The receivers for 2017 are going to be the most exciting and most highly anticipated group to take the field in two weeks.
The finale of the upcoming 2017 season preview wraps up with the receivers. The firepower of the offense, the receivers will be the explosion of excitement this season. This group will be the most improved unit with the highest potential that should easily be achieved. The return of Steven Sims with the addition of Daylon Charlot sets the stage for a fun 2017.
The loss of LaQuvionte Gonzalez to an undisclosed violation of team rules was a huge shock, and an even bigger dissapointment, but as I’ve said before, it wasn’t the end of the season. With Quiv having been maybe our 3rd best receiver, we will be just fine.
We’ll start with the return of our leading receiver from 2016, Junior Wideout Steven Sims. In 2016, Sims caught 72 passes for 859 yards and 7 TD’s. Sims emerged as our go-to big play receiver and showed multiple flashes of greatness that hasn’t been seen since Dezmon Briscoe and Kerry Meier were suiting up in 2009. The speed of Steven Sims resulted in multiple deep-ball touchdowns, as well as the two-point conversion that helped set up the Texas win.
Joining him will be the highly anticipated Alabama transfer, Daylon Charlot. After sitting last season out due to NCAA transfer rules, Charlot is the big, physical, jump ball receiver we’ve been waiting on. We were able to see it for a moment in the Spring game, but I don’t think people realize how nice it will be for Stanley/Bender to have a guy capable of going up for the ball against Big 12 corners. It allows the QB’s to have a little more room to work with, knowing that if it’s thrown a little bit too high, it won’t consistently go sailing over the back into a danger zone.
Along with those two, we have 4 guys capable of helping out on offense. Jeremiah Booker is a name that continues to pop up as a man capable of playing long minutes. His bigger size also makes him a good man to block and seal off the outside on potential options or screen passes. Chase Harrell is another player who we’ve seen has the ability to help out on jump
balls and outside blocking. At 6’4″, Harrell can create real problems for opposing defenses, which is something that’s been lacking in the past.
Senior Bobby Hartzog Jr. is also ready to take the field for one final season in an attempt to have the best season since he showed up to Kansas and be an offensive leader as one of the most experienced guys on the team. There has also been a lot of noise surrounding Freshman receiver Quan Hampton. He’s tiny, only 5’8″, but once again, that size can be developed into his use as an extremely fast and agile man capable of creating big plays. Kerr Johnson Jr. has also been a name that’s created a lot of noise this fall. It’ll be interesting to see if he ends up being a valuable asset this season, but only time will tell.
Finally, we have TE Ben Johnson and WR Ryan Schadler. These are two guys that have some experience with the program and can be valuable assets. Ben Johnson didn’t get many touches last year but if the spring game and this fall camp has been any indication of what to expect, he may be playing a bigger role for us. Another offensive Senior, he will be a leader on the field, and his big 6’5″ frame is another option that can bully some of the smaller Big 12 defenders. Ryan Schadler made a great debut in 2015 by taking a kickoff for a TD in his first collegiate play, but the running back missed all of 2016 with a health related injury that kept him out of action for over a year. Finally healthy in time for Spring ball, Schadler was moved to the receiver position and is poised for a big season. His speed and comeback story make him a guy fans enjoy to see and the sky is the limit for Schadler.
These will be the guys that get a majority of the points this season, and the depth helps out our chances to score more than 24 points in a game this season. You need to be able to put up good numbers to compete and better QB’s with better protection is setting up a perfect recipe for offensive success in 2017. With just under two weeks until the season opener, we’ll be seeing these men in action in no time. Rock Chalk!