Entering the 2005 season, I think the wide receivers and tight ends are the most intriguing part of the team, simply for the fact that they are mostly unknown and are some of the better athletes on the team.
All three of last season’s starters -- Grant Adams, Joel Hazard and Dave Kashetta -- are gone. And the trio accounted for 42% of BC’s receptions last season.
I am not sure who will start this season. Given TOB and staff’s penchant for rewarding seniority, I think you could see the two seniors Larry Lester and Will Blackmon start. Interestingly both are converted defensive backs. Of the wide receivers Larry Lester caught the most balls (35 in eight games) last season. Larry is undersized but has speed. His hands are okay but he is probably best known for his overtime fumble against Pitt. He also has been prone to injury. Fortunately he has had his better games with Quinton Porter. Larry is a deep ball threat too, which we will need to stretch the offense.
Will Blackmon might be the most talented athlete on the team. Too bad he was not our best corner. His mental lapses and gambles last year cost him his starting CB job. But as he shown on special teams -- when he has the ball -- that he is very allusive. His conversion to offense has been the main story of the offseason. If he can catch he can have a big season. If he can’t than he’ll only see the field on kicks and punts. Hopefully Bible will use him in the occasionally end around.
Chris Miller is the projected starting tight end. He caught 20 passes (two for TDs) last year. He is serviceable but not a game breaker. I think he fill any void left by Kashetta.
Then there are the unknowns. I really like JR Tony Gonzalez. He caught the game-winning TD against Notre Dame. He has never shown anything spectacular, but he has reliable hands -- which we have been lacking. Jason Lilly and Kevin Challenger have also shown potential yet have never received much playing time. Redshirt freshman Brandon Robinson was highly touted and reportedly had a strong spring. And backup tight end Trey Koziol will also see more playing time.
I would like to throw the ball more this season. But given an untested receiving corp, Quinton Porter’s return, and a talent group of running backs, I don’t think we’ll see as much passing as last season.