McGeoghan enjoying newfound depth at receiver
A year ago, receiver may have been USF's worst position, with injuries and early departures forcing Skip Holtz to import players from other positions just to salvage a manageable two-deep behind senior Dontavia Bogan.
As the Bulls enter Holtz's second season, such is the depth at receiver that some of the biggest names at the position -- speedy Lindsey Lamar and Terrence Mitchell, and true freshmen Andre Davis and Ruben Gonzalez -- weren't among the six names on USF's depth chart released this week. Receivers coach Phil McGeoghan said the battle among his young receivers is a promising one, and one that will continue throughout the season.
"I think everyone's going to have a role," McGeoghan said. "(Lamar and Mitchell), their skills sets play at this level. They're going to be a factor. They've done a really good job. You could have listed Andre Davis and Ruben Gonzalez in the two-deep. The competition was so tight. It fluctuates on a day-to-day basis, depending on how everybody practices, who has the hot hand. They all have a skill set we can showcase here on Saturday."
McGeoghan said he's been pleased by the inexperienced receivers that pushed their way up into the depth chart -- his three backups are redshirt freshman Deonte Welch, sophomore Stephen Bravo-Brown and junior Victor Marc. Bravo-Brown had 11 catches as a freshman, but Marc has just one.
As for Davis and Gonzalez, McGeoghan and offensive coordinator Todd Fitch have noticed their ability to go up for 50-50 balls and make leaping catches at a level that the Bulls didn't have last season.
"Bogan wasn't necessarily a jump-ball guy. He made a couple of plays against Miami, but he was more of a route-runner, a technician, a sink-your-hips, change of direction guy, make-you-miss, kind of elusive. These two guys, they go up and get the ball at (their) highest point. That's one thing we've evaluated really well. They've done a good job of coming in as advertised."
Davis was the higher-rated recruit coming out of Tampa's high school scene, but McGeoghan said Gonzalez has had an impressive first month, showing enough to shed his redshirt and play despite USF's returning depth at his position.
"Ruben's got some lateral quickness, some shiftiness," he said. "He's a guy who catches the ball and comes alive, kind of like Welch. He wants to do something when he catches the football with yards after the catch. He's a big body, will block you and can help on special teams."
We asked McGeoghan a tough question for a receivers coach -- who is the fastest player in his group?
"The fastest is Derrick Hopkins. Second-fastest is going to be, by a whisker, between Terrence and Lindsey," he said. "If you ask Terrence, he'll tell you it's Terrence; you ask Lindsey, he'll say Lindsey. That would be an interesting race."