I now turn my attention to the receivers (take a deep breath, this is a long analysis section). This is one of the most questionable positions for the Bulls this season. With injuries to AJ Love and Sterling Griffin to start the season, the loss of Carlton Mitchell to the NFL, and the depth remaining on the roster, the receiver position is going to be a very interesting all season long. Yet while they are so many changes going on with the group, Bull fans should not hit the panic button quite yet. The Bulls have playmakers, depth, and Love and Griffin will return this year. So, it’s time to break down the receiver position.
Listed as the first receiver on the depth chart coming out of spring is senior Dontavia Bogan. Bogan, the 6’1″ 188 lb. senior had an incredible spring game and showed the USF fans what he is capable of (over 200 yards receiving!). Bogan has played in 37 career games and started in 11 of them. He has 65 career receptions for 849 yards and 6 touchdowns; he also has 65 kick returns for 1540 yards. Bogan is a fast receiver, with good size, and runs precise routes; NFL scouts are taking a look at him already. Bogan will be Daniels’s primary target all season and the Bulls number one threat all year long. With Love and Griffin injured in spring, even more pressure will be on his shoulders to carry the bulk of the receiving duties. If Bogan stays healthy all year long, he could have well over a 1000 yards receiving.
Playing behind Bogan is Evan Landi, the 6’3″ 214 lb. sophomore. Landi has good size and good down field speed and runs precise routes. He also has a large frame that allows him to battle for position over the middle and to shield against defenders. He is also listed as the backup quarterback behind BJ Daniels. Landi is going to start at receiver, but will play quarterback if there is an injury to Daniels throughout the year (USF doesn’t have much depth at quarterback coming into this year). Landi could have a break out year and well exceed 300 yards receiving easily (I am making a prediction, let’s see if it comes reality this year).
Lining up the opposite side of the field from Bogan is Sterling Griffin. Now Griffin was listed as the second starter after the spring practices, but he is currently recovering after dislocating and breaking his ankle in voluntary off-season practices. Griffin, the 6’1″ 180 lb. sophomore, was expected to provide the Bulls with a good receiver and have a break out year, but because of his injury, he will miss at least the first couple weeks of the season. Griffin played in all 13 games last season, catching 14 passes for 265 yards and 2 touchdowns. The most memorable catch was the 70 yard bomb against FSU (remember Griffin raising the Bull horns as he scored and silenced the FSU fans?). When healthy this year, Griffin will provide the Bulls with a fast receiver that is ready for a break-out season.
Behind Griffin and might be starting now is sophomore Lindsey Lamar. Lamar comes in at 5’9″ and 160 lbs. Lamar has made a name for himself on the track, breaking school records and looks to continue that trend on the field at the slot receiver position. Lamar is very undersized, but his footwork and speed have Coach Holtz and staff wanting to get the ball in his hands as much as possible. With his raw speed, he could be a dangerous weapon for the Bulls this year. Look for him to be a lethal weapon all season long.
Next on the depth chart is Ed Alcin. The 6’2″ 185 lb. senior has only 4 receptions for 48 yards in his career. He is a good athlete and runs excellent routes. He was injured in spring, but will be healthy for fall and should see more playing time. With injuries, he will see more playing time.
Next is Bermantley Augustin. The 5’11″ 175 lb. sophomore walk-on is pushing for a spot on the roster, showing coaches great dedication to the team and some skill on the field. He may see spot time or play on special teams if he continues to get better.
Then there is Daniel Bryant. The 6’2″ 185 sophomore is a converted corner and has been impressing coaches with his catching ability and great work ethic. He could push as well for playing time due to his athletic ability.
Next, he 5’7″ 160 lb. redshirt freshman Derrick Hopkins. Hopkins is another undersized receiver that has tremendous speed and a tough competitor as well. He competes on the track time and will make his way onto the field, either as a receiver or on special teams (imagine putting him on the field with Lamar, talk about speed mismatches out there).
Next is Faron Hornes (love the last name). Hornes is a 5’6″ 170 lb. senior that is a junior college transfer and still has 3 years left of eligibility. Hornes has incredible hands and fights for the catch, even though he is undersized. The coaches are impressed by him and want to get him onto the field as often as they can.
Then there is senior AJ Love. The 6’2″ 205 playmaker was going to be a starter for the Bulls to begin the season, but a torn ACL in the spring game (same injury he had 2 years ago, just the other knee this time) will sideline him for at least half of the season (that is why he is not listed as a starter now). Love has played in 33 games, catching 970 yards and 7 touchdowns. He is good receiver that has great quickness and a vocal leader on the field. The Bulls need him to come back healthy this season; it is unclear if he could receive a medical redshirt again by the NCAA, but it was allowed by Colby Erskin).
Next is Victor Marc. Marc is a 5’11″ 210 lb. sophomore that has a large frame and excellent hands. Marc is very athletic, able to play corner and special teams. He has surprising speed and can create after the catch. He might play this season, if not at receiver, then on special teams. Marc is another receiver I feel will have a big season for the Bulls.
Patrick Richardson, the 6′ 180 lb. junior has been injured this spring, but is a good route runner and will see some playing time once he is healthy this year. He has 14 catches for 132 yards in his career.
Next is Jason Sherman. Sherman, the 6’4″ 210 senior, is looking to make an impact this more (more than his 1 career catch for 14 yards). Sherman runs the 40 yard dash in 4.4 seconds and is a physical runner. He could be a player to watch this season. Not much is expected of him early this year, but could come up big for the Bulls.
Next is Tyler Stowell. The 6’4″ 189 lb. sophomore is battling for playing time. He has impressed everyone with his excellent catching ability and extreme work ethic. He needs to get stronger, but will play special teams because of his athletic ability.
Lastly, we have the incoming freshmen class. While they are the biggest names in the recruiting world, they are solid play makers and will instantly provide an impact for USF because of the lack of depth the Bulls have and the talent level among the recruits.
The biggest recruit (literally) is T.J. Knowles. Knowles is a JUCO transfer that weighs in at 6’8″ and 240 lbs., while running the 40 yard dash in 4.6 seconds. Knowles was a late addition to the Holtz recruiting class that he inherited, but can play this season. Knowles is still raw and could get strong and learn the position more as he gets more playing time. He will be an instant red zone target for Daniels and could be a huge weapon for the Bulls.
Next is Deonte Welch. Welch, the 5’11″ 181 lb. receiver is actually a converted running back. Welch has good speed (4.5 in the 40). It is unclear if he will redshirt this season or try to make the starting rotation at receiver this year, but might redshirt because of the depth. He will be a name to remember in the future because he has such great speed.
Finally, Jamaal Montague. Montague is 6’3″ 190 lbs. and was rated a two star recruit by Rivals.com. Montague is a sleep receiver, only receiving a handful of offers. Montague was injured most of his senior season, but when healthy he may be a steal of the recruiting class. He has raw talent and will surely be a star at USF.
So there are you receivers for the 2010 season. It is a deep position, but many players are unproven or have never even had a chance to play. The injuries to key players means that the veterans on the team and the incoming freshmen must all take their games to a much higher level and pick up the slack. It should be an exciting group to watch all season long.