New WRs coach pleased with emerging depth
First-year receivers coach Phil McGeoghan has four solid receivers back from last season in Jessie Hester, A.J. Love, Dontavia Bogan and Carlton Mitchell -- each had at least 25 catches and 350 receiving yards.
But the Bulls also have a second wave of receivers competing for playing time, and as Mike Canales installs new wrinkles as the new offensive coordinator, there's a window for other receivers emerging as playmakers. McGeoghan (mick-GAY-gan) said he's been pleased by the level of competition in the first week of practice and the number of players who have impressed him beyond the four established returning players.
"There's a lot of competition going on. Pat Richardson has really had a good summer and a good camp," McGeoghan said. "I've really been happy with Theo Wilson, just his explosiveness and what he brings to the table physically, and Ed Alcin has really done a nice job. Obviously Evan Landi, you see him out there repping every day, and he's a guy with a high ceiling. He's exciting to watch out there, and he wants to play the game, so he's going to get reps."
After the top four receivers, the rest of the group combines for just 16 career catches -- Richardson has seven, Colby Erskin five, Alcin three and Jason Sherman one. McGeoghan said even the true freshmen -- Sterling Griffin and Derrick Hopkins -- are making the group better. Griffin has been limited by a hamstring injury, but both are making strides.
"There's a lot of guys and it's very competitive, but the younger guys, the older guys see it in meetings and on the field," McGeoghan said. "They see how smart they are, how well they're going to pick this offense up. And Derrick has natural gifts, being a 10.25 guy (in the 100 meters). The room's exciting to be in because they know those young guys are going to push guys, especially because they're grasping the playbook so well."