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Two Deep Tango: Receivers

Let's look now at the guys that will be catching the ball. No doubt, recruiting and practice reports have us excited about what we can see out of our tight ends and wide receivers, but they'll need to prove it on the field.

 

Tight End/H-Back
84 - Derrick Catlett
6-4, 241 (Jr.#)
88 - Collin Franklin
6-6, 247 (So.#)
91 - Patrick Neal
6-0, 224 (So.#)

The tight end/H-back position is the one that will see more time on the field in lieu of the fullback. In fact, as of last year, it essentially replaced the fullback. Derrick Catlett showed flashes last year. Brought in as a pass-catching tight end, it's arguable that he made his hay last year as a blocker out of the backfield. He's pretty good at catching the ball, but it's safe to say that Collin Franklin is the better receiving threat. Franklin gives ISU the ability to try out the occasional two tight-end set, and he will be a guy to follow this year. It's a little disappointing thus far that he hasn't really showed up in practice reports, but tight ends coach Scott Fountain has gone so far to say that if he was as experienced as Catlett is, he'd be the better player. Patrick Neal shouldn't see much playing time.

 

Wide Receiver
82 - Marquis Hamilton
6-4, 220 (Jr.#)
5 - RJ Sumrall
6-1, 202 (Sr.#)
14 - Sedrick Johnson
6-4, 188 (Fr.)
81 - Jason Carlson
6-0, 224 (So.#)
24 - Darius Darks
6-0, 167 (Fr.)
18 - Wallace Franklin
6-3, 172 (Sr.)
9 - Euseph Messiah
5-10, 170 (Sr.#)
15 - Houston Jones
6-1, 196 (Jr.#)

Receiver was one of the hardest positions to analyze on the team. I honestly think that Marquis Hamilton is the best receiver on the team, and I listed him at #1 because I think he's our biggest threat. RJ Sumrall will be a solid number two, and should have a nice senior campaign. He kind of reminds me of Jack Whitver. Provided Sedrick Johnson is all he's hyped up to be, I find it hard to believe he won't be on the field a lot. I would imagine a guy like Sumrall would line up in the slot with Sedrick on the outside. Burner Jason Carlson should see some snaps as well, to be used much in the same role that the Iowa Hawkeyes use with their screens that they happen to use every other play. Darius Darks has been one of the biggest surprises of fall practice. WR coach Jay Rodgers says he will play, and, while I don't think he's better than the 4 guys in front of him, he'll probably be part of a rotation. It's hard to slot Wallace Franklin til he comes back from suspension, but I imagine he'd be little more than a rotation guy. Euseph Messiah and Houston Jones will be looked at to rotate in and out to give the other guys breaks. Messiah showed decent flashes last year, but his size hurts him. It's tough to tell what to make of Jones at this point, as the former quarterback still seems to be adjusting to receiver.