The #1 WR will be?
The Oregon Ducks have an abundance of wide receivers on next season’s roster, but none of them has established themselves as a No. 1 option.
Having lost Lavasier Tuinei from last year’s team, this year’s squad is going to be looking for their go-to guy from the opening kickoff.
The Ducks are likely to establish a wide receiver committee early in the year, but there are a handful of players who must step up to separate themselves from the pack during the 2012 season.
At 6’4”, Daryle Hawkins has the size to play wide receiver in any offense in the country. His 190-pound frame could use some more muscle, but his length and athleticism should propel him to success if given the opportunity.
Hawkins began his career as a quarterback but has shown potential as a receiver. While he’s yet to truly impress anybody at this point, his five receptions for 102 yards (20.4 yards per catch) in 2011 shows that the possibilities are certainly there to become a big part of the offense.
His hands are questionable at this point, as he had a number of drops last year; but if he can focus on bringing the ball in without losing any of his speed, he’ll be a good option both in the slot and on the outside in 2012.
Devon Blackmon is another one-time quarterback, but he was brought in to Eugene specifically to be a threat at the receiver position.
As a redshirt freshman, Blackmon is still young. He’s yet to play in a college football game, but his incredible athleticism and shifty movements will make him a dangerous weapon when he finally hits the field next year.
As a speed receiver, Blackmon can create some serious distance between he and his defender and should begin making a name for himself early in his career.
B.J. Kelley may be a redshirt freshman, but he is a player who could step in and make a difference right away for the Oregon Ducks.
His speed is solid for his size and he has great body control when it comes to running routes and reacting to balls thrown in his general vicinity.
He also has the ability to bring down a jump ball with his great leaping ability, which can only help a first-time quarterback.
Tacoi Sumler is another freshman receiver who could step up big next year with his incredible speed and excellent hands.
With the news this summer that Justin Hoffman will miss his senior season due to injuries, Rahsaan Vaughn will likely be the only senior receiver who plays significant minutes in 2012.
The 6’2” wide receiver didn’t play an integral part of the Ducks’ offense last season, but he could be a much bigger contributor during his second full year with the team.
Vaughn admitted that Oregon’s pace and no-huddle offense were tough to adjust to as a junior college transfer, but with a year under his belt, he should be ready to make a difference in the rotation next season.
Josh Huff is the receiver who must step up the most heading into the 2012 college football season.
His time at Oregon has been productive thus far, but he’s yet to put it all together and show that he can dominate the field.
His court date was pushed back to the end of the season and he will likely be there on the field playing against the Arkansas State Red Devils. When it comes to his health, there’s still the question mark surrounding the nagging leg injury that held him back throughout portions of last year.
With the talent and potential to be the team’s No. 1 receiver next year, Huff has to keep his head in the game and his health a top priority.