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Theater of Operations, Florida Gators Season Review: The Wide Receivers, Part One

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Previous Season Review editions of Theater of Operations: Quarterbacks (Part one, part two, part three), running backs (part one, part two, part three) and tight ends (one part).

Ever since Percy Harvin, Riley Cooper and Louis Murphy left, the wide receiver play for the Gators has been dismal to say the least. Yes, there have been factors that have contributed to that, like say, poor offensive line play and a couple new offensive coordinators, but still, it isn't like the talent isn't there. At least that's how I look at it on paper. But maybe I'm wrong? Contrary to popular belief, I have been wrong before.

In 2011, the Gators wide receivers went through, shall we say, a dry spell. Deonte Thompson didn't have a touchdown all season until catching one on the first drive against Ohio State in the Gator Bowl, Andre Debose only had sixteen catches, and Solomon Patton saw less targets than the two turkey's pardoned by President Barack Obama right before Thanksgiving.

In the first part of our wide receiver review, we'll take a look at the star of the Gator wide receivers, Andre Debose.

Please remember that it is quite difficult to follow Debose (and the other receivers) on a route via camera. As a result, there are some lapses in the film. Thank you.

Play No. 1: Debose's 65-yard touchdown reception against Alabama:


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Debose (yellow circle) is going to be one-on-one with Dre Kirkpatrick (green circle). Kirkpatrick as we know, is one of the top cover corners in the SEC and maybe even in the entire country. But Debose has elite speed, and in most cases, speed wins.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

As the two come into view (yellow square) the ball (red circle) is in very good location. Debose has about a two-yard distance between his hands and Kirkpatrick's.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Just as Debose is about to make the catch (yellow circle), you can see that Kirkpatrick has closed the gap, but only slightly.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Debose makes the catch.


(Photo courtesy of the SEC Digital Network)

Kirkpatrick (green circle) dives, but is unable to corral Debose who runs in for the touchdown.

Play No. 2: Debose's 80-yard touchdown reception against Furman:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

Debose (yellow circle) had four touchdown receptions this year. This one, which is the third one, was just like the previous two. One-on-one man coverage on the left side of the line, and Debose is going to just run a fly-route.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

As Debose comes into view (yellow square) the ball (red circle) is on its way, but he doesn't have his normal separation on the defensive back.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

But Debose makes a great play on the ball to make the catch (yellow square). Debose cuts inside the defender and basically just out muscles him to the ball (really without any contact) and completes the catch.

From another angle:


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)

You can tell from this angle (yellow square) that the defender attempted to avoid contact and that helped Deobse make the catch.


(Photo courtesy of ESPN)


Play No. 3: Debose's 64-yard touchdown reception against Furman:


(Photo courtesy of GatorVision)

As the ball (red circle) begins its decent, you can see that Debose has at best, a shoulder ahead of the defender (yellow square).


(Photo courtesy of GatorVision)

But when Debose makes the catch (yellow circle), he's got at least a full yard on the defender.


(Photo courtesy of GatorVision)

Yes, the quality of video on GatorVision (for at least football) is about as good as my quality would be going up against Patric Young in the post. Still though, it was a great catch by Debose (yellow square).

All in all, I like what Debose did this year. Given that he was a redshirt sophomore this year, he's still got two years to grow and get better. He was our best receiver this year, and he will more than likely be our best receiver next year because he is the deep threat.