Looking Ahead: WRs & TEs

Part 1: Quarterbacks
Part 2: Running Backs
Today: Wide Receivers & Tight Ends

#81 Dallas Baker (Graduation)
#17 Nyan Boateng (Transfer)
#06 Jemalle Cornelius (Graduation)
#37 Tim Higgins (Graduation)
#09 Kenneth Tookes (Graduation)

Back in '07
#89 Derek Baldry (TE)
#88 Cam Brewer
#05 Andre Caldwell
#84 Tate Casey (TE)
#86 Riley Cooper
#11 Jarred Fayson
#08 Percy Harvin
#23 Cade Holliday
#07 Cornelius Ingram (TE)
#82 Louis Murphy
#83 David Nelson
#80 Trent Pupello (TE)
#39 David Sorrentino
#87 Justin Williams

Incoming (As of Right Now)
Joe Haden / Fort Washington, MD (Friendly)
Paul Wilson / Lakeland, FL (Lakeland)
Aaron Hernandez (TE) / Bristol, CT (Bristol Central)

What We're Losing
The Gators receiving group is losing their leader in yards, catches and touchdowns this season in Dallas Baker.  As a senior in '06 Baker caught 60 passes for 920 yards and 10 touchdowns.  He caught a touchdown pass for every 10 receptions, which led all Gators receivers with over 10 catches this season, and was second in average yards per reception in that same category.  It was pretty easy to see that Baker was perhaps Leak's favorite target on the field, so that ability to make plays when called upon will be missed next season.

Another loss the Gators offense will have next season is that of Jemalle Cornelius, a senior who was looked upon as a team leader by Coach Meyer this season.  Cornelius was a big play threat for the Gators, averaging 15.4 yds per reception, a stat which led Gator receivers who had over 10 catches.  He also had 3 touchdowns on the season.

Nyan Boateng, who was considered a pretty big-time pickup at the time of his commitment to UF, will transfer to Cal next season.  He has not made waves here at UF, having limited appearances as a result of his freshman season and an injury this year.

Kenneth Tookes played a backup role for the Gators in his career, although was known to make a few plays here and there throughout the season.  Higgins, a walk-on receiver, was best known for making an appearance in the 62-0 win over Western Carolina; a moment which was described as "Rudy-like" by some.

Who Will Make an Impact in '07
One advantage that the Gators receiving group had this season was unbelievable depth, especially athletic-wise, that they could throw out on the field.  Losing Baker and Cornelius is a tough loss when you really think about it, although I still think it's safe to say that the receiving group will still be one of the more feared in the nation because of the above-mentioned depth.

Some big post-season news the Gators got last week was that receiver Andre Caldwell was returning for his senior season at UF.  Caldwell is an extremely quick receiver that fits into Urban Meyer's spread option very well - being used as either a quick threat over the middle or for various end arounds and reverses that the offense calls for.  Caldwell was second on the team in receptions, yards and touchdowns last season, behind only the above mentioned Dallas Baker.

Also returning next season will be Percy Harvin.  There is no need to explain Harvin's big play ability and what he brings to the Gators offense, both as a running back out of the backfield and an explosive wide receiver when called upon.  Harvin will more than likely be the feature playmaker for the Gators offense next season, and should be able to make quite a few receptions for a lot of yards - while hopefully scoring a lot of touchdowns.  Harvin averaged over 11 yards per touch last season on 41 rushes and 34 catches.

Jarred Fayson also showed flashes of brilliance last season, showing us his explosive ability when he got touches on the ball.  He should improve upon that next season and become a very good athlete in the Florida offense, being used in the mold of Percy Harvin, as well as getting some snaps at QB as well.  Fayson averaged 9 yards/rush last season in the Gators offense.

At TE we should see quite a bit of Cornelius Ingram next season.  Ingram is a very valuable part of an offense because he is as quick and athletic as your average everyday receiver, plus he's got a pretty big frame that is not easy to tackle.  He made several big plays this year, as near the end of the season became one of Chris Leak's favorite targets.  His catches increased in those games as we saw the coaching staff realize how vital Ingram could be to the success of the offense.  Now that they know, expect to see him all over the field next season for the Gators.

Who We're Bringing In
Aaron Hernandez is the #1 TE in the nation according to Scout.com, and may see some touches next season behind Ingram and Tate Casey.  He is quick and finds open space very well, as evidenced by his ability to get open on his routes during the Army All-American game a few weeks ago.  Unfortunately, his hands didn't come through on several plays in that game.  I have a feeling it was just nerves, and the coaching staff will have him ready for his freshman season at Florida.

Joe Haden played QB in high school, and could be seen as a similar player to Fayson.  Throwing for 38 touchdowns and running for 13 in his senior HS season, Haden should be just another quick and explosive receiver to add to an already extremely athletic group of guys.  Scout.com also lists that he could see time at CB if needed.

Other receivers that could be coming to Florida when it's all said and done are Ahmad Paige, Deonte Thompson and Terence Toliver.  These 3 receivers all are very good receivers that would obviously strengthen this already strong recruiting class in Gainesville.

Stay tuned.  Up next: Offensive Line

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