JHoo’s Summer Reading ’08: Receivers

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I am not sure I can remember a year during the Al Groh era when it has been more pleasurable to write the column about the wide receivers. Simply put, while I have some concerns about the 2008 passing game, it has nothing to do with the talent Virginia has at the wide receiver position … and that has not been something I frequently could say in past years.

The Starters

Kevin Ogletree ‘s return to the field in 2008 should provide a boost to every receiver on the depth chart.

The 2008 starters in all likelihood will be who the 2007 starters should have been: Kevin Ogletree and Maurice Covington . In my opinion, the two are excellent complements for each other … but for two receivers to complement each other, it obviously is a given that both have to be on the field. Last year, Kevin Ogletree was the one piece to the puzzle that was missing among the wide receivers. Unfortunately, he was not one of those pieces from the corner of the puzzle that you can do without. No, without Ogletree in the mix, the puzzle just did not fit together. For a wide receiver corps in desperate need of playmakers, Kevin Ogletree is a much needed playmaker.

Ogletree starts with an excellent physical skill set: he is big, fast, and fluid. He can create separation with his raw speed and with subtle changes of speed during his routes, as well as with explosive acceleration. Ogletree’s hands are good and he can make some tough catches at times, though he has flashed a tendency to drop the occasional easy one, a concentration issue that I expect to see him put behind him as he continues to develop.

Ogletree clearly is the biggest deep threat on the team, running the fly pattern fairly well. But it is the post route where you really can see Ogletree’s gifts shine. He generally gets off the line clean, whether