July 21, 2006

Good hands group

Pre-season football practices will be here before you know it, and it's time to start taking a position by position look at the defending champion Texas Longhorns. Up next is a look at a deep and talented group of receivers.

Guys like Limas Sweed, Billy Pittman and Quan Cosby all picked up valuable experience last season, and the receivers should really hit their stride in 2006 now that the group has quite a bit of experience under its belt. Throw in the addition of Jordan Shipley, and this is a position of strength for the Texas offense.

Limas Sweed - Sweed has always had an abundance of talent, but he's been a tad inconsistent in his freshman and sophomore seasons. The playmaker out of Brenham did begin to hit his stride down the stretch, including an eight-catch performance in the national title game against USC.

At 6-foot-5 and 219 pounds, Sweed is a match-up nightmare for defensive backs and he could be in for a real breakout year this fall. His confidence should be at an all-time high and he's got enough experience that should allow him to be a team leader

Sweed should continue to blossom this year and he should be one of the conference's top receiving threats. His numbers may not reflect his talent because Texas is breaking in some young quarterbacks and the Horns figure to run the ball a lot, but he should be a true gamebreaker on the outside.

Billy Pittman - Before getting banged up with injuries, Pittman was one of the country's most explosive receivers and he finished the season averaging 22.1 yards per reception. He's not the biggest guy on the field, he's not the fastest, but he just finds ways to get open. Pittman racked up 750 yards receiving last year and five scores, including huge games against Ohio State and Oklahoma.

Like Sweed and every other receiver on the roster, the challenge for Pittman this summer and next fall will be to develop a good working relationship with the young quarterbacks and in doing so, boost the freshmen QBs' confidence.

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