Football Season Preview: Receivers

John Paschall, Reporter

Projected starter(s): senior Rashad Lawrence, junior Christian Jones, junior Tony Jones and sophomore Dan Vitale

Key reserves: sophomore Cameron Dickerson, senior Mike Jensen and junior Kyle Prater

Breakout candidate: Jensen

This easily could have gone to any of the key reserves because the unit is so deep, but we picked Jensen due to coach Pat Fitzgerald’s rave reviews of the senior from spring practices. Jensen has seen most of his playing time on special teams but did catch a few passes last year, including one 12-yard reception on the game-winning drive against Syracuse. The Wildcats love to shuffle receivers in and out during the game, and Jensen has the ability to step up and make big plays.

Season outlook

There’s no one receiver on which the passing attack focuses. This group is incredibly deep and well-balanced. Its best skill, however, is its run blocking. In 2012, the receivers did an outstanding job helping the running backs find room out on the edge to get downfield. They used their size and physicality not only to block defensive backs, but also to run routes. It will be interesting to watch how Vitale responds to his breakout freshman campaign. The former high school running back displayed great hands in his first year, but now the defense might hone in on him. Don’t expect any one receiver to leap out above the rest in terms of production. Senior quarterback Kain Colter and junior quarterback Trevor Siemian won’t be afraid to spread it around.

– John Paschall