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August 24, 2012

Position Preview - WR's

ANTHONY AMOS

2011 stats - Caught 27 passes for 379 yards and three TD's while leading the team with 14 yards per catch average.

Amos is a big play threat every time he catches the ball and his yards per catch show just that. In the spring game he showed off his speed and big play ability, catching five balls for 81 yards.

Amos has put together some spectacular practices this fall as him and QB Logan Kilgore have obviously built some chemistry over the offseason. Kilgore and Amos have routinely been hooking up on some nice connections throughout the fall practice sessions.

I expect Amos to be Kilgore's number one guy throughout the season. In need of a big play? Look for Amos. Need a clutch catch late in the game? Look for Amos. Need to move the chains? Look for Amos.

The fact is that Amos gives Kilgore a guy on the outside that can produce big plays down field, and the trust factor seems to be there between the two as well. Look for Amos to have a big year, but not as big as it could be as the Blue Raiders typically spread the ball around to numerous receivers.

Predicted 2012 stats - 700 receiving yards and six TD's.

TAVARRES JEFFERSON

2011 stats - Caught a team leading 51 passes for 398 yards and one TD.

Just like Amos, Jefferson has been building a nice rapport with Kilgore throughout spring and fall practice. In the spring game Jefferson was able to catch three passes for a total of 59 yards, and during fall camp Jefferson has caught some amazing passes.

The one key to Jefferson's game he needs to show improvement on is his ability to stretch the field and get open. Jefferson has often been a short yardage receiver, but needs to elevate his game a bit and show that he can be a legitimate threat down the field.

Given his history with Kilgore, it should not be a surprise to see Jefferson get a lot of looks this season.

Predicted 2012 stats - 600 receiving yards and six TD's.

KYLE GRISWOULD

2011 stats - Caught 31 passes for 390 yards and one TD.

Last season was the first season for Griswould as a Blue Raider after sitting out the 2010 to satisfy NCAA transfer guidelines.

During spring practice, Griswould was given the most improved strength training award for wide receivers, and caught three passes for 35 yards and one TD in the spring game.

In fall camp, Griswould has shown some an improvement in his route running and has caught some difficult passes - shining in one-on-one drills against the DB's throughout the camp.

Griswould looks to be in line to begin the season as the third starting WR on the Middle Tennessee depth chart. After having a year under his belt at the WR position, he should serve as the perfect compliment to the other crop of receivers on the roster.

Predicted 2012 stats - 400 receiving yards with three TD's.

CHRISTIAN COLLIS

Collis redshirted last season and is slated to make his debut with the Blue Raiders this fall.

As of right now, Collis is tabbed as the fourth starting WR for the Blue Raiders, mostly due to him looking the most impressive throughout practices. Even though it will be his first year on the field, Collis has shown he has all the tools to be a very successful receiver.

Collis was one of several bright spots during the fall camp, but his best attribute may be his ability to make the tough catch in traffic. Collis is quite the physical specimen, and once he gets his hands on the ball, it is next to impossible to knock it out of his hands.

Look for Collis to be a go-to guy in third down situations, as his sure hands will certainly come in handy. However, with other, more proven, receivers in the mix, his production should be curtailed a little bit.

Predicted 2012 stats - 250 receiving yards with two TD's.

ALL OF THE REST

There are a slew of unproven talents filling out the depths of the receiving corps. Arthur Williams looks fully healed from nagging injuries that have slowed his development. However, for every spectacular catch he has made during fall camp, and there have been a handful, Williams has an equal amount of drops on basic routes.

The same things told of Williams can be said of Marcus Thurmond too. Finally healthy, he had a few really good practices, but is nowhere near as consistent as he needs to be. Jeremiah Bryson is another question mark. The local product has been able to grasp the offense at the receiver position, but will need game reps for the staff to be able to fully evaluate him.

Harold Turner provides the most experience off of the bench and should be able to contribute readily when needed. A disappointing camp has Reggie Whatley third on the depth chart in his position, but his speed and knowledge of the offense will come in handy when, and if, his number gets called.

Newcomer Marcus Henry missed out on spring drills with a shoulder injury, and has needed every practice this fall to get up to speed on things. Even so, Henry is second on the depth chart and will get plenty of snaps this year. Expect to see him come on strong as the season progresses.

And then there is freshman sensation Terry Pettis. Pettis has gone through the ups and downs of camp, and at times has appeared to lose confidence in himself. However, his talent is undeniable. Assuming he does not redshirt, he will be another player to keep an eye on this season.



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