clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

2014 MSU Football Preview: Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

New, 4 comments

With a talented quarterback under center, the Bulldogs’ offensive success could hinge on the production of its wide receivers and tight ends. Here’s what to expect in the wings for State in 2014.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

The first thing you should notice about MSU's receiving corps is the fact that every wide out from 2013 is returning. State is bringing back the second most receiving yards of any team in the SEC. Jameon Lewis and Robert Johnson are both seniors and De'Runnya Wilson is only a sophomore but he played in all thirteen games last season. In addition to this trio of wide receivers, Malcolm Johnson returns for his senior season in the tight end slot.

Lewis led the team in receiving last year with 923 yards and 5 touchdowns. Malcolm Johnson was second with 391 yards receiving and 2 TDs. Robert Johnson and De'Runnya Wilson took third and fourth statistically with 389 and 351 receiving yards, respectively. At 6-foot-5 Wilson is an easy target, Lewis is a killer in open space, and Robert Johnson balances the attack with consistent play. The unit is talented, cohesive, and above all, experienced. With Dak Prescott only improving on his already solid throwing ability, offensive production should come easier than it has in quite a while in Starkville.

Delving into the depth chart, Joe Morrow and Fred Ross are both young, talented receivers who looked nice in spring practice and will definitely get more playing time in the coming season. They had 326 yards and a touchdown combined in 2013 so hopefully their numbers can only go up from there.

Depth is perhaps the only concerning factor about State's wide outs. The number two tight end behind Malcolm Johnson is junior Darrion Hutcherson, a junior college transfer who stands at 6-foot-7, 260 pounds. Those are impressive measurements but he is basically completely unproven. Hutcherson could potentially be an excellent option at tight end but he only made four catches for 68 yards in 2013 and played defensive end during his only other college season.

Similarly, behind Joe Morrow and Fred Ross there are just a few young, largely untested players who will back up the core set of wide outs. Staying healthy will be key for all of MSU's primary pass catchers.

Everything still comes back to the man under center, though. Can Dak Prescott make quality throws and put his receivers in the best position to produce yards and touchdowns? If the answer to this question is yes, then undoubtedly State has the talent to produce at the wide receiver position. If not, things will look eerily similar to the majority of last season's games.

MSU has all the pieces on the offensive side of the ball to make a serious run in the SEC this year but making all those pieces work together to reach their full potential is easier said than done.

And in case you missed it, FWtCT polled every SEC blog on SB Nation to find out who has the best receivers in the league. Read it here.