December 27, 2006

Alamo Bowl spotlight: Dominique Douglas

Player: Dominique Douglas

Position: Wide receiver

Classification: Freshman

Stats: In ten starts this season, Douglas led the team in receptions (46 and receiving yards (614), while pulling in two touchdowns. Overall, Douglas was the nation's most prolific pass-catcher among freshmen in both receptions and yards. Douglas also returned 13 for 145 yards.

Honors: Douglas was named a first-team Freshman All-American by The Sporting News.

Best Game: The true freshman from Detroit didn't have any 100-yard games this season, but he was consistently good in almost every contest this season, as he played well in games against Iowa State (six receptions for 88 yards), Ohio State (four receptions for 63 yards), Purdue (four receptions for 90 yards), Michigan (six receptions for 63 yards), Northwestern (seven receptions for 78 yards) and Minnesota (six receptions for 67 yards).

Scouting Report: If you asked Iowa fans to name the player that gives them the most reason for excitement in the future, Douglas is the name that they'll likely give. The former three-star receiver almost went unnoticed coming out of high school, so his performance this season was a surprise to say the last. Although he's got good size and speed, he's not a player that's going to wow you right now with his physical ability, but he's the kind of kid that works extremely hard on the field as both a receiver and blocker. Look for the Hawkeyes to try and get Douglas involved in the game very early and even though he didn't have a catch this season of more than 39 yards, the Hawkeyes are confident that he can be a vertical threat against the Longhorns.

Match-up to watch: (Douglas vs. Aaron Ross/ Tarell Brown) - This is a battle that Ross and Brown must win and frankly if they don't, they'll have performed well below expectations. The bottom line is that both of UT's cornerbacks have matched up with better receivers on a weekly basis in the Big 12, so the sight of Douglas shouldn't scare them. With the Hawkeyes lacking vertical threats in their offense, it'll be interesting to see how they defend Douglas. If they have Ross follow him all over the field, his impact shouldn't be significant. However, Brown has had a tough season this year with injuries and he's likely the player that the Hawkeyes will try to match Douglas up with more times than not. If the Texas corners can match up man-to-man and cover Douglas with success, the Longhorn defense should be able to get very creative across the board. However, if Douglas can make some things happen down-field and the defense has to start giving more over the top help with the safeties, it could limit the overall effectiveness of the defense.

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