JU Football Season Outlook: The Receivers/Tight Ends
First of a series

Unit coach: Ernie Mills

Overview: One of the units on the team that has an abundance of experience and depth, the receivers could turn out to be one of the special things about 2011. Record setting senior Josh Philpart, who holds no fewer than five career marks at JU, leads the group with seniors Larry Thompson and Tommie Rogers ready to fill out the other wide receiver spots. Rogers is coming of an injured ACL but is running well and has had a good camp. The tight ends are comparatively young but quite athletic. The team has moved Quintin Davis from wide receiver to tight end and that appears to be working. The younger players for both positions run and catch well and look to be a group to depend on in the future. Coach Ernie Mills believes the group has developed to the point that opponents won’t be able to only concentrate on Philpart. Thompson, Mr. Steady, has at least one catch in his last 20 games going back to early 2009.

Key Returners: Senior Josh Philpart (48 catches for 800 yards in 2010), Tommie Rogers, Larry Thompson (953 career receiving yards).

Key Losses: Elliott Finkley, Ronnie Sumter.

Promising Newcomers: WRs D’Andre Randle, Yeovanti Williams, Kendryk Boys; TE Andy Robustelli.

Unit Strengths: The numbers. The team likes to pass and with the amount of quality receivers on board spreading the ball around shouldn’t be a problem. That strength matches quarterback Josh McGregor’s strength. He can wing it and understands every position on the offense.

Unit Weaknesses: If there’s a weakness, and it’s hard to find one, it would be size. Not height, but the amount of thin receivers around.

Coach’s Quote: “As far as who is going to travel this year, it’s going to be the toughest decision since I’ve been here. It’s a great problem to have, but, unfortunately for those guys who don’t travel, that’s not a great problem to have.’’ -- Ernie Mills

Photo: Josh Philpart (10) and Larry Thompson (4) lead the receivers.

-- Jim Nasella