JHoo’s Summer Reading 2010: Receivers

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Kris Burd led Hoo receivers with 31 catches for 413 yards last season.

The numbers at the wide receiver position are a little thinner than was the case a week or two ago. Still, UVa has some talent at wide receiver going into the 2010 season, even if it does not have any truly established playmakers.

The Starters

Without looking at the statistics, do you know who led Virginia receivers with 31 catches last year? How about the leader with 413 receiving yards? I asked five or six casual UVa fans those questions and only one gave me the right answer, and he only got it right when it came to receiving yards. I even told two of the victims that it was (a) a wide receiver and (b) that he was going into his third year on the field. It did not help either one.

The answer? Kris Burd . Seriously.

Burd is not the kind of wide receiver that is going to jump out to the casual fan as an important player. He certainly is not going to blow away anyone with his size, topping out at 5’11” (maybe) and 190 pounds (maybe), and he does not impress the stopwatch much when he is running against it. But on the field, Burd is adept at changing the pace of his stride, effectively making himself a little faster against a defensive back than he is against a stopwatch, and he runs very good routes, which also is worth a half step here and there. On top of that, Burd has a very good feel for finding holes in coverage, allowing him to “smart” his way into separation where he cannot create it by speed or by outmuscling a defender for the ball in the air. While Burd has shown relatively good hands for UVa’s current receiving corps, I think he actually has even better hands than he has shown so far on game days (he certainly has shown sticky hands in practices). Burd also is a decent blocker (especially for his size), relying mostly on his feet and effort to get the job done in the secondary.

In the end, Kris Burd