Texas Football: Who Will Emerge as the Longhorns' Prime Wide Receiver in 2011?
Following the finish of the 2010 collegiate football season, Texas Longhorn fans immediately began the debate about the core cause of the team's 5-7 record and its consistently inconsistent offensive performance.
Some argue Garrett Gilbert did not live up to expectations.
Some argue it was actually the Texas receivers who were the problem, dropping catchable passes and running lazy routes.
If the former is more true than the latter, for Gilbert to succeed, a wide receiver or receivers must step up during spring practice and the sessions leading into the 2011-2012 season.
Let's take a look at a few of the potential impact wide receivers who will take the field for the 2011-2012 Longhorns:
When Texas fans and pundits talk about the 2011 receiver corps, one player is consistently mentioned: former Brownwood, Texas star and recent Texas signee Jaxon Shipley.
If nothing else, Jaxon Shipley has an NFL pedigree.
His brother, Jordan, one of the best receivers in Texas Longhorns history, just spent his rookie season alongside Chad Ochocinco (Johnson) and Terrell Owens with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Who Will Emerge As Texas' Best WR in 2011?
Jaxon's decision to delay enrollment at Texas until the fall of 2011 was due in large part to an opportunity to work with his brother one-on-one during the summer and learn the details of competing as a wide receiver at football's highest levels.
If Shipley can implement what he learns from Jordan and new receivers coach Darrell Wyatt as well as adapt to Bryan Harsin's offensive scheme early in the fall, he could be just the impact guy that Texas is looking for at wide receiver.
Texas sophomore wide receiver Mike Davis showed flashes of brilliance during the 2010 season. Davis finished with 47 catches for 478 yards and two touchdowns, second in each category only to recent Texas graduate James Kirkendoll.
Davis' sure hands, straight-line speed and athleticism earned the confidence of the Texas staff early on in the season and it showed, as plays were designed to get him the ball in open space.
With a strong spring and good showing in preseason practice, Davis should emerge as the team's No. 1 wide receiver and will be looked to early and often during 2011.
Marquise Goodwin is the best athlete on the Texas Longhorns roster. That's one opinion that's hard to argue.
Blessed with amazing speed and athleticism, Goodwin on January 28th at the Razorback Invitational set the all-time NCAA long jump record with a jump of 26 feet, 8 1/2 inches, shattering a 23-year-old record.
If he can finally combine his extraordinary athletic ability with football acumen this fall, Goodwin could easily become Texas' go-to-guy.
Goodwin's 31 catches for 324 yards and one touchdown made him the third-best Texas receiver statistically during the 2010 season, but his highlight catches and solid kick return abilities caught the eyes of Texas fans and the coaching staff alike.
Look for Marquise Goodwin to step up his game and become a big part of the Texas passing attack during the upcoming season.
Shipley, Davis and Goodwin are not the only Longhorn receivers with some promise.
Darius White, DeSean Hales and incoming freshmen Mykkele Thompson and Miles Onyegbule will also be looking to make their mark on the Texas offense.
Will 2011 be the year of the receiver for the Texas Longhorns?
It must be for the team to again establish itself as one of college football's offensive powers.
And yes, in case you were wondering, I intentionally left out Malcolm Williams.
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