Three emerge at wide receiver

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Even though it’s still very early in preseason camp, Florida coach Will Muschamp and his offensive coaches have already been able to identify the Gators’ top three wide receivers.

They are senior Deonte Thompson, redshirt freshman Quinton Dunbar and junior Frankie Hammond.

Muschamp has also identified his best all-around receiver. That would be Hammond.

“Frankie has been our most consistent receiver,” Muschamp said. “Quinton and Deonte have been our most vertical threats down the field, big-play receivers, more of our vertical guys. Frankie consistently has been our best receiver as far as catching the ball, finishing plays, blocking, all-around receiver play.

“Deonte and Quinton have been more of our vertical guys who have created some more explosive players for our offense. Those would be the top three guys right now.”

At the moment, though, Brantley still does not have a No. 1 go-to guy, although Hammond, Dunbar and Thompson are all strong candidates heading into the season.

Dunbar was the surprise of the spring with his ability to stretch the field and make plays down field.

“That definitely boosted my confidence with him,” Brantley said. “He can run any route, catch any ball. We’re hoping for big things out of him, and I think he will be able to prevail this fall.”

The Gators have found three playmakers at wide receiver. Now the search is on for more in camp.

“We need to develop more playmakers at the wide-out position,” Muschamp said. “We’ve got to get guys more consistently making plays in space and big plays on the field for us in the passing game besides the guys we kind of felt came through in the spring.”

31 COMMENTS

  1. If Deonte can get out of his own head and catch the ball and we start the season with 3 true playmakers at wide receiver, as long as Brantley can get them the ball, we’ll be in great shape. With Reed and Burton and Hines at tight end/full back and Rainey and Demps in the backfield, with Brown as a possible go to back. We’ll have plenty of playmakers on the field at one time. Brantley will have a hard time not hitting a man who can go the distance with the ball.

  2. What happened to Omarius Hines? He has a bit more physical presence, in lieu of the pure deep threat, but seems that we haven’t heard anything about him or his improvement over the post-season? Any ideas or hybrid roles in the works?

  3. What is up with Debose? I’m starting to think he was over-rated as a receiver! Looks like he may be a star return man and average receiver. If he continues to excel returning kickoffs, he’ll make an NFL roster. I just hope he can come through as a receiver. That’s a lot of talent to not become a top got-to-guy!

  4. Did the Gator Nation become spoiled by Meyer, Tebow and Harvin (kinda like we did with Spurrier, Weurffel and Hilliard/Anthony)?

    John, it’s all a crap shoot with kids coming out of High School. You can’t blame Debose. He still has time to develop his game. He needs to work hard to get on the field and then show he can do something with his time, that’s all.

  5. I agree, John C. He was going to be Percy II. What happened? Also, what’s with Omarius Hines. He looked like a real stud last year. I thought he’d replace Deonte as the supposed #1 go to guy. Also, Patton and Robert Clark looked quite promising last year. I forget now with so many players leaving, did Dunkley leave too? And don’t forget Ju’juan Story coming in. Supposed to be a real stud. Whatever, we should have a deep stable of pass catchers this year.

  6. We need more young guys to get going. I have no doubt we will have a good year….my only thing is that if 2 of our top 3 WR are JR and SR then we run the risk of early exit to NFL. I know we recruit strong but it sure would be nice to take some pressure off for years to come by having breakout fresh and sophomores.

  7. I feel we may be exposing our receiving threats that everyone is expecting us to have and keeping our real threats to ourselves. A way of playing down what we have until everyone see’s us in game action and everyone is like wtf??…..We have alot of talented receivers and we aren’t hearing about them, something just doesn’t sound right. I’m just saying…. Go Gators!

  8. All talented, but seems like no one is as good as first advertised! If I were one of them I would reach out and grab that number one spot, It’s Mine! Then maybe someone else would follow up and take number two! Ect.,Ect., Ect! There has to be some playmakers here some where! SOMEONE, PLEASE STEP UP!

  9. The games haven’t started no matter what they do now the games are what’s gonna count if DT contuines to drop passes he will sit the bench. Just wait until the bullets really start flying then someone can “step up”.

  10. Although we shouldn’t rely on this, I think Jordan Reed will play a big part in receiving much like Aaron Hernandez did a couple years ago. So, talking about WRs is not telling the whole receiving story.

  11. I agree with the questions about Debose, can somebody please tell us what the real story is with him. I’ve heard so many different reasons as to why he doesn’t play—there has to be a way to get him the ball during the game other than just returns.

  12. I agree even on some of short routes Debose ran last year I was pleased with the possible potential. I know for a fact the coaches should be able to draw up some schemes for him besides KR. That’s tooo much speed/talent to ride the bench…that is as long as he’s giving effort.

  13. The only way we will ever find out how good these receivers really are, is if we have a Quarterback who can throw them the ball. Still not sold on Brantley! His balls get batted down all the time and he shows no emotion on the field whatsoever! I don`t think he has the brains to run this offense. I hope i`m wrong but wouldn`t be suprised if we saw Jeff Driskell midway through the season. We have plenty of talent at WR, just need a QB who will be more consistant.

  14. What is with all the negativity this year? This is a team with a new coaching staff and I think we are going to surprise alot of the SEC this year!
    Usually “New coaching Staff” means new and untested…..In this case we
    are talking Super Bowl Winners that know a heck of alot about winning at the next level combined with one heck of a head Coach….
    This team is loaded with Talent and Speed everywhere..and with the new Pro style on offense and defense I think we are going to be very good!
    Here is what nobody says about last year……Had we not lost our Field Goal kicker..we would have beaten Miss State and LSU and been 10-3!
    And that was a team in transition after Tim Tebow….
    I think this is going to be an exciting offense and one heck of a defense.
    Lets get excited!!!!
    And we get Bama and FSU in the Swamp!!!!!
    Auburn lost 18 of 21 starters and Cam newton so big deal..
    Go Gators!
    Bob Berto –Jupiter, Fla.
    Alum, Season Ticket holder and Gator booster!

  15. I agree with bob..And why would we be in trouble if Dunbar Hammond and thompson are sticking out….We as gator fans have to stop being so wishy washy…Im happy we have recievers that stick out reguardless of who they are…If it translates on the field so be it…GO GATORS….

  16. maybe the coaches are trying to squeeze a little more motivation out of debose & others.
    what about stephen alli? never hear his name mentioned.. the guy is well over 6 ft & has some speed…
    I agree with you bob, our coaches are not in any learning curve, they know
    how to handle these guys..
    Im more excited than I’ve been in awhile..
    work em silly gators!

  17. Andre has been hampered by serious injuries ever since stepping on campus, at least until now. He sat out 2009 after having muscle graft surgery to repair a torn leg muscles which were injured in high school track. We saw flashes of what he can do in 2010, most notably the first quarter of the KY game; but a severely sprained ankle basically prevented him from playing in several games or restricted him to kick returns, two of which went for touchdowns. He couldn’t practice this spring because of an ankle injury. He says he is now healthy and more focused on football than ever before. He just needs reps now in practice, which is only in week one. If he can remain healthy, Charlie will have to get the ball in his hands.

  18. Yeah, forget about “C*ckfingers”…and if Debose is so, um, “cerebrally challenged”, see if you can get him a small package of simple plays for certain situations and move on in your search for that “go to guy”. Been wondering about Hines and Ally myself–we were hearing nothing but positive stuff about “speed and skills”, “learning” and “growth” from the old staff last year. Now we need ’em all, and that place in the spotlight is waiting for SOMEONE.

  19. Brantley has 4 categories of passes : 1) complete ( usually less than 5 yards
    air flight) 2) way overthrown 3) not thrown at all 4) “precise inaccuracy”
    meaning the gator receivers must always be thinking “turn into defensive back”
    & catch by intercepting the ball.

  20. I have seen Omarius Hines many times after the catch bull through & over
    tacklers. I bet he could be a bull-powered go to running back. Certainly he could be tested in some wildcat or RB formation.

  21. FOr everyone questioning this guy or that guy, remember a couple of things:
    .
    1) Coach Chomp isn’t going to tell us everything, he knows our opponents have eyes and ears everywhere.
    .
    2) Even if he wasn’t concerned about that, he answered a specific question. Maybe there was more he could have said, or maybe, just maybe, the Sun’s editor thought the article was too long and cut out some stuff.
    .
    Wait for UT, all will become clear then.

  22. Any1 asking about Debose heres the bottum line, the guy is a phenominal athlete with blazing top end speed as we have all seen but honestly he isnt a true wideout. Most people forget Debose didnt play WR in HS he played as sort of a wildcat QB. The guy isnt the player who runs a 5-yard slant or goes over the middle or anything like that. At this point in time he is simply an athlete who is now learning a whole new scheme/position in Weis’ new offense. Debose does not have the skill set of a wide receiver. Anybody remember John Capel? Thats what Debose is. He is John Capel, 5* athlete, but not a wide receiver (at this point in time anyways, not saying he cant develop)

  23. Josh,
    You are right on the money. Debose would never play WR for the Old Ball Coach. He’d be a corner, safety, or maybe returning kicks. Debose is trying hard and doing what the coaches ask him to do, he just has bad hands. He does not get his hands positioned soon enough, and thus he “swats” at the ball. Either that, or he short arms the catch. Coaching can eliminate the short arms, and have a slight effect on the swatting, we shall see. I do hope he succeeds!