By Paul Sykes
You can have the best quarterback in the conference but if there’s no oneÂ to throw to, your passing game will suffer — as it did during Hunter Cantwell’s frustrating senior year in the spotlight.Â With a little luck, whoever wins the University of Louisville football’s QB battle will have some decent options.
Doug Beaumont, the sophomore receiver from Male who dazzled with his catches and moves, returns as one of the major threats in the slot. Beaumont had 62 receptions and 750 yards in 2008. Beaumont performed admirably in the absence of an injury-plagued receiving unit but he failed to make it into the end zone. He’s too good a player to have that happen much longer.
Scott Long was U of L’s No. 1 receiver going into last season. Â If Long has fully recovered from some serious injuries, he will be a clutch, go-to receiver. The senior was on the field in only three games but pulled in 11 catches while scoring two touchdowns.
How well Trent Guy will do after recovering from injuries on the heels of his recuperation from gunshot wounds is another huge factor. The senior missed five games last year, but has shown the speed and skills to make defenses second-guess themselves. He’s the heart and soul of this team.
Troy Pascley came on late in the year for 12 receptioand 252 yards, reaching the end zone four times. He has the speed and the moves … all he has to do is catch the ball.
If the Cards want to go tall, sophomore Josh Chichester, at 6-foot-8, is the ideal target. The big guy from Ohio had 30 grabs for 341 yards and four touchdowns.
Damien Dixon and Andrew Robinson are waiting in the wings for duty if the injury bug returns. Robinson has world-class speed and good hands but had only seven handles in 2008.
Tight end appears to be well fortified.Â Senior Pete Noctha, out of Lexington Tates Creek caught nine throws and tallied two touchdowns despite only playing six games. Former defensive standout Johnny Burns looked in 18 tosses and one touchdown. Nate Nord and Mike Fennerty could compete for time as well.
With depth at all receiving positions, the Cards will have the potential to be dangerous. But they must avoid the injury bug and have a quarterback who can deliver if they are to enjoy a productive season.