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Pitt Fall Camp Preview: Wide Receiver

Breaking down the wide receivers heading into 2015 Fall camp

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
  • Rafael Araujo-Lopes 5'9" 190 Sophomore (Junior College Transfer)
  • Tyler Boyd 6'2" 200 Junior (78 Receptions 1,261 Yards 8 Touchdowns in 2014)
  • Joey Brungo 6'1" 195 Freshman (Walk-on/Redshirt in 2014)
  • Zach Challingsworth 6'2" 200 Sophomore (Appeared in 10 games in 2014)
  • JaQuan Davidson 6'2" 205 Freshman (Redshirt in 2014)
  • Dontez Ford 6'2" 215 Junior (3 Receptions 50 yards 1 Touchdown in 2014)
  • Quadree Henderson 5'8" 170 Freshman (Incoming three-star recruit)
  • Gentry Ivery 6'1" 195 Freshman (Incoming two-star recruit)
  • Jordan Jones 6'3" 215 Freshman (Walk-on/Redshirt in 2014)
  • Kellen McAlone 6'2" 200 Freshman (Walk-on/Redshirt in 2014)
  • Tre Tipton 6'0" 170 Freshman (Incoming three-star recruit)
  • Jester Weah 6'3" 205 Sophomore (Appeared in 8 games in 2014)
  • Chris Wuestner 6'2" 210 Junior (1 reception for 8 yards in 2014)
  • Elijah Zeise 6'2" 215 Freshman (Redshirt in 2014)
Projected Starters - Tyler Boyd, Dontez Ford

Tyler Boyd enters the 2015 season as arguably the best wide receiver in college football. Countless accolades follow his name, and he holds lofty expectations as a potential high draft pick in next year's draft. Boyd has done Larry Fitzgerald-like things in his two years already, and big things are expected in 2015. Of course, the DUI arrest and a potential punishment may alter this season. With all that aside, you can expect production, big plays, and wow moments out of #23 this season.

Believe it or not, but Dontez Ford's three receptions for 50 yards ranks second on the team in terms of returning production from a wide receiver. Ford came up with a nice touchdown grab in the Syracuse game, and worked a good bit as the number two option in the Spring. He has the leg up on the spot right now, but a big camp from someone else could shake things up here.

Top returning reserves - Zach Challingsworth, Jester Weah, Chris Wuestner

These three guys have at least some action over the past few years, and possess a little experience on the field.

Zach Challingsworth spent a lot of time on special teams, but was once a well-regarded player from the local high school ranks. Chris Wuestner has come up with one catch in each of the past two seasons, which is good for third most career receptions among the returnees at receiver. He has some size, and could be a solid possession guy that will compete for some snaps. Jester Weah is an intriguing talent with a ton of athleticism. Pitt tried to work him into the mix last season, and targeted Weah on some plays, but he failed to haul in a reception last season.

Redshirt options - JaQuan Davidson  Elijah Zeise

Both Davidson and Zeise came to Pitt as local three star athletes with a ton of potential.  Zeise had a solid career for North Allegheny High School and has done some impressive things on the practice field in his short time at Pitt. He has the toughness and athleticism to really move into a big role in the near future.

JaQuan Davidson played as a running quarterback for Elizabeth-Forward High School, and has the speed and athleticism that can be translated into being a good receiver. Davidson has a good frame, and like Zeise, can really challenge for some playing time this Fall.

Slot Receiver - Rafael Araujo-Lopes, Qaudree Henderson, Tre Tipton

Pitt has some options at the slot position if they want to work in some speed and underneath routes, and like most of the wide receivers on the roster, not a lot of experience comes with them. Actually no experience, as all three guys are newcomers to the program. But there appears to be room for at least one of the guys to make an impact.

Rafael Araujo-Lopes may come in and snatch up some playing time after transferring to Pitt with one year of junior college experience under his belt. Quadree Henderson enters the program after an impressive prep career in Delaware. He has the speed and big play threat that is associated with being an undersized wide receiver.  Also you have local standout, Tre Tipton, coming into the mix. Tipton had a decorated senior season for Apollo-Ridge High School in the WPIAL, and with a strong track and field background, he too has the makeup of a good player in this role.

Any of these three guys could redshirt and the best man among this trio may avoid that and see early playing time.

The Rest - Joey Brungo, Gentry Ivery, Jordan Jones, Kellen McAlone

Gentry Ivery is the one true freshman on scholarship I expect to see a redshirt for certain. He comes in as a low rated recruit and would really have to turn some heads to see the field in 2015.

Jordan Jones is impressive looking walk-on standing in at 6'3" 215 pounds. He has good bloodlines as his father, Henry Jones,  was a longtime NFL safety. McAlone and Brungo are also pretty sizable for walk-ons themselves. With so much depth at receiver, though, its difficult to see any of these guys factoring in.