Commentary

What it takes to succeed as a college wide receiver

Originally Published: August 28, 2007
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
The following is a breakdown of the eight categories (size excluded) we use when evaluating college wide receivers. Also included in each category are, in my opinion, the top three examples from college football today.

1. ROUTE RUNNING (HIPS)
Best three examples:
1. Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt (Jr.)
2. Harry Douglas, Louisville (Sr.)
3. D.J. Hall, Alabama (Sr.)
Route running is all about creating separation from the defender(s). The best route runners typically possess great combinations of instincts, fluidity, quickness and body control. They know how to break press coverage at the line of scrimmage and they get in and out of their breaks quickly. They show a knack for finding soft spots in zone coverage and for separating from man coverage. They are not afraid to go over the middle and they do a great job of coming back to the quarterback after the initial play breaks down.

2. PASS CATCHING (HANDS)
Best three examples:
1. Jarett Dillard, Rice (Jr.)
2. Earl Bennett, Vanderbilt (Jr.)
3. Dorien Bryant, Purdue (Sr.)
Must possess soft, quick and strong hands. Focus is crucial; must look the ball in and snatch away from pads when at all possible. Show ability to pluck on the run, catch over the shoulder and adjust to the poorly thrown pass. Make tough catches in traffic. Big hands are a bonus. Hand-span: More than 10 inches is great, more than nine inches is good, 8½ inches or less is marginal.

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