch, Kinsman Thomas
These three accounted for 25% of the receptions and 21% of the passing yards last year. They’ll be missed, particularly Hunter, but losing them is hardly going to cripple the passing game — and let’s face it, there wasn’t much of a passing game to cripple. Kinsman Thomas was on and off last year, missing the first two games of the season due to a suspension, and disappearing from the roster in early November. He hasn’t turned up playing for another team that I can find.
Nick Olds, redshirt junior; Garrett Hoskins (TE), senior; Demarius Reed, sophomore; Donald Scott, junior.
Hoskins was named to the pre-season watch list for the John Mackey Award, given to the nation’s top collegiate tight end. Hoskins was also third-team All-MAC in 2011, the only EMU offensive player named to an All-MAC team. Hoskins and Nick Olds combined for more than 40% of EMU’s passing production (completions and yards) in 2011, and when Gillett drops back to pass, these are clearly the guys to watch. Reed was also reasonably reliable in short-yardage situations, and had one long catch against Buffalo. Donald Scott took a big step back in 2011 after catching for nearly 200 yards the year before. He certainly has the ability and the speed to break some big plays, however, and I think he’ll probably remain a starter.
Correction: Nick Olds tore his ACL and MCL at practice on August 5. I can’t imagine he’ll be playing this year. He also missed the entire 2010 season with an injury.
Backups: WR: Quincy Jones, freshman; Dustin Creel, freshman; Mitchell Dawkins, freshman; Julius Shelby, redshirt sophomore; Jay Jones, redshirt freshman; Matt Brown, redshirt sophomore; Jeffery Xaver, junior; Derek Owings, freshman; David Gibson, redshirt freshman; Dustin Daniels, junior; Drew Deorsey, freshman. TE: Christian Menet, freshman; Dylan Brooks, sophomore; Cole Gardner, freshman; L’Shane Bynum, senior; Tyreese Russell, sophomore.
Tyreese Russell is undoubtedly the #2 tight end behind Hoskins; based on 2011 performance he’s the #4 returning receiver, but he’s unlikely to supplant Hoskins as the starting tight end. I suspect that we may see a lot of two-tight end sets to take advantage of the skill EMU has at that position. Julius Shelby is another returning player who we should see in regular rotation off the bench. Quincy Jones (Scout, Rivals) and Christian Menet (ESPN) were both three-star recruits this year. I know nothing about Derek Owings, but he caught my eye on the roster because he’s listed as a wide receiver but his size (6-4, 230) is more typical of EMU’s tight ends.
Finally, it’s worth noting that the Eagles lined up running back Javonti Greene as an outside receiver several times last year, which worked pretty well except for the too-frequent on-target passes he dropped. It seemed to me that he tended to start looking down the field before he caught the ball; hopefully he’s worked on his catching during the offseason, because I’d really like to see more of it.
Read what Hustle Belt has to say about all the MAC receiving corps, where they rate EMU 10/13.