A Talented But Inexperienced Group
As Mark Stoops’ 10th Wildcat squad continues with Spring practice we are rolling along with our position previews. In case you missed them we started with the quarterbacks. Then we looked at the running backs, arguably the strongest unit on the team. Today we continue working our way through the offense with our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview Wide Receivers.
Tough Act To Follow
Wide receivers coach Scott Woodward has his work cut out for him as he must replace a ton of production at the position. Wan’Dale Robinson, who set a school record with 104 catches in his one year in Lexington, is off to the NFL. In addition, UK lost “Super Senior” Josh Ali, who was second on the squad with 41 receptions. If that wasn’t enough Isaiah Epps and his 11 receptions transferred to Tulsa. If you add it up that’s 156 catches between the three.
Kentucky needed some experience quickly and like every other school, they looked to the transfer portal.
Help From The Portal
The Wildcats got two players who they think will have a huge impact through the portal. The first is Tayvion Robinson who comes to Kentucky after three years at Virginia Tech. During his time in Blacksburg Robinson hauled in 113 passes for 1,555 yards and 13 touchdowns. In addition, he ran for another 227 yards and averaged nearly 14 yards per catch. Furthermore, he’s a threat as a punt returner. In 2021 Robinson led the ACC with 25 punt returns for 328 yards and a touchdown. His 13.1 yards per return also led the conference.
Since their national title loss to Georgia, the Alabama Crimson Tide had several players transfer. Kentucky is one of the beneficiaries picking up wide receiver Javon Baker. During his sophomore season, Baker appeared in 13 games hauling in seven passes for 101 yards and a touchdown. His score came in a 63-14 blowout over Southern Mississippi. For his career, Baker played in 20 games with nine receptions for 101 yards. However, he won’t be on campus until the summer so he’ll be playing catch up once he gets to Lexington.
Now that we’ve looked at the players coming through the portal as we continue with our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview Wide Receivers let’s dive into that very talented although inexperienced room.
Who’s Going To Step Up?
Of the guys on the roster, DeMarcus Harris has the most career receptions with 26. Like several of the names we are talking about he’s shown flashes of greatness, he just needs consistency. Clevan Thomas returns as a “Super Senior” after missing 2021 due to injury. Rashaan Lewis also missed time with a knee injury. He caught three passes in six games but made more headlines for his block on Wan’Dale’s huge catch in the Citrus Bowl.
Better view of the block and effort of Rashaan Lewis!! Never gave up on his making a huge play in a HUGE play!! https://t.co/aa9vtdkBOl
— Brett Setzer (@pops51) January 2, 2022
In addition, the Cats also have Chris Lewis, whose six foot four frame should make him a big target in the red zone.
If you’re looking a young WR to believe in, Will Levis brought up Chris Lewis again. Sounds like the RFrosh X receiver is making moves.
— Adam Luckett (@AdamLuckettKSR) March 26, 2022
Another player looking to step up is Chauncey Magwood who played in all 13 games and caught a pass against Tennessee. Two other players to watch are Tae Tae Crumes and Earnest Sanders.
As we wrap up our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview Wide Receivers let’s look at some first-year players pushing for playing time.
Incoming Impact Players?
The first name usually mentioned by the coaching staff is Dekel Crowdus. The Lexington native appeared to work his way into the rotation as a freshman. However, in a very familiar theme, he missed 2021 due to injury. Now healthy he’s on track to get in the rotation again. True freshman Dane Key has been turning heads in practice. Of course, we’ve been following the legacy player ever since he committed to Kentucky.
Along with Key, the Cats have four-star Barrion Brown from out of Tennessee. Unfortunately, like Baker, he won’t be on campus until the Summer. Throw in another four-star athlete Keaten Wade, also from Tennessee and it’s easy to see Kentucky is loaded for the future. In addition to those two, you also have incoming players Jordan Anthony and Brandon White.
Who Will Be The Guys?
As you can see the Kentucky wide receiver room is a very talented though inexperienced group. Look for new offensive coordinator Rich Scangarello and quarterback Will Levis to lean heavily on Robinson in the early going. After that, it’s someones for the taking. One thing that helps is the Wildcat tight end room is another strong suit that can take some of the pressure off the receivers.
Speaking of the tight ends that’s the focus of our next Spring preview. Until then thanks for checking out our 2022 Kentucky Spring Preview Wide Receivers here at Last Word On College Football.