2018 Preview - WR's

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ST_Lawson
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 4:07 pm

Sorry everyone, things have been a bit off for me this summer and I haven't gotten my usual stuff posted when I was hoping to. Hopefully you'll forgive me. I'll try to get things caught up over the next week and get back to the regularly scheduled position previews. On the plus side, the roster has been updated now with the new freshmen added in and everything.

To start moving towards getting caught up...here's our WRs...

Seniors
#2 Isaiah LeSure
#21 Izaiah Fuller

Juniors
#1 Tony Tate
#10 Brandon Gaston
#12 Darron Wheeler
#85 Spencer Beatty

Sophomores
#14 Eli Watson
#15 Cameron Clemons

Freshmen
#6 Vick Akinyemi
#13 Broc Thompson
#15 John Brunner
#80 Aaron Morrison
#81 Cam Taylor
#82 Matt Clark
#84 Nolan Bielskis

Image ImageImage Image Image Image Image Image

Last Year's Stats
Jaelon Acklin obviously blew up (in a good way) last year, hauling in 1,369 yards and 10 TDs on 84 catches.
Brandon Gaston had 297 yards and 2 TDs on 23 catches. Isaiah LeSure had 231 yards and 2 TDs on 15 catches.
Jarid Brown brought down 5 catches for 67 yards, and Darron Wheeler had 3 catches for 14 yards and 1 TD. Acklin and Brown were seniors last year.

My guesses for 2018
Last year at this time, I said that I thought WR would be a bit of a question mark, having lost two of the best receivers in WIU history (Lance Lenoir and Joey Borsellino). Out of practically nowhere came Jaelon Acklin (after having put in a TON of work during the offseason) and destroyed school receiving records for a season (and one or two conference records).

Will we have a surprise Acklin again this year? It's obviously hard to say at this point. We still have a very experienced QB who can get the ball where it needs to be, so that'll help. Isaiah LeSure (who I thought would be the "big man" last year didn't do too much to impress me, so I think at this point, it's anyone's guess who might end up being our top couple of receivers.

Going strictly off of who put up numbers last year, Brandon Gaston, Isaiah LeSure, and Darron Wheeler will be the ones to look to first. Spencer Beatty had a couple of catches for a total of 42 yards in this year's spring game, so he's a player to watch. Eli Watson had offers from a few FBS programs before he signed with us last year. Now that he's had a redshirt year, he could also find himself solidly in the mix. It seems like we have a lot of freshmen on the list as well, and I remember that Broc Thompson had at least one FBS offer, plus a couple of solid high-level FCS offers, as well as quite a bit of "hype" surrounding him. If there's any true freshman who ends up getting playing time this year, my guess would be Thompson.

One other thing that is nice is that for any players who have been here longer than a year, Acklin pretty much laid out the blueprint for working hard and being successful. He was obviously very talented as well, but if he was anywhere near as good as he was last year in years past, we would have seen a lot more out of him before last year. He put in the work on the practice field and in the weight room and he showed the guys what you have to do to take that next step up. Hopefully a couple of our younger guys were paying close attention.
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letsgonecks
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:36 pm

Looks like they'll need to tweak a few things on the roster as anyone new they just listed as a freshman and anyone previously on the roster they just increased their year.

For instance, I'm assuming they used a red-shirt for Eli Watson, so he'll actually still have Freshman eligibility.

Tate who played as a true freshman at Walsh University, likely received a red-shirt while sitting out last year and will have Sophomore eligibility.

John Brunner will likely be a Junior after red-shirting at Western Kentucky in 2015, nothing on him for 2016 and playing last year at Butler CC. They had him listed as Soph at Butler last year.

Cam Taylor looks to be a Junior after playing two seasons at Ventura College (2015, 2016). He committed to UAB (we also offered him), but don't see he was part of the team in 2017. His 5 year NCAA clock gives him 2 years of eligibility left.

Believe Clemons and Wheeler both went through Spring camp as corners, so we'll see where they end up this fall. Viti and Rowe back with Duke transfer Muniz (high school teammate of Carrera) and Davis from West Virginia, so who knows what they'll do.

My guess would be LeSure and Gaston on the outside and Tate running the slot. Think Tate has some great potential and Coach made mention of him and Brunner during spring. With the new red-shirt rule we should get to see Broc Thompson as he has some potential, but might need to get a little bigger/stronger. I hate the Mets right now FML, but rooting for him since his dad was once a Met. He played on a pretty shitty Mets to as well.
Think Purple...lets think Gold as in Championships!!!
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ST_Lawson
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Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:59 pm

letsgonecks wrote:
Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:36 pm
Looks like they'll need to tweak a few things on the roster as anyone new they just listed as a freshman and anyone previously on the roster they just increased their year.

For instance, I'm assuming they used a red-shirt for Eli Watson, so he'll actually still have Freshman eligibility.

Tate who played as a true freshman at Walsh University, likely received a red-shirt while sitting out last year and will have Sophomore eligibility.

John Brunner will likely be a Junior after red-shirting at Western Kentucky in 2015, nothing on him for 2016 and playing last year at Butler CC. They had him listed as Soph at Butler last year.

Cam Taylor looks to be a Junior after playing two seasons at Ventura College (2015, 2016). He committed to UAB (we also offered him), but don't see he was part of the team in 2017. His 5 year NCAA clock gives him 2 years of eligibility left.

Believe Clemons and Wheeler both went through Spring camp as corners, so we'll see where they end up this fall. Viti and Rowe back with Duke transfer Muniz (high school teammate of Carrera) and Davis from West Virginia, so who knows what they'll do.
Ugh...that's what I get for not double-checking things, I guess. I'm hoping to get TE's posted this weekend, so I'll have to make sure I check all the years/eligibility for everyone before I put it up.
Thanks for the updates/fixes.
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Sun Jul 15, 2018 2:07 pm

There's definitely some talent in this group. I love their size. Also, some very talented weapons out of the backfield as well. I know Acklin's spot is a huge one to fill, but maybe we'll be even more potent by spreading the love to multiple receivers. Still worried about the OL, but I think our passing game can be very special this year!
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letsgonecks
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Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:34 pm

Looks like Cam Taylor has been removed from the roster. Wonder what happened. Looked to be a pretty solid addition, but not the biggest loss.
Think Purple...lets think Gold as in Championships!!!
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Mon Jul 30, 2018 12:48 pm

letsgonecks wrote:
Mon Jul 16, 2018 9:34 pm
Looks like Cam Taylor has been removed from the roster. Wonder what happened. Looked to be a pretty solid addition, but not the biggest loss.
Idk, but he just tweeted this:
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leatherneckcountry
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Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:26 am

There’s a George Wahee listed on the roster don’t remember hearing about him before
leatherneckcountry
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Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:22 am

So looks like we lost Broc Thompson as he has reclassified to 19 and reopened his recruitment pretty big loss as he probably would have seen the field as a Freshman
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Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:17 am

leatherneckcountry wrote:
Tue Aug 07, 2018 8:22 am
So looks like we lost Broc Thompson as he has reclassified to 19 and reopened his recruitment pretty big loss as he probably would have seen the field as a Freshman
Wow, that sucks. If the coaches are still interested, we might still be able to get him, but if not, that's really disappointing. Sounds like he didn't qualify academically and has to take some extra time to get that aspect in order.

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Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:50 am

leatherneckcountry wrote:
Fri Aug 03, 2018 2:26 am
There’s a George Wahee listed on the roster don’t remember hearing about him before
Grad Transfer from Norfolk State with 2 years of eligibility left.

https://wtkr.com/2017/11/14/the-wahee-w ... the-field/
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