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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Position Preview: Wide Receivers

In the 13 days leading up to the Wildcats’ season opener against Toledo on Sept. 1, the Daily Wildcat will preview each position on Arizona’s roster, alternating between offense and defense. First up: Wide receivers

Projected starters: Dan Buckner (senior), Austin Hill (sophomore)
Backups: Richard Morrison (junior), Terrence Miller (senior), Garic Wharton (sophomore), Tyler Slavin (sophomore), Johnny Jackson (freshman)
Departures: Juron Criner (NFL Draft), David Douglas (NFL free agent), Gino Crump (NFL free agent), David Roberts (graduation)
Returning stat leaders: Buckner — 42 receptions, 606 yards, two touchdowns; Morrison — 22 receptions, 201 yards, two TDs; Hill — 21 receptions, 311 yards, two touchdowns; Miller — 11 receptions, 136 yards

On the surface, losing the combined production of Juron Criner, David Douglas, Gino Crump and David Roberts might seem like a justifiable cause for concern. While Arizona is certainly a flawed team, the wide receiver position is one of the team’s biggest strengths. In terms of depth and how all the pieces fit together, the receivers might be the most talented position group on the entire roster outside of the running backs.

Former University of Texas transfer Dan Buckner has protypical size, and if he can put it all together this year and lead the UA in receiving, he will probably hear his name called at the NFL Draft in April. He and Terrence Miller, both seniors, are 6-foot-4 and big red zone targets that quarterback Matt Scott will surely rely on when Arizona gets inside the 20-yard line.

Austin Hill surprised a lot of people as a freshman in 2011, particularly filling in for Criner against Oklahoma State where he hauled eight catches and 128 yards.

Richard Morrison and Garic Wharton have blazing speed which, assuming Morrison stays healthy, will complement the possession-type receivers that Miller, Wharton and Tyler Slavin can be.

Also, head coach Rich Rodriguez has been talking up walk-on redshirt freshman Johnny Jackson throughout spring and fall camp, and the 5-foot-10 speedster has a good shot of earning a scholarship and getting a few balls thrown his way.

Grade: B-plus

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