This is going to be a big year for recruiting wide receivers. Two years ago the Broncos brought in four wide receivers with the idea that they'd take the places of Nunez, White, and Arnheim. That group included Trey Smith, Tronic Williams, Chleb Ravenell, Josh Schaffer, and Ansel Ponder. White and Ravenell will get an extra year because of injuries, Williams moved to defensive back. Michael Johnson was the only WR in last years class, and is progressing very well.
In 2011 the Broncos will likely count on White, Arnheim, Ravenell, Ponder and Smith, and in 2012 it will likely be Ponder, Smith as the featured receivers.
Tim Hiller's senior year was hindered by a lack of healthy, veteran, quality receivers. Looking down the road, Cubit doesn't want to put Alex Carder in that position in his senior year. While Ponder, Smith, Johnson, and Schaffer could be standouts, this offense needs 5 or 6 reliable receivers to function properly.
In a recruiting class that seems to be expanding weekly, the Broncos will likely bring in between 18 and 22 prospects. At least three and probably four of those verbals will come from wideouts.
At the top of that list will be Kendrick Roberts. Robert's holds an offer from Iowa and is getting a lot of love from Purdue. He's been to a WMU game, had an unofficial before that, and has a December 10th visit scheduled with the Broncos. Of all the MAC schools he has been the most receptive to Western Michigan. How things shake out with the Big Ten offers remains to be seen.
Also high on the list of WR recruits is Muskegon's Willie Snead. Snead, like Roberts is a Rivals Three Star recruit, although the two offer different styles. Snead is more of a run after the catch type receiver. Snead played QB as a sophomore when he had 68 catches for 972 yards. As a junior he moved to quarterback, where rushed for 1,120 yards and 15 touchdowns. Some may have noticed that Snead was an early Ball State commit. Some may have also noticed that Ball State's head coach was fired, and their season has gone south since that commitment. Don't be surprised if Snead pays a visit to Kalamazoo before signing day.
Another receiver that the Broncos are high on is Ranell Hall out of Carol, Florida. Hall goes 6'1" and runs a 4.45 forty. The University of Miami and Ole Miss have taken in one of his games, and UCF and Western Michigan have already offered. Hall says Ole Miss is close as well. The most important thing to know about Hall? "Location is not really a concern to me," Hall told UCFsports. "The most important thing I'm looking for is communication with the coach and playing time."
Rivals three star receiver Devonte Allen is getting a lot of attention and a has a number of offers, the Broncos among them. Allen has yet to pass his ACT. Look for a lot of those offers to drop off as we get closer to January. WMU got Freddie Bishop on a late ACT, Allen would be worth waiting on as well.
Taking a lower profile is Aaron Baysdon out of Kathleen HS in Lakeland, Florida. The 6'1" 202 pound Baysdon runs a 4.5 forty. Baysdon got on everyone's radar during the Miami Nike Combine, and has garnered more interest during his senior campaign.
If I had to pick one prospect out of this group that I think will end up in Kalamazoo it's Dade City (Fla.) Pasco wide receiver Hakeeme Ishmar (see video). The 6'3" wideout is hearing a lot from the Broncos. Ishmar plans to take at least a couple visits before considering making a decision. If those visits come down to WMU and Bowling Green, I'd give the Broncos and edge.
Courtney Williams was a 1st team All Area Linebacker out of Melvindale, Michigan. He's also got a good set of hands. The 6-foot-2 205 lb WR dominated the U of M 7-on-7 Tournament, had a great performance at the Midwest Elite Camp and made big plays at the Midwest Elite 7-on-7 Tournament at EMU.
Another prospect of note is Lakeland(FL) George Jenkins wide receiver Jaucady Rutledge. Rutledge had flown under the radar, but not any more. Rutledge holds offers from Central Florida, Southern Miss, and Western Michigan, but more recently set up visits with Michigan State and Illinois.
This weekend we look at Tight Ends on the Bronco wish list