2. Wide Receivers
About this same time last year, Gary Patterson stated that his wide outs weren’t catching the football in spring practice. When the fall finally rolled around and the season kicked off, not much had changed. The ball continued to slip right through receivers’ hands. According to PFF (Pro Football Focus), Kenny Hill’s targets had dropped a total of 38 passes in 2016, which led the entire country in that category. That’s not all Gary Patterson was frustrated about. He (Patterson) wants this wide receiver group to start producing more on the field. He stated after a practice this spring saying “You have got to have some wide receivers step up and say, I’m the guy. You throw it to me and I am going to find a way to catch it.”
With running back Kyle Hicks leading the team in receptions last season, it is time for some guys to start stepping up. Returning wide receiver Taj Williams (6’4-193) is a breakout candidate to be that guy. Williams led the team in receiving yards (702) and tied with a team-high 5 touchdown receptions in 2016. Between Williams, John Diarse, KaVontae Turpin (returned to practice after missing time due to focus on academics), Jaelen Austin and Emmanuel Porter, some of these guys need to get up to speed. This bunch has 4 seniors and it is time to start playing like a veteran unit. Also look for highly touted freshman Omar Manning to see some action in the TCU spring game if some of the other guys start struggling.