Over the past few seasons, the University of Cincinnati football team has burst into the national spotlight, winning two consecutive Big East Championships and earning BCS Bowl berths in the process.
The success has come almost exclusively from a high-powered offensive attack. That offense is centered around two positions: quarterback and wide receiver.
While Cincinnati has had great quarterbacks the past few seasons, no position has been stronger than wide receiver.
In 2009, led by All-American Mardy Gilyard, the Cincinnati receiving corps put up some gaudy numbers. Numbers worthy enough to be considered one of the best groups in the country.
In 2010, despite the departure of Gilyard to the NFL, the majority of that group is back. Couple that with some talented recruits and the Cincinnati receiving corps is the best in college football.
Each receiver in the offensive rotation brings something different to the table, starting with senior Armon Binns.
Binns is clearly the best of the bunch and at 6'4" he has the big play ability. He is the home run hitter that helps keep defenses honest, opening up holes for the rest of the group.
Joining Binns is junior slot man D.J. Woods. Woods is the possession receiver, who is almost a lock to lead the team in receptions. Woods has explosive speed and is a deadly punt returner. If the Bearcats need a big reception on third down, Woods is the guy.
With Binns and Woods the Bearcats have the experience necessary to compete in the Big East. Add in USC transfer Vidal Hazelton and Juco recruit Kenbrell Thompkins and this group is head and shoulders above the rest of the country.
Hazelton is the leading candidate to grab the third receiver spot and after an impressive spring game of four catches for 88 yards, the job is his to lose. Hazelton was a five-star recruit out of high school and the talent level he brings is something Cincinnati football rarely sees.
Thompkins is one of the biggest recruits Cincinnati has signed in recent memory. He had over 2,000 yards receiving in junior college and had offers from every major school. He will certainly see plenty of action in the four wide sets.
Clearly this group has all the ingredients to be the best in the nation. Throw in the best pass catching tight end in the Big East in senior Ben Guidugli and the group is complete.
While it is still early and the spring game is rarely any indicator of the season to come, it is amazing to see what this offense can do when it gets the ball.
For a group that was fourth in the nation at 39 points per game last season, expect more of the same in 2010. If the offensive line produces like '09, the '10 Cincinnati Bearcats may produce more points than any team in the country.
Experts often single out schools for the NFL players they produce. For example, Penn St. is known as Linebacker U.
The University of Cincinnati is quickly making a name for themselves at the wide receiver position. The receivers make this offensive attack the toughest in the nation to contain.
Believe it or not, it may not be long before the University of Cincinnati is known as Wide Receiver U.
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