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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Four ‘different’ senior WRs wrap up solid careers

Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Juron Criner. UA vs. NAU Sept. 3, 2011 at Arizona Stadium

Arizona’s four senior wide receivers couldn’t have led more different careers. And after they wrap up their final game as Wildcats this Saturday against the Rajin’ Cajuns, each one will have cemented a different legacy in Arizona history.

“They all bring something different,” said receivers coach Dave Nichol. “I’ll be sad on Saturday. There’s a lot of production in those four dudes. A lot of production and all pretty good dudes.”

Juron Criner: The Superstar

Criner’s has turned in a career for the Arizona record books.

The 6-foot-4, 215-pound wideout enters Saturday’s game one touchdown away from eclipsing Thepolis Bell for the most receiving touchdowns in UA history.

Criner is already tied with Mike Thomas and Bell for the most touchdown receptions in a season with 11 and should end up sixth on the all-time receiving yards list. Saturday’s game will cap off a more than memorable Arizona career that Nichol may not have seen coming four years ago.

“I think if you asked me midway through Juron’s freshman year, would he be here, I might have said no, just coming from the school he came from academically and stuff like that,” said Nichol, who helped recruit Criner to Arizona.

But Juron stuck around and made his presence felt. He’s had an up and down senior season full of appendicitis and nagging injuries, but Nicol doesn’t think Criner’s draft stock will fall much because of it.

“Juron is that he’s never been seriously injured and I think that’s the main thing the NFL guys look at,” Nichol said. “He’s a different dude in the weight room too. It’s not just on the football field. He moves around weight. I had one guy tell me he’s a possession guy, I don’t know what film you’re watching.”

David Douglas: Criner’s Robin

Although he’s often gone unnoticed, David Douglas morphed into the Criner’s Robin and Foles’ reliable No. 2.

Douglas will end his career with back-to-back 50-catch, 500-yard seasons, while making a handful of big catches along the way. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound receiver has come a long way since arriving in Tucson from McKinney, Texas in 2008.

“I remember coach Dykes telling Douglas one time he was about to send him back McKinney because of some toughness stuff so it’s been neat to see those guys grow up,” Nichol said.

During his four years, Douglas has developed into one of the Wildcats’ quickest receivers, which could result in a future in the NFL. Nichol said scouts ask about Douglas quite a bit, and after closer look at the tape, they’ll find someone who can help an NFL team.

“The dude’s a freak athletically,” Nichol said. “I think people will see that with all the little pro days and combines and then go back and watch the film more closely than they have.

“He might be the second fastest wide receiver that we have. He’s the best dunker on the entire team. Guys wouldn’t think that. I think they think he’s the boring possession guy but I think he can be more and I think he’s starting to show flashes of that.”

Douglas said he’s going to “train and hopefully get a shot at the NFL,” but before that he’ll soak in the totality of his Arizona experience one last time on Saturday.

“It’s crazy. It’s been a great experience, a great time here,” he said. “I think when you look back a long time from now you remember the relationships. A lot of good things have come from this university.”

Gino Crump: The Pleasant Surprise

After his junior season, most people around the team and in the stands would have thought Gino Crump would have little impact this season, capping off an underwhelming career with the Wildcats.

He came into the year with four career catches for 39 yards, but Crump was arguably the biggest surprise of the year, as he’s second on the team in both catches with 62 and receiving yards with 606.

“Gino coming on late has been a very pleasant surprise. He’s finally worked himself into being a pretty good player,” Nichol said. “He practices about as hard as anyone in my group. I’m just really proud of him.”

It’s been a long road for Crump. After graduating from Woodrow Wilson High School in Washington, D.C., Crump attended Fork Union Military Academy in 2006-07. He then went to Glendale Community College before heading to West Virginia in 2008, where he redshirted.

But after all the moving around Crump finally found a home.

“He’s been through a lot and I appreciate that. He’s been to like 12 different schools,” Nichol said. “He’s been in my doghouse, in every other coaches doghouse at one point.”

Crump turned it around this season, however, starting the NAU game and having an impact in virtually every game thereafter. Crump’s appreciation for his opportunity has been apparent, as he was crying in the media session after the ASU victory and has been emotional throughout the season, according to Nichol.

“Like before NAU when I told him I was going to start him he kind of got teary eyed,” Nichol said. “I was like dude they’re kicking off, you need to kind of control yourself. He’s like ‘I know I know.’ I came back again and said are you good?’ He just cares so much.”

David Roberts: Mr. Consistency

David Roberts has been quiet this season with 37 catches for 366 yards and two scores but he’s been the model of consistency. With three catches and at least 34 yards against the Ragin’ Cajuns he’ll finish his career with three consecutive 40-catch, 400-yard seasons.

He gave Foles solid hands in the slot and helped Arizona as a leader. Roberts will move on to big things following Saturday, as he’s an aerospace engineering major and one of the Wildcats’ brightest players.

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