Sunday, August 8, 2010

What Does Indiana Seek In A Wide Receiver?

By now you know that Indiana’s best position is wide receiver. The Hoosiers are loaded with fast, athletic guys who can make plays, which is huge in this spread-the-field era.

You know about junior Tandon Doss, an All-Big Ten choice last year after catching 77 passes for 962 yards and five touchdowns. Then there’s junior Damalo Belcher, who totaled 61 catches for 770 yards and five downs. Look out for senior Terrance Turner, who had 46 catches for 443 yards and a touchdown.

Certain to make big impacts are Dre Muhammad, a transfer from Purdue, and super talented redshirt freshman Duwyce Wilson out of Columbus, Ind.

That’s five strong receivers for a program not noted for its big-time pass catchers, although record-setter James Hardy had an All-America career a couple of seasons ago and is finally looking to make a NFL splash in Buffalo.

All this leads to the question, what does IU look for when recruiting receivers? For the answer we turn to Billy Lynch, the wide receiver coach and front man for recruiting receivers.

“The biggest thing for me,” Lynch said, “is receivers come in all shapes and sizes. One thing that is important in this league is having size. Whether it be height or strength or weight or all of the above.

“If I could recruit three receivers every year, I want to make sure I had one who was a tall guy, one who was physical and who could play across the middle, and a fast guy. You don’t want to have 12 receivers who all look the same. You want different pieces of the puzzle.”

Let’s look at this year’s puzzle. Doss is 6-3 and 195 pounds. Belcher is 6-5 and 215. Turner is 6-3 and 210. Wilson is 6-3 and 200. Muhammad is the runt of the group at 5-10 and 185.

“That’s why those first three guys (Doss, Belcher and Turner) are a perfect combination,” Lynch said. “Damarlo has the length and can go up and make plays in the air and play that back-side receiver. You’ve got Terrance who is a physical specimen who can roam the middle and do things there. Tandon has the speed and do-it-all ability.

“Duwyce has a chance to be special because he’s a combo of all three in one body.”

The bottom line -- If receivers perform as well as they look, the Hoosiers might get to a bowl for just the second time in the last 15 seasons.

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