August 2, 2010

Senior WR Kito Poblah embracing role as featured wideout

With wide receivers Bryan Anderson and Antonio Brown off to the NFL, Central Michigan will have the tough task of replacing two of the top wide receivers in MAC history this season. But often overlooked in their departure to the NFL is a playmaking wide receiver that is still on the team. Senior to be Kito Poblah slowly became the Chippewas top deep threat last season en route to catching 53 passes for 681 yards and 4 touchdowns. At 6-foot-2 and 210 pounds, Poblah averaged an impressive 12.8 yards per catch last year and he has caught at least one pass in 24 straight games.

As the team's top returning wide receiver, Poblah was enjoying a strong spring before falling victim to the injury bug.

"Well during the off-season I actually had a shortcoming with a minor injury and I've just been rehabbing ever since," added Poblah. "But I've been back in the summer and it's been pretty good, I've been adjusting to the new offense and I'm pretty confident in it heading into the season."

Despite missing some practice time during the spring, Poblah insists he is fully healthy and ready to roll once camp starts this week.

"I'm 100% definitely," added Poblah. "It was a minor injury that just happened during the spring and that happens in football. It was just something that I had to overcome and it's really nothing serious. I've been going hard in summer workouts and I'm 100%."

With Brown and Anderson gone, Poblah will become the featured wide receiver in head coach Dan Enos's offense, and the chance to be the #1 guy is something he has been looking forward to.

"Yeah…you know I've been waiting for this," said Poblah with a big smile. "It's very humbling and I'm very excited about it. I just feel like it's an opportunity for me to go out and show the MAC and the nation what I really can do."

While it's cemented that Poblah will be the #1 wide receiver come fall, what has not been decided is who will be throwing the ball to him. Although Enos continues to preach the wide open competition between all four upper class signal callers, Poblah believes it is a two horse race.

"Well we have two pretty good quarterbacks. First we had one, then we had a JUCO guy come in, so Ryan Radcliff and Brandon Fricke are the two guys I can see battling it out right now. They've both been really impressive to me and I don't have a preference of who's throwing the ball as long as it's getting to me."

With a starter yet to be named, Chippewa fans can expect a heated battle between the two during camp.

"Yeah, definitely, definitely there is going to be a battle between those two," added Poblah. "I can honestly say that even I don't know who is going to start the first game."

Joining Poblah at wide receiver will be a talented but somewhat inexperienced group. For the Chippewas to continue their reputation as a squad with talented wide receivers, a few unproven players will need to answer the bell.

"Cody Wilson, a guy who played last year. Taylor Bradley is coming off his redshirt year, and Cedric Fraser. As long as those guys step up and understand their roles on the team, then we should be fine at the wide receiver position."

And as a unit, Poblah doesn't expect any drop-off from last season.

"Well of course we want to continue our mantra as a top five wide receiver core in the nation and we definitely want to continue that with our current group. As wide receivers, we want to continue to make plays like we have in the past and our offense will be fine because we usually throw the ball a lot."

While they may not see the field as Wilson, Bradley, and Fraser will, Poblah has been equally impressed with the two newcomers in 2010 recruits Jonathan Taylor and Deon Butler.

"I like both of them a lot," said Poblah. "They're both hungry and they ask me questions all the time. They stay after a lot of the time and I see a hunger in their eyes, so I can see them becoming great in the next couple of years."

With 4.5 speed to go along with his impressive size, Poblah will have a chance to be the featured wide receiver this fall and show what numerous people around the program believed last season, that he was the most talented pure WR on the team. Expect a big year from the talented senior and don't be surprised if he continues the path of CMU wide receivers to the NFL.

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