Over the next couple of weeks, the Catamount Sports Network and CatamountSports.com will feature positional previews of the 2016 Catamount football team. Each feature will contain the position write-ups from the 2016 Western Carolina media guide, and Catamount Sports Network All-Access video highlights and interviews with the position coach and student-athletes.
2016 Catamount Football Position Preview: the Wide Receivers
For a second-straight season, Western Carolina's wide receivers are one of the deepest and most heralded positions on the Catamount offense. WCU returns five receivers with numerous starts and a wealth of experience with a trio of seniors and a pair of juniors.
Headlining the returning receivers is redshirt senior Spearman Robinson. A big-play option, Robinson has 13 career receiving touchdowns including a career-high 11 in his second season back in 2014. He is coming off a down year by his standards, finishing with 24 catches for 354 yards -- both career lows -- but often times drew the defense's best coverage.
Though Spearman Robinson remains one of WCU's biggest deep-ball threats, it is senior Steffon Hill that enters 2016 as WCU's leading returning wide receiver. The Hendersonville, N.C., native ranked eighth in the SoCon with both 3.8 receptions and 45.7 receiving yards per game, and is a dual threat who has also seen touches in the running game. Similarly, another redshirt senior in C.J. Goodman will add valuable depth at the position. Goodman had a career-best year in 2015 with 20 catches for 234 yards for the Catamounts.
An All-SoCon selection in 2014, a healthy Terryon Robinson returns to the fold after missing the 2015 season due to a wrist injury. Robinson led the SoCon in receptions per game in 2014, averaging 5.1 per game with his 56 seasonal catches ranking second in the conference. He averaged 58.5 yards per game to rank fourth in the SoCon in 2014.
WCU also looks to add depth with returning redshirt wideouts in Jacob Robinson (Davidson, N.C.) and Brad Swan Jr. (Dallas, Ga.) -- who has had among the best fall camps according to the coaching staff -- with several younger players including incoming freshman signee Lavell Ellerbe (Rockingham, N.C. / Richmond Senior HS) among others such as Hunter Jacobs, redshirt freshman Charles Johnson (Wake Forest, N.C.), and freshmen Daquan Patten (Columbia, S.C.) and Alex Johnson (Newton, N.C.) all adding competition.
ADDITIONAL LINEBACKERS NOTES: WCU had the third-best passing game in the Southern Conference in 2015, averaging 234.6 yards per game through the air; WCU's passing game returns 11 of its 16 receiving scores from a season ago -- though only four of those TDs were scored by wide receivers ... Steffon Hill recorded two of WCU's WR touchdowns with Spearman Robinson and Jordan Mathis also hauling in scores; WCU's six receivers with collegiate action have combined for 289 catches for 3,434 yards and 19 TDs over the past four seasons ... Spearman Robinson has 108 career catches for 1,301 yards while Terryon Robinson has 97 receptions for 1,205 yards.
WCU Football 2016 Position-by-Position Preview (tentative schedule):
Offensive Line - WATCH
Defensive Line - WATCH
Tight Ends - WATCH
Linebackers - WATCH
Wide Receivers - ABOVE
Special Teams - Aug. 19
Running Backs - Aug. 22
Defensive Backs - Aug. 23
Quarterbacks - Aug. 24