Sort of stating the obvious but getting it out there anyway.
“We’ve got to replace an awful lot of very talented players offensively,” Davis told the crowd of roughly 300 people at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel and Convention Center in the heart of the RTP. “We lost five wide receivers, three of which got drafted, and a tight end that got drafted in the second round.”
Gone is the human highlight reel otherwise known as Hakeem Nicks, as well as Brandon Tate and Brooks Foster. That triumvirate combined for 114 receptions, 1,932 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2008, and when you factor in the departures of Cooter Arnold, Kenton Thornton and tight end Richard Quinn, it’s easy to understand Davis’ concern.
Junior Greg Little is the lone returning wide receiver with any legitimate playing time, grabbing 11 balls for 146 yards last fall.
“Little is going to have to be the go-to guy for our receiving corps,” Davis said. “He’s the oldest and the most experienced and the most mature guy. He’s got a lot of playing experience… I think the only reason that he hasn’t flourished is because he hasn’t had the opportunity to stay at one particular position. It’s kind of the curse of being a talented athlete.”
If you are a little anxious about Little being the primary receiving option come September, you should be based on what we have seen thus far. On the flip side, like Butch Davis said, it has been difficult for Little to find his niche. During his freshman year he was thrown into a variety of situations as a vesatile athlete. Last season they tried him in the backfield to no avail so he moved back to wide receiver which meant limited touches considering the other horses in the stable. Now it is all on him. Yes, the Dwight Jones and Joshua Adams are going to play a role, it is unavoidable but for Little this is his time. He is too good of an athlete not toe a major impact player and if he can live up to his potential, the WR question becomes much less daunting.