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ACC Features Talented, Experienced Receivers
by Chris Coleman, TechSideline.com, TSLMail #436 June 11, 2010

The ACC has a lot of good quarterbacks and plenty of good running backs returning in 2010. Are the quarterbacks going to have anyone to throw the ball to? The answer is yes. Most ACC teams return the majority of their experienced wide receivers in 2010.

With experienced quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers returning, we know that the ACC offenses will be able to make some big plays next year. Whether or not the offenses are consistently good will depend on the offensive lines, but we'll cover that subject next week. For now, let's stick to the returning wide receivers.

Returning Wide Receiver Production
Team Rec. Yards TD
Duke 174 2418 15
Wake Forest 166 2167 20
FSU 140 1762 6
Maryland 133 1638 10
UNC 111 1363 11
Miami 107 1762 11
NC State 100 1692 18
Virginia Tech 92 1389 10
UVA 61 741 3
BC 52 873 9
Clemson 34 536 4
*GT is not included

Those numbers include the top three returning wide receivers for each team. Georgia Tech is not included in the analysis because the Yellow Jackets run such a different offense, and because they have no returning receiver who caught more than six passes a year ago.

Duke: Coach David Cutcliffe is a very good football coach who has brought an advanced passing offense to Durham. He also returns his top three receivers. New quarterback Sean Renfree will have good targets to work with.

Wake Forest: The Demon Deacons also bring back their top three wide receivers. Expect their production to go down this year. There is no more Riley Skinner, and Jim Grobe will go back to a focus on the running game.

Florida State: Christian Ponder brings back Bert Reed, Jarmon Fortson and Taiwan Easterling. This will be the best Florida State receiving corps in years, and with a senior quarterback throwing them the football, their production should be excellent.

Maryland: Maryland's wide receivers are arguably the strength of the team. Torrey Smith and Adrian Cannon are good players, and they put up good numbers last year. However, can quarterback Jamarr Robinson get them the ball consistently? That's the big question mark.

North Carolina: UNC had a very young group of wide receivers last year. This year they bring back their top four receivers, including Greg Little, one of the best wideouts in the conference. With a senior quarterback under center, the UNC passing game has the potential to be the most improved in the league.

Miami: Miami probably has the most talented group of wide receivers in the ACC. Leonard Hankerson, Aldarius Johnson, Travis Benjamin and LaRon Byrd are very good players. With Jacory Harris entering his third year in the program, this group of wide receivers is poised for a big year.

NC State: Russell Wilson says he's coming back for his junior season, despite being selected in the fourth round of the MLB Draft this past week. He will have solid talent to work with at receiver, including Owen Spencer, who averaged over 25 yards per catch in 2009.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies bring back all of their wide receivers for the 2010 season. Tech doesn't air it out as much as the other teams in the ACC, and they are unlikely to in 2010 because of the return of Ryan Williams and Darren Evans. However, Tech still has a capable group of receivers. Their numbers might not be gaudy, but Danny Coale and Jarrett Boykin are both on pace to set the Virginia Tech career receptions record.

UVA: After the Hokies, returning production amongst wide receivers really drops off. UVA returns Kris Burd, but they are hoping for major improvement from sophomore Tim Smith and junior Jared Green. If those players don't step up, it's likely to be a long year for the UVA offense.

Boston College: Long-time solid performer Rich Gunnell is finally gone. Colin Lamard, Jr. is a very talented receiver who averaged about 20 yards per catch last year. He'll need help however, and Justin Jarvis will need to step up. We could also see Billy Flutie in major action.

Clemson: The Tigers didn't throw it much to the wide receivers last year, with the exception of Jacoby Ford. Their leading returning receiver is Xavier Dye, who caught just 14 passes. He will have to raise his game to a different level, along with Terrance Ash and Marquan Jones. If r-freshman Tajh Boyd starts at quarterback, this Clemson passing game could be among the worst in the ACC this season.


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