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Spring Preview: Receivers Coming of Age?

That's even how UW titled their Spring preview for this crew (all UW Spring Content here). And that's the bottom line: will a group of talented guys realize their potential. David Gilreath became the most uttered name among the receivers last year after turning in some big plays. He is straight line fast and quick, but needs to catch the balls thrown his way. With his smaller size, in a perfect world he would be a slot receiver in a 3-wide set.

I'm an Isaac Anderson fan. He has good size, good speed, and good hands. Among the current crop of receivers he has the biggest immediate upside and at least some people thought of he had the best pure talent coming in as a recruit. Coming off an injury the year before, he has two years of eligibility left. If the guy under center is good, Anderson can become a real star.

The third receiver is probably the toughest call. Kyle Jefferson started his freshman campaign in part due to Anderson's injuries. He has played well, but drops too many passes. Unfortunately, Jefferson suffered a concussion his freshman year, and again last season, in addition to other injuries. Concussions aren't something to be trifled with, so Jefferson's role may be limited. Given the opportunity to step in last season, Nick Toon played well, if not exceptionally well. He, like practically every other receiver in the corps, needs to do a better job catching balls thrown his way. However, with his size and speed, Toon has a lot of potential, and three more years to realize it. Fans are excited about Toon's NFL-sized pedigree, which is nice, but it's plays he makes, not the ones his dad made, that will make or break him for the Badgers.

Mo Moore and Daven Jones are both fighting back from injuries and will be limited in the Spring. They, too, have solid upside, but are understandably further down the depth chart. With true-freshman Appleton and Duckworth coming in, as well as redshirt freshman TJ Williams, and contributing fifth-year senior TJ Theus back for a final round, there should be plenty of depth on the outside for the Badgers.

I honestly believe Anderson, Toon, and Gilreath (with Jefferson thrown in) could be one of the best sets of starters the Badgers have had. The depth behind them is an added bonus. The key for that to happen is twofold:

(1) to catch the darn ball; and
(2) a quarterback who gets them the ball routinely

Seriously, this Badger offense has a ton of potential. It all hinges on the quarterback . . .

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