Fall Camp Preview: Wide Receivers

Young wideouts expected to lead in 2007.

Fresno State – referred to as Wide Receiver "U" in the past – had a talented group of senior receivers who failed to deliver last season. Four super sophomores lead the 2007 group. They head into fall camp atop the depth chart and look to improve last year's underwhelming effort.

So. Chastin West (6-1, 215) led the team in receiving as redshirt freshman. He was not expected to have too many receptions with seniors Paul Williams, Joe Fernandez, Jaron Fairman returning last season. The veterans were felled by injuries and the West picked up the slack.

West is not the fastest or the biggest receiver on the team. Nevertheless, he is the smartest and leads this group through summer workouts. His leadership and experience make him the team's top target heading into fall camp.

So. Marlon Moore (6-1, 180) has a striking resemblance to former Bulldog wideout Bernard Berrian. Moreover, his physical attributes are on par with the former first team All-American as well.

Moore had an on-and-off spring. When he was on, he was remarkable, but when off, he could not hold onto the ball to save his life. This summer Moore has showed exceptional hands and has a stronghold on the second receiver spot. He is arguably the fastest player on the team and gives the team its best deep threat.

So. Seyi Ajirotutu (6-3, 207) is a big, strong target in the mold of former Bulldog David Dunn. Not since Dunn, has Fresno State had such a big, physical receiver who can go over the middle and come away with a reception. Ajirotutu missed most of last season recovering from an injury. However, he has been most consistent receiver in spring and summer, outside of West. With the Bulldog looking to use more three-receiver sets in 2007, he has a chance to lead the team in receptions.

So. Jason Crawley (6-2, 185) is the most athletic receiver on the roster and possibly the most athletic player on the team. The former high school quarterback – and standout volleyball player – has vertical leap of 40 inches. He is a tall, rangy receiver with uncanny quickness and a knack for making the first defender miss. He has a chance to bump those ahead off the depth chart this fall.

Fr. Jamel Hamler (6-1, 185) sat out last fall to fulfill academic requirements. He had a solid spring, and he continues to look great in summer. Hamler has a redshirt season available, but is conceivably among the top five receivers on the team. He will likely see action on special teams as a kick returner also.

Sr. Shannon Dorsey (6-1, 205) is the lone upperclassman. The former running back moved to receiver in the middle of last season. Dorsey projects more as a slot or H-back. His hands are not as soft compared to the other wideouts on the team. However, he is a bullish receiver, who can create plays in open space.

So. Darren Newborne (6-0, 183) is a walk on. He is an extremely hard-working individual trying to earn some time in the rotation this fall. He does not have the size or speed of those ahead of him but could see some spot this year.

Fr. Cardell Turner (6-3, 178) is an intriguing player. He played just one season of varsity football at Edison (Fresno) High School. He was a track star who walked on at Fresno State this spring and earned an invitation to participate in fall camp. Turner will likely redshirt this season as he continues to learn the position.

All-State high school QB Tim Lang (6-0, 190) has spent the summer working out with the receivers. The talented athlete can play multiple positions including defensive back, kick returner, and punter. Based on his summer, Lang could be considered one of the top five or six receivers on the team. He is the Bulldogs' most versatile player since Rodney Wright.

Incoming freshmen Devon Wylie (5-10, 180) and Matt Lindsey (6-2, 180) have yet to arrive this summer. Lindsey is expected to sit out this season as a grayshirt or redshirt. Wylie, on the other hand, should battle immediately for playing time.

Wylie has been compared to former Bulldog receiver Adam Jennings. Both attended Granite Bay (Calif.) High School and are of similar size. He has excellent speed and very good hands. If he can learn the offense during fall camp, his number could be called on quite a bit this season. At the very least, he will contend for a spot at kick-returner.


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