I had planned on writing this edition of "Road To Pasadena" about Riley Cooper and how the most underrated man-child on the team could be this year's Lou Murphy. But then David Nelson has a panic attack in this morning's Gainesville Sun;
"Yes, to be honest with you, I'm worried," senior wide receiver David Nelson said. "We've got some guys that need to step up. That's a work in progress. That's the main concern right now on the team, our depth at wide receiver."
A senior member of the receiving corps will have a much more pessimistic perspective on the situation than Tebow (who seems to think there are 6 or 7 who can play right now). The problem is that behind Nelson, Cooper, Brandon James, Deonte Thompson and Aaron Hernandez, it's an injured guy (Carl Moore, assuming Andre Debose gets surgery) and two freshmen; Frankie Hammond and T.J. Lawrence.
But we knew going in that receiver would be a problem. That's why Jeff Demps, Emmanuel Moody and Chris Rainey will be leaned on. That's why you may see Tebow in a more traditional formation, putting more blockers out in front. (Although double-TE looks unlikely as a walk-on is the second tight end.) Nelson's reaction is as if he went to practice Monday and was surprised Harvin and Murphy were no longer on the team.
As for the five front runners, all can be trusted, save for Thompson. Nelson became a Man with his performances in the SEC and BCS Championship Games, Cooper and James never take a play off (but Cooper needs to be a better route runner), and Hernandez is a badass. Plus, Thompson isn't trusted because he was playing behind studs. On any other team, he's a No. 1 guy. In addition, Demps' hands are improving. Rainey will need more than the three catches he got last season and who knows if Moody knows how to use his hands. If you thought this would be easy, you were wrong. Repeating is harder than winning the first one, especially without your top-two receivers. But it's not impossible.