July 31, 2006

Camp Preview: Wide Receivers

Last season, Sun Devils receivers accumulated 4,448 receiving yards --which was over 1,000 more than their opponents totaled in games against them -- and 38 touchdown catches, but they'll be forced to replace three of their top pass catchers in 2006, including the all-time Pac-10 receiving leader Derek Hagan.

Hagan, Matt Miller and Moey Mutz combined to catch 122 of the team's 312 receptions last season (39%) and that is a huge chunk of production to replace, especially when you consider that the team's leading returning receiver, Rudy Burgess, did most of his damage coming out of the backfield.

Burgess had 59 receptions for 655 yards and four touchdowns last season but it will be interesting to see how smoothly his transition to receiver goes, and how productive he'll be operating out of a new on-field position.

The natural versatility of Burgess as an athlete leads us to believe that he'll do well in his new role, whether he spends most of his game-snaps at split end (x-receiver) or flanker (z-receiver) or in the slot.

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