We’ll continue our previews of the Pac-10 by position with a look at the receivers.
And this is one that should make UW fans happy as the Huskies can legitimately be said to potentially have the best corps in the conference (an assessment Ted Miller agrees with, by the way).
Here’s how I came up with the top groups in the conference:
2, Oregon State
9, Arizona State
10, Washington State
Consider for UW that all three starters from last year return as well as D’Andre Goodwin, who caught 60 passes in 2008 before struggling through injuries last season.
UW fans shouldn’t need much reminding of who is back, but for others, the returners include Jermaine Kearse, whose 17.3 yards per catch average last season was the best of the top 10 receivers in the conference; Devin Aguilar (42 catches for 593 yards last year and pictured at right) and James Johnson (39-422). UW is looking for a little more depth in fall camp, but overall, this looks like UW’s best group of receivers since the Reggie Williams-Charles Frederick days in 2002-03.
As for other teams, OSU rates highly if for no other reason than the return of James Rodgers, whose 91 catches led the conference last season (the Beavers also believe they have a fleet of young, fast WRs that could be the best there in quite a while.)
Ryan Whalen and Chris Owusu give Stanford a dangerous 1-2 combo — Whalen might have been one of the most underrated players in the conference last year, ranking in the top six in both catches and receptions. Despite the loss of Delashaun Dean in the off-season, Arizona has what it considers one of its best groups in years.
Nelson Rosario is an emerging deep threat for UCLA, which seems to have a load of talent there. Cal is led by the underrated Marvin Jones.
USC loses Damian Williams and will be counting on Ronald Johnson to emerge this fall. Oregon should be a lot better in this area in 2010 than a year ago, when its receiving corps was one of its few real weaknesses. ASU lost a lot, but Oregon transfer Aaron Pflugrad could be a revelation.
And while WSU figures to rank 10th in most position categories, this is one area where it can make a legitimate argument for placing higher with the likes of Jared Karstetter and Gino Simone returning.
All in all, another area where the Pac-10 looks stronger than a year ago.
July 28, 2010 at 11:23 AM
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