By now you probably have heard that All-American wide receiver Tyler Boyd is being investigated for a DUI. Obviously, it is not a good thing at all for Boyd or the team. The junior wide receiver is by far the top target for quarterback Chad Voytik, and accounts for most of the production from the position. Boyd is also one of the top draft prospects for next season, and this is somewhat of a setback in that regard. It is unclear how Pat Narduzzi will handle any potential suspension, but however it shakes out, Pitt could be facing a game or two without arguably their best player. Here is a breakdown of what lies behind Tyler Boyd, and it shows how important he is to this team.
-- Dontez Ford has emerged as a top candidate to step into a starting role, and with a potential Tyler Boyd suspension, he could move into the top guy. Ford caught three passes for 50 yards last season, including a touchdown in the Syracuse game. He is a junior eligibility wise, and could be ready for a much bigger role this season, but like most of the other receivers on this team, he is generally unproven.
-- Jester Weah is a big, athletic target, but he was unable to haul in even one catch in 2014 despite being targeted for some passes. Weah has great speed and size, and some serious leaping ability. He is one guy that "looks the part", and has the chance to possibly breakout given an opportunity.
-- Chris Wuestner is a 6'2" 205 pound junior, and he has two career catches in his two years here at Pitt. Wuestner is a former walk-on, but played his way into a scholarship.
-- Zach Challingsworth is redshirt sophomore from nearby South Fayette High School. He was not able to get much playing time last season, but has done well in practice and camp. He has size and good hands, and could be a hidden talent if given a chance.
-- Rafael Araujo-Lopes was a late addition to the team this off-season. Araujo-Lopes has three years of eligibility after playing one season of junior college ball. The California native is a in the mold of a speed/slot receiver, and with a role like that open for the taking, he could become a major player in this offense sooner rather than later.
-- Elijah Zeise is probably the most intriguing freshman of the bunch, and one that could step into a big role. Zeise redshirted this past year, but impressed during Spring and has an athletic frame that could translate well.
-- JaQuan Davidson is another big time athlete, but one that is unproven at the wide receiver position. He played quarterback in high school, but given his athletic pedigree, Davidson is a very intriguing commodity on this team.
-- Quadree Henderson is going to be a true freshman, and perhaps one that could play right away. Henderson is a quick, athletic player that is dangerous in the open field. The top rated recruit from Delaware has a chance to crack the lineup and make an impact.
-- Tre Tipton is a good athlete from Apollo-Ridge High School. He could be on his way for a redshirt, but has a chance to make a name for himself in Fall Camp. Tipton is a great athlete, and another player that is dangerous in the open field.
-- Gentry Ivery was an under-the-radar recruit from Texas, so he is a bit of an unknown commodity heading into the Fall.
-- Jordan Whitehead is certainly a name to watch also. Whitehead has that do-it-all element to his game, and if it is not too much on his plate, he could see some time on offense.
So as I mentioned above, Pitt is pretty thin in the event of a possible Tyler Boyd suspension. It is hard to expect what will come of it just yet, but you have to imagine Pitt may spend some time without their star receiver. Pitt has bodies at the position, but unproven ones. They have some athletes with size and speed. and ones loaded with potential. It is all a matter of who steps up into a bigger role or not at this point.