Football: Plenty of depth, but lacking go-to receiver

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    Three senior wide receivers and a talented tight end are expected to give redshirt freshman quarterback Andy Dalton several weapons at his disposal this season.Even with a plethora of experienced receiving options, head coach Gary Patterson is still looking for someone to step up in order to replace Quentily Harmon and Michael DePriest.

    “We lost two good players last year,” Patterson said. “What we are looking for is a go-to guy. We ask a lot of our wideouts. They have to be able to block and they also have to be able to catch and do a lot of different things; different than you see in some offenses.”

    Patterson said he doesn’t care who stands out, just as long as someone does.

    “Every year, there seems to be a guy that has to step up to the plate,” Patterson said.

    The coach also said the wide receivers will progress as the season goes on.

    “It is a position that will grow as the year goes on,” Patterson said. “I don’t think we are where we need to be now, but we have a lot of leadership in (Marcus) Brock and Ervin Dickerson and Derek Moore – our seniors. And some players will grow up like Jimmy Young, redshirt freshman, and Ryan Christian, sophomore, (they) are guys that we feel could have an impact on the game.”

    Another player who could step up and become the playmaker the Frogs are looking for is junior Donald Massey, who had 26 receptions for 332 yards and three touchdowns last season.

    “He is a guy that is kind of in between because he is a junior,” Patterson said. “But he is a guy that has the capability of going to the house because of his speed.”

    Junior tight end Shae Reagan is expected to be another strong weapon for the Horned Frogs’ offense.

    Reagan hauled in 14 catches last season, good for 300 yards and two touchdowns. Reagan could be considered an automatic first down as each of his catches last season resulted in a Horned Frogs first down.

    As long as the tight end group remains healthy, Patterson said the team has good depth at that position.

    “The biggest thing about the tight end position is that we have to stay healthy,” Patterson said. “We have not been very healthy during two-a-days, but we are getting back to being healthy and we have a lot of potential at that position. (Tight end) is another position that I think we will be a lot better at by the end of the season.”

    Behind Reagan, the Frogs have senior Quinton Cunigan, senior Trey Englert and redshirt freshman Evan Frosch.

    With all of these options, this offense could outperform last season’s passing attack, which ranked No. 48 in yards with 2,780 passing yards.