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BYU Football Position Preview: Mitch Mathews returns to deep receivers group

Size and speed highlight BYU receivers group.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

While much has been said about the depth of the linebackers, I personally believe wide receiver is deepest position on the roster -- both as it stands now and likely for the foreseeable future. Senior leadership, big targets, deep threats, slot guys, and speed guys dot the group.

Reports from fall camp say the Cougars have been throwing the ball a lot, possibly foreshadowing a transition from an Oregon-type running attack, relying on the zone read, to a more traditional Max Hall/John Beck pro style offense. This would mean more use of traditional tight ends in run blocking, then going over the top of the defense in play action.

The leader and star of the group is undoubtedly Mitch Mathews (Senior, 6-6 215). His play in fall camp has been limited due to injury, but expect him to be Taysom Hill’s most reliable target. A great statistical season, and more work with Frank Wintrich, could earn him a late round pick in the NFL draft.

Mathews would be the focus of opposing secondaries if not for Nick Kurtz (Junior, 6-5 205). Two long, athletic targets working opposite ends of the field are a nightmare for any defensive coordinator. Terenn Houk (Senior, 6-5 225) will work the middle of the field and seems to always be open when it comes time for the QB to scramble.

Devon Blackmon (Senior, 6-0 187) will be another reliable weapon on offense and will probably factor into punt and kickoff returns to some degree as well. Mitch Juergens (Junior, 5-10 182) will be a great underneath target that will go over the top occasionally, and will vie for reps in returning punts and kickoffs as well. Kurt Henderson (Senior, 6-1 190), Colby Pearson (Junior 6-0 204), and Trey Dye (Sophomore, 5-9 172) will join the rotation and provide depth.

Steven Richards, one of the "Bash Brothers," unfortunately suffered an ACL tear in practice, which will leave TE duties primarily to Tanner Balderree (Sophomore, 6-3 242). Think less Jonny Harline or Dennis Pitta and more Andrew George. Jackson Kaka (Sophomore, 6-4 241) is a post-mission transfer from New Mexico State that will viefor time as well, but only if he can recover from injury of his own..

While the pantry is fully stocked right now, most of the major weapons are juniors and seniors, so who will represent the future at these positions? Ricky Shumway (Freshman, 6-2 197) and Moroni Laulu-Pututau (Freshman, 6-4 190) have generated great reviews from reporters and Taysom Hill. Eliot Knox (Junior, 6-4 193) is a little known transfer from Arizona State that has turned some heads as well, although his impact will probably be felt sooner rather than later.

Josh Weeks is another talented freshman, holding a skillset similar to the likes of Mathews and Cody Hoffman.

If Taysom Hill and the offense are unable to move the ball through the air, it will not be for lack of talent. BYU is loaded and the inventory extends well into the future. Now it's time to produce.