Published August 23, 2012 - 10:45am
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By now, you probably know about Cobi Hamilton. He’s a proven commodity in Fayetteville, and we project him to be the top overall wide receiver in the SEC this season. He has it all, from speed and catching ability to a great quarterback who can get him the ball. But Hamilton returns to a wide receiving corps that is totally different than previous years, even different than what most projected it to look like last spring.
Two receivers who were thought to be key players on the offense this year are now gone. Quinta Funderburk transferred and Marquel Wade was suspended for the year.
But the Razorbacks will roll out their three and four wide receiver sets confidently, because there are other guys on the roster not named Cobi.
Former backup quarterback Brandon Mitchell has been lighting it up in fall camp. Mitchell certainly has great size and playmaking abilities from what we’ve seen thus far. The coaching staff dabbled with the idea of moving him in early camp, but he has since pretty much cemented himself as a player at the wide receiver position. He’s 6-4, 230 pounds, and he’s just too valuable to be warming the bench and pacing the sidelines. Look for Mitchell to have an impact in the receiving game.
JUCO transfer Demetrius Wilson is another receiver who can bust a grape. Wilson caught 51 passes for 928 yards and 10 touchdowns last season at Glendale Community. Much like Mitchell, Wilson has good size at 6-3, 180 pounds. He’ll be very good in this offense, and he could grow into the No. 2 receiver for this club.
One freshman who has exploded onto the scene in fall camp is Mekale McKay. McKay was the co-Mr. Basketball for the state of Kentucky his senior season. He’s 6-6 and has shown great athleticism thus far. He’ll remind Arkansas fans of former receiver Marcus Monk. Monk, much like McKay, was a basketball player who commanded double teams by his junior season. Look for the athleticism and size to play a key role in why McKay should be an impact freshman this season.
Junior Javontee Herndon should grow into a good receiver for this club as well. Herndon is the leading returning receiver not named Cobi. He caught eight passes for 137 yards last season. Arkansas is hoping Herndon can keep up his 17.1 yards per catch average.
Sophomore Keante Minor will figure into the mix, too. He has much athletic potential and should see an increased role throughout the season.
Junior Julian Horton was another Razorback to get some playing time last year, albeit minimal. He only caught nine passes for 85 yards, but look for his role to increase throughout this season as well.
Although you haven’t heard of many of these receivers at this point in the preseason, there are other playmakers on the roster who are not named Cobi Hamilton. In addition to Hamilton, tight end Chris Gragg will play a crucial role in the receiving game, too. Sure, there will be falloff from the previous trio of Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright, but the Razorbacks are hoping several receivers will step up and help fill the void by committee.