Spring look ahead: Wide Receivers

The 2011 signing class was the year of the wide receiver for former coach Houston Nutt.

Nick Brassell, Tobias Singleton, Donte Moncrief, Collins Moore.

Moncrief has panned out in a big way. Moore, less heralded than the other three upon signing, is a hard-nosed player who suffered an unfortunate injury early in camp last year for all intents and purposes ending his season. Grades have plagued Brassell, and whether he’ll qualify academically for the fall remains to be seen. Moore was mentioned Thursday for a possible move to safety. Singleton is no longer in the program.

With all those young guys signed in 2011 it seemed strange to hear Hugh Freeze talk about a need for depth at the position in 2012, but that’s where it was.

He addressed that depth in the 2013 class if his signees pan out. There is a lot of excitement of for Laquon Treadwell. Quincy Adeboyejo could be a sleeper, and Derrick Jones was called by Freeze a “hidden gem” in the class.

One or all of those guys should create an interesting atmosphere of competition in August. Until then, the Rebels look forward to returning their top three receivers, led by Moncrief, who had 66 catches for 979 yards and 10 scores.

Vincent Sanders and Ja-Mes Logan got better as the season went on, and when Logan was inserted in the slot it allowed the Rebels to get their best three receivers on the field together.

Logan, a senior in 2013, had 43 catches for 490 yards and one touchdown. Sanders had 39 catches for 504 yards and four scores.

Sanders particularly made strides. He blossomed as a third-year sophomore and should get better.

If recruiting heights and weights are to be believed, Treadwell arrives at 6-3, 198, already physically bigger than Sanders and Logan, both of whom had touchdown catches in the bowl game.

The Rebels need Moncrief to play at a higher level throughout the season. As he began to be targeted by opposing defenses, Moncrief at times struggled to get open. Half of his touchdown catches came in the last two regular season games, at LSU and at home against MSU. He had six catches for 31 yards in the bowl game.

While Sanders and Logan have shown dependable hands, Treadwell could give the Rebels a physically imposing receiver to play opposite Moncrief.

Beyond the starters and Korvic Neat – who had injury issues but managed 25 catches – there’s no measurable production returning among the recievers.

Philander Moore is back but caught only four balls a year. Cody Core will be a sophomore. He had one catch last year and will get a look at safety.

There was a lot of balls thrown to the running backs, but spring will be about trying to develop depth among the wide receivers.

Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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