ATK Roundup: WR Preview
Next up in our weekly roundup of position previews, the pass catchers:
The Badgers lost one of their most accomplished and dependable wide receivers in recent history when Jared Abbrederis departed for the NFL last spring. A few candidates to pick up where he left off in 2014:
Kenzel Doe – SR – WR/KR
After serving a light role behind Abberditis in the wide receiver spot throughout most of the season, Doe burst on the scene during the Capital One Bowl with an electric 91 yard touchdown return. The diminutive Doe, who stands at just 5’8″ and 170 pounds, has been a steady special teams contributor (finishing second in the Big Ten in kickoff return yardage after averaging 26.5 yards per return), but hasn’t made a big impact at the receiver position as of yet.
That could change in 2014, as Doe is one of a number of receivers looking to fill the void left by Abbrederis and departed tight end Jacob Peterson, second on the team in targets with 58. The senior got off to a pretty good start in the spring game, connecting with potential starting quarterback Tanner McEvoy on a beautiful 27 yard diving touchdown grab.
Jordan Fredrick – RS JR – WR
Fredrick joins Doe among the host of relatively inexperienced wideouts looking to fill the Badgers’ void at the position. The 6’4″, 210 pound redshirt junior saw limited playing time in 2013 but definitely does not lack in athleticism; Fredrick came out of high school as a 3 star linebacker/safety prospect before switching to offense.
Fredrick’s versatility is evidenced by his high school stat line, where he accounted for 113 catches for 1,216 yards and 15 touchdowns, while also tallying 163 tackles, 14 interceptions and four defensive TD’s. 2014 will be the first time the WR depth chart will open up, giving Fredrick a chance to take hold of a starting spot in a wide open race.
The Tigers top two receivers both left early for the NFL Draft in 2013, with Odell Beckham (1st round) and Jarvis Landry (2nd round) continuing the tradition of LSU wideouts being drafted highly into the NFL. Much like the Badgers, a number of young up and coming talented receivers are looking to contribute in 2014:
Travin Dural – RS SO – WR
Dural appears to be the next in a long line of ultra-talented LSU receivers and is poised for a breakout season as the primary receiving threat. At 6’2″ and 185 pounds, Dural possesses good size along with elite speed, clocking in at under 4.4 seconds in the forty. Dural saw limited action behind Beckham and Landry in 2013 after redshirting in 2012. However he was still was able to contribute, catching the game winning 45 yard touchdown after getting behind the Arkansas defense.
A big play specialist in high school, Dural averaged 21 yards a catch and pulled in 19 touchdowns as a senior while leading his team to the state semifinals. A couple seasons as the primary threat in LSU’s offense could lead to Dural being the next highly drafted LSU receiver.
Malachi Dupre – FR – WR
With the departure of Beckham and Landry, the wideout competition will be somewhat wide open throughout the summer to the Tigers’ opener in Houston. That should leave the door open for a talented freshman like Dupre, and coach Les Miles has never been averse to putting the best players out there regardless of age & experience.
Dupre, ESPN’s top ranked wideout in the class of 2014 and a consensus 4-5 star recruit. In his last two years at Louisiana high school power John Curtis Christian, the 6’3″, 188 pound Dupre caught 70 balls for 1,423 yards and 21 touchdowns, helping lead John Curtis to the Division II State Championship in 2013. Dupre will join early enrollee QB Brandon Harris and runningback Leonard Fournette, the top ranked recruit in the country, as potential impact freshman for the Tigers in 2014.
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