Receivers Stepping Up in Practice?

Mossis Madu

Many fans that follow the Sooners closely are worried about replacing veteran receivers Juaquin Iglesias and Manny Johnson, who played so well one year ago. But there is talent in the pipeline and that talent is starting to develop more and more with each practice rep.

One of the positions where the Sooners are perhaps the deepest but might be in the most question is at wide receiver.

Sophomore receiver Ryan Broyles, who hauled in 46 catches for six touchdowns and totaled nearly 700 yards a year ago, as well as senior wide receiver Adron Tennell, who had lesser numbers, figure to be the two guys that will definitely get a significant amount of tosses from junior quarterback Sam Bradford.

But after that, and even including those two, there's quite a battle.

Guys like juniors Mossis Madu and Brandon Caleb, and sophomores Jameel Owens and DeJuan Miller, round out the depth chart, and they have been competitive so far in camp.

Madu's situation has been different from the rest.

After working as the third running back last year, he's moved to the slot position.

"Mossis has done a great job.I mean, he's worked really hard," said wide receivers coach Jay Norvell. "He's operating in space, and there's a lot of subtle things that receivers have to do. They've got to be able to operate in space and break DB's down and get themselves open and make plays, and he's working on that timing with Sam, and he's progressed quite a bit since camp started."

Another older guy, Caleb, hasn't seen a whole lot of playing time throughout his career, but Norvell said he's progressed as well.

"Brandon's had a hell of a camp," Norvell said. "And Brandon's one of those guys that's just like old man river. He just keeps rolling along. And he's just done a great job this camp, though. His fundamentals, his techniques, are better than they've ever been, and he's been making plays, so, you know, I've been really pleased."

And the younger guys, notably Owens due to his sluggish start, but also Miller, have impressed the staff also.

"[Owens] got off to a slow start, and you know, he's come on the last few days," Norvell said. "He's been making more plays, and he's just playing at a higher level, and I've been happy with that, and you know, we've got three weeks basically until we play a ball game, and he's got to continue to progress the way he has. And if he does, he'll be in good shape."

All of this progress, of course, will make life a lot easier for Bradford, who lost two of his top four receivers from last season in Juaquin Iglesias and Manny Johnson.

"[Sam's] building confidence with Mossis, and I think he has great confidence in Adron Tennell, and he has great confidence in Ryan Broyles, and now he's kind of getting that same confidence with those other guys, [like] DeJuan Miller," Norvell said.

SoonersIllustrated.com Recommended Stories