2014 Preview: Receiving Corps

 

Tre McBride vs. UMD [Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun / September 1, 2012]
Tre McBride vs. UMD [Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun / September 1, 2012]

While it is still up in the air who will be starting behind center for the Tribe next year, one position that seems to be set in stone is wide receiver. The Tribe look to bolster one of the deepest receiving corps in the CAA, returning first team all-CAA selection Tre McBride, who figures to have a monster year, as well as Senior Sean Ballard and Junior Christian Reeves. Captain Bo Revell will also retains his starting position at tight end for the second consecutive season.

Bo Revell stands at 6’6’’ 260 pounds, and literally has the size of NFL tight ends. For instance, New England Patriots Tight End Rob Gronkowski is also 6’6’’ and weighs in at 265 pounds—the same height and just 5 pounds heavier than Revell. When Bo uses his size to pinpoint the ball over smaller defenders, he can make this receiving corp that much better.

Another receiver on the roster is Christian Reeves, who transferred from Virginia Tech last year. In his first season with the Tribe, Reeves had 182 yards in minimal action. He, like Revell, brings size to the unit, coming in at a healthy 6’4’’ and 215 pounds—typical of FBS-recruited players. If his game against New Hampshire is any indication, Reeves is a serious wildcard to break out this season. In that game, he had 109 receiving yards, including a 61-yard bomb that was the longest passing play of the year for the Tribe. He certainly has the size to excel at the FCS level, and he may have some extra motivation playing against his former team when the season opens up in Blacksburg.

And of course, we have the superstar, Tre McBride. McBride has it all: skill, speed, route running, and big play ability. He is by far the biggest threat that the William and Mary offense has, and we expect big things out of him this season. He is the type of wide receiver that delivers jaw dropping plays routinely, and strikes fear into opposing defenses. He also excels in the spotlight. Against big FBS schools like West Virginia and Maryland, McBride delivers.

In his sophomore year against Maryland, McBride had 6 receptions for 97 yards. Last year against West Virginia, he had 3 receptions for 108 yards, including a highlight reel 40 yard bomb in tight coverage. In the same WVU game, McBride also got open on what would have been around a 50-60 yard touchdown grab, as he got behind the defense, but an underthrown ball by then-Quarterback Michael Graham negated the catch.

These stats against high caliber teams more than proves that McBride has the talent of an FBS receiver at the FCS level. With another big year, McBride could gain the attention of NFL scouts and just get picked up by a team next offseason.

According to Dan Greenspan of NFL.com, since the West Virginia game, Tre McBride is on the radar of NFL teams.  In addition, Mike Huguenin of NFL.com just recently posted his top small-school prospects, and Tre was on the list. We expect big things out of Tre this year, and have full confidence that he will put on a show all year.

Finally, we have Mr. Reliable, Sean Ballard. While he doesn’t bring size to the roster, measuring in at 6’0’’, he may be the best route runner on the team. Whenever Tre McBride is double teamed (as he frequently is), Ballard is able to exploit opposing teams’ defenses. He also is fairly quick and has good hands, consistently making sure-handed catches—he can also go up and get a 1-on-1 ball well. He was second on the team last year with 593 yards and 3 touchdowns—speaking to Ballard’s experience in the offensive system. While other teams are looking McBride’s way this season, Ballard should take advantage in his senior year, resulting in more yards and more touchdowns on the field.

All in all, the Tribe’s receiving corps has it all. Size with Revell and Reeves, route running and speed with Ballard, and big play ability and a do-it-all guy in McBride. The only thing that will potentially hold this receiving corps back from a big year is the perennial question mark at the quarterback position. However, if the QB situation can get figured out, and the starter can gain chemistry with the receivers, then look out come August.

Go Tribe!

-Kyle

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