Wednesday, December 12, 2012

UK Foootball: 2013 Preview WR

The Cats do return several young players for the 2013 season; however, none of them have really made significant impact. This lack of impact for the ’12 season was due to the revolving QB situation for the team when they used 4 QBs due to injury (M Smith), ineffectiveness (M Newton), and inexperience (both J Whitlow and P Towles, both of which were true freshmen). Returning players for the team include: Demarcus Sweat, Demarco Robinson, A J Legree, Daryl Collins, Rashad Cunningham, and Bookie Cobbins.

It looks as though that D Sweat (Soph.) may not return to the team; it is pretty well known that he is unhappy in Lexington, and in fact he missed the last few games in order to get his grades up to par in order to maintain his eligibility for the ’13 season (which is never a good sign for a true freshman). While talented (4 receptions and 2-TDs), the new coaching staff may/may not decide to invest more into Sweat especially since they are in need of scholarships and may want to weed out some of the marginal players on the team as a statement. Only time will tell what will happen with Demarcus.

Bookie Cobbins (R/S Soph.) is another WR who has red-shirted (2011) and then basically got no field time this past season (he posted no receiving stats for the ’12 season) while still young, Cobbins looks to just not be the part of an SEC WR and was in fact recruited as a QB. In fact, some actually thought that he would be a “wildcat QB”, but as of yet, he has not shown the ability to get on the field in any substantive way. In addition to injury, Bookie almost flunked out of school, so I would also put him on the short-list of players who may be on their way out of Lexington.

D Robinson (Junior) is another undersized WR who set all kinds of HS receiving records in the state of Georgia; however, he is just too small to play the level of competition which is required at this level. He did have 2 TDs as a true freshman, yet for the ’12 season, Demarco did not score. If he is going to get time in the future, it would seemingly be playing time as a slot WR, but when looking at the roster, UK seems stacked at slots and totally barren at true Wide-outs.

Daryl Collins (R/S Soph.) made a few splash plays (17 receptions) for the ’12 season; however, they were not enough. UK also had problems at the QB position as far as getting the pigskin to the WRs, so that may have been part of the problem as well. Seemingly, the former BAMA verbal should be in a position to stake a claim at one of the starting positions due to his tenacity and athleticism. Only time will tell, if he can in fact man up on the outside as a true starting WR, or if he will have to move in to the slot due to a lack of explosion off of the ball. The good news is that this will be the 2nd season after a serious knee injury (2011 season), so he will probably be as good this year health wise as he is ever going to get in regards to recovering from the knee injury.

Rashad Cunningham (R/S Sop.) is another WR who has proven nothing on the field as of yet (he literally put up no stats for the ’12 season). Seemingly Cunningham should project to an outside WR and is cut physically. He will be given every opportunity to win a starting position for this upcoming season seemingly has at least a million miles to go in order to land a starting position.

The other returning scholarship WR is A J Legree (Soph.). AJ has the size and leaping ability to make plays downfield over smaller receivers and should claim one of the outside positions. His 17 receptions (for the ’12 season) leads all returning players and he did minimally flash some potential this past season, so he is probably a starter who will nail down one of the positions in Spring

Ideally, Legree would make tremendous strides and claim one of the outside spots with Cunningham and allow either Sweat (if he returns) or Collins (most likely) to become the starting slot and D Robinson as a reserve slot WR due to his lack of size and ability to fight off defenders. If Sweat does decide to stay then the WR Corp does look much better on paper; however, they need these players to push one another and for at least 3 WRs to distinguish themselves as playmakers on the field,

So far, UK has 2 WR verballed to the team in Jevontey Smith and Deangelo Yancey. Seemingly, Yancey is the higher rated of the 2 WRs since he has more offers from higher profile schools. As it stands now, look for UK to take at least one more WR (for a total of 3) and possibly one of the WRs currently verballed to not be renewed with the new coaching staff. Whoever UK signs for the upcoming class will probably get immediate playing time at least as a back-up player just due to the lack of depth at the position for the 2013 season.

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