Spring Report: What’s Up With the Wideouts?

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To say that Virginia struggled at wide receiver last season would be an understatement. Only two Cavalier wideouts caught more than seven passes last year and one of them (Michael McGrew) graduated. That means the top career receiver currently with the team is rising junior Deyon Williams , who has 27 catches. The rest of the Virginia receiving corps boasts just 20 career receptions, though senior wideout Ottowa Anderson (62 career receptions) is expected back for the fall after being academically ineligible last season.

Receivers coach John Garrett “teaches us a lot of great things,” says Fontel Mines .

With that in mind, the receivers have been one of the major question marks and priorities this spring. With the spring game just four days away, it’s safe to say they remain so.

Much has been made about the large number of dropped balls by the wideouts. Sunday’s practice was no different. There were certainly a fair share of drops, but one thing to note is that the blame should not be all on the receivers.

The quarterbacking was erratic at best during UVa’s final open practice of the spring. Marques Hagans is the only signal caller who can hit a fade with regularity, a big problem considering the Cavalier playbook seems to feature a whole lot of fades. Hagans still did not look comfortable throwing over the middle, especially on deep posts and ins, possibly because he can not get a clean read over the line. Christian Olsen and Kevin McCabe hit short outs all day but struggled to hit any deep pass, especially ones involving touch. McCabe seemed especially hesitant in the pocket and waited until far too late in his receivers’ patterns to release the football.

The point here is that the receivers may not be making plays, but the quarterbacks are not putting them in a position to do so. Hagans is head