August 28, 2007

Camp Grades: WRs

After a difficult 2006 season, Arizona State's young wide receivers group is looking to rebound under a new coaching staff. Led by talented sophomore Kyle Williams, the receivers showed clear improvement in camp, but still have much to prove.

Williams and Brandon Smith were the two most impressive players at the position this spring, but Smith sprained an ankle early in camp and has been for the most part been out of action since then.

Smith has the potential to be a big play target but he's got to show that he's able to catch the ball consistently, and remain healthy. He's long and athletic with very good speed and explosiveness and great leaping ability. But he wasn't on the field in 11-on-11 action the last two weeks, so it's difficult to determine what can be expected from him at this juncture.

On the other hand, Williams has the look of a future star. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder will be the starting H-position (slot) receiver.

The Sun Devils like to get Williams the ball where he's in position to do damage after the catch. He's got very quick feet and change of direction to go along with open field speed and elusiveness. Williams also is a very consistent pass-catcher in practice, but he has to prove that he's able to carry that over to games, and also show that going to be a consistent route runner.

In the standard three-wide formation ASU will use, the other opening game starters will be Mike Jones at the X-position (split end) and Chris McGaha at the Z-position (flanker).

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