February 12, 2008
Position rankings: A closer look
SpartanMag.com, looks at the Big Ten from a position by position basis. Which teams did particularly well at what positions? Today we look at the wide receiver spot. The Big Ten was loaded with quality pass catchers last year and several of them have departed to the NFL . Who will be the stars of tomorrow at that position?
The future star: (Ohio State)
Every year Spartanmag.co observes a player at the NIKE Camp's that we attend that we believe is a can't miss prospect. This year that player was Devier Posey of LaSalle High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. Posey is silky smooth and his ability to go up and get the ball is as good as anyone in the nation. Throw in the fact that he has excellent hands, has run a 10.7 100-meters and can make you miss and you have an elite player. Ohio State only signed one prospect at wide receiver and when the player is as good as Posey you can get away with that. Posey consistently climbed the ranking throughout the entire year and ended up a 5-star prospect, #21 in the nation.
Hard to figure: (Minnesota)
According to the rankings the Gophers have the best wide receiver class in the Big Ten, but I am not sure several teams would be willing to trade. Vincent Hill is a 4-star wide receiver out of Milford Academy, who signed with Akron out of high school? Brandon Green's scholarship list is as impressive as anyone in the Midwest, but he committed to Minnesota without even visiting anyone else? We don't doubt Green's ability, but his decision making process is not the norm. JUCO WR Brodrick Smith should be able to play early for the Gophers. Coach Brewster covered all the basses, he signed a JUOC prospect, a prep schooler, a blue chipper and a sleeper (Xzavian Brandon)
Instant Impact: (Illinois)
The Illini had one of the best freshmen wide receivers in the nation last year in Aurelius Benn, however he did not have much help. The second leading receiver was Rashard Mendenhall and the third leading receiver, Jacob Willis, gradated after catching a whopping 22 passes. The Illini are going to have to pass the ball more effectively in 2008 in order to be successful and the opportunity is there for somebody to step in. Cordale Scott of Glenville, Ohio has as good a chance as any to step in and contribute early on. Scott is not in the same league as Benn, but the extra attention he gets could open things up a bit for a player like Scott
Don't sleep on: (Michigan)
The question is not if Michigan will have talented wide receivers, but who will get the ball to them. Coach Rodriguez was able to keep the commitment of 4-star prospect Darryl Stonum and the word is that players like Michael Shaw and Terrance Robinson will move from running back to wide receiver. Throw in 4-star wide out Roy Roundtree, , who flipped from Purdue at the 11th hour, and you have as talented a bunch as any team in the conference. Coach Rodriguez likes his QB to be mobile, but with a bevy of WR talent it might be wise for a guy like Steven Threet stay in the pocket until Rodriguez gets his type of guy in there.
Spartan perspective: (Michigan State)
The Spartan wide receiving corps is headline by 4-star prospect Fred Smith. He is as big and physical and could contribute next fall due to the departure of Devin Thomas to the NFL. Keyshawn martin was a relative unknown up until November, but anyone who has seen his highlight film has had to pick their jaw off the table. Both Smith and Martin could see time early. The third wide receiver is Myles White of Livonia. White is a speedster with good hands, but he probably is going to need a year to add some quality weight. If White can get up in the 185-pound range and keep his incredible speed, he will be a stretch the field type of player.
Next up quarterbacks:
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