WILL THE RETURN of Sammie Stroughter fully ignite the OSU passing attack in '08, which found itself in unfamiliar territory last season in not stretching the field to the degree expected? There is strength in the front line starters and contributors headed into the fall, and promising talent waits in the wings.
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THE WIDE RECEIVERS:
SPLIT END: Sammie Stroughter (Sr., 6-0, 186), Chris Johnson (6-1, 195), Damola Adeniji (Jr., 6-3, 215), Aaron Nichols (So., 6-0, 185)
SLOTBACK: James Rodgers (So., 5-7, 185), Shane Morales (Sr., 6-1, 209), Casey Kjos (So., 6-2, 215)
FLANKER: Darrell Catchings (So., 5-011, 179), Kyle Brown (6-4, 208), Taylor Kavanaugh (Jr., 5-10, 175)
Jordan Bishop (Fr., 6-3, 195), Geno Munoz (Fr., 6-0, 187), Keynan Parker (Fr., 5-11, 165)
Walk-ons arriving in September when rosters expand::
Shawn McGarity (So., 5-10, 170)
Expected to redshirt:
Bishop, Munoz, McGarity, Parker
What changed in the summer: Stroughter was named to the preseason Maxwell Award Watch List. Following a fantastic showing at the Les Schwab game, the coaches decided to bring in Bishop now on a full ride instead of grayshirting him.
Storylines for fall camp: Another unit that the coaches have done a great job a building up. Explosive playmaker Stroughter is back in the mix after missing much of 2007 and if spring camp is any indication opposing, defenses would be wise to look out. Stroughter gives the offense a reliable down field threat that they lacked a year ago.
The versatile Rodgers returns after a scintillating freshman year. Look for the coaches to use him as both a primary and decoy, and for him to get more passes thrown his way -- he has worked hard on his routes during the off-season and the improvement is evident.
Despite being just a soph, Catchings is one of the more experienced players on the roster with eight starts under his belt. He will face single coverage and his statistics could skyrocket with defenses keying on Stroughter and Rodgers.
Solid, game proven backups in Johnson and Shane Morales fill out the two deeps with Casey Kjos awaiting a breakout year if he can stay healthy. With considerable talent in the ranks, the Beavs could look to redshirt several players but Parker's sheer speed could have the OSU staff looking to find a place for him.
Continuing to develop solid relationships with their quarterbacks is the focus heading into fall camp. With one of the most talented receiving units in school history, can the playmakers stretch the field and live up to the lofty expectations?
Ones to watch: Stroughter. Enjoy watching this special player in Orange and Black before he embarks on an NFL career.
Unit's strength: Several proven explosive playmakers and a wide open playbook.
Unit's weakness:: None.