No one would ever mistake Indiana football as ever being a program to look at as an example of how to build and develop a football team. As a whole the program has had very few days in the sun and has been perennial bottom feeder in the Big Ten. That however cannot be said about the individual position of wide receiver. The Hoosiers have always had a strange propensity to develop a receiving corps that could be competitive on a national stage despite the shortcomings of the program as a whole. That is no different this year than years past. The strength of this season’s football team will be on the back of an athletic and deep receiving corps.
Damarlo Belcher: The senior wide receiver is the best thing we have returning from last year’s team in the terms of pass catchers. Belcher averaged over 10 yards per reception last year with 4 touchdowns as a secondary option to Tandon Doss, so it will be interesting to see what he can do as the primary target this coming season. The fact that he was not the primary target and still led the conference in receptions says something about how special he can be this year. Belcher decided to come back for his senior season after flirting with testing the draft waters and it has the potential to pay off for him. At 6’3" 215 lbs look for Belcher to be one of the best pass catchers in the Big Ten this season.
Duwyce Wilson: The sophomore to be will be lining up on the other side of the field as Belcher to give IU a one-two punch that has the potential to be big time this season. His 15.3 yards per reception were best on the team last year as a true freshman and the most growth in college football tends to be between freshman and sophomore seasons. Hopefully this holds true for Wilson. For his size he is blazing fast and will really be able to help stretch the field along with Belcher. The biggest deficiency he has is his route running could be stronger, but look for the big bodied speed demon break some big catches this season.
Kofi Hughes: The Cathedral High School graduate will be looking to step into that third receiver role and is likely the favorite to land it. Recruited as a quarterback he has made a transition to catching passes instead of throwing them at Indiana. He runs routs well and has pretty solid hands to go with it. A natural athlete Hughes is going to offer something special in the slot position in the Kevin Wilson offense this coming season.
Dre Muhammad: Muhammad is a special rooting interest of mine coming into this season. The senior is a convert from the dark side and thus I root for him on a personal level. He transferred to Indiana from Purdue two years ago and has spent most of his time on special teams. He will likely be the punt returner at the start of the season to go along with his competition for playing time at receiver.
Cody Latimer: The Ohio freshman is likely first on the depth chart of replacements for the starters if there is an injury bug that strikes Bloomington. His size and agility will make him a potential red zone monster. His game plays to more of a possession game than home run type routs so there is the potential to see him sub in on short yardage situations to help gain first downs and touchdowns.
Jay McCants: Another large Ohio freshman, McCants will be providing quite a practice force but needs some time to develop into a competitive college receiver. McCants and Latimer both have the potential to be those unsung recruits that turn into draft picks in a few years. Until then they’ll just have to keep up the work and form themselves into formidable options in the offense.
Connor Creevey: A college junior Creevey is likely more depth and not a major contributor on Saturdays. Not that he is ineffective at his craft but there are a lot of great athletes in line in front of him. Creevey will be a big body for the defense to compete against throughout the week on the scout team.
Shane Wynn: Wynn is an interesting prospect as a freshman. Listed at 5’7" 153 lbs he is not your typical college receiver. BUT he is fast as all get out. I’m not sure he will ever see a Saturday as a receiver but there is plenty of potential for him to be that shifty returner in a special teams format. He is extremely agile and changes directions well so if he does see the field as a receiver it will have to be as an exceptional route runner.
Jamonne Chester: Chester had the benefit of seeing a few receptions last season as a freshman but will likely not be seeing much field time outside of special teams this season. Experience may get him some playing time but much like Creevey there are just better athletes out there. With Kevin Wilson being new, playing time won’t be centered on experience but ability and I’d imagine that Chester will see more scout than Saturdays.