May 29, 2007

The Boys of Summer: Wide Receivers

Analysis and commentary by Keith Allsep.

In the second in a series of articles focusing on summer workouts, we take a detailed look at the receivers, and which players need to become more consistent this summer if they are to play a role in the Gamecock offense in the upcoming season. Junior Kenny McKinley is now the leader of the receiver corps, but who else will be on the field when the Gamecocks open the season on Sept. 1?

When the Gamecocks opened spring practice, the primary goal for the receiver unit was to find a replacement for Sidney Rice. It became apparent early on that McKinley would be Mitchell's go to target. The 6-foot, 181-pound junior was second on the team in catches (51) and receiving yardage (880) last season. The challenge for the Mableton, Ga., native is to go from complementary receiver to primary target. McKinley has not had to endure the bracketed coverage and double teams Rice saw on a regular basis. McKinley has proven to be sure handed and runs good routes. Opposing defenses will test the former high school quarterback early on in 2007 to see if he is up to the challenge. In order to meet this challenge, McKinley will need to become more physical and continue to work on getting off press coverage at the line of scrimmage.

Other than McKinley, there is much work to be done for the receiving corps to play up to the expectations of receivers coach Steve Spurrier Jr. There was great optimism prior to spring about the ability of Jared Cook.

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