Indiana’s wide receiver room underwent some turnover in the offseason, with several outbound transfers and a graduated starter opening up some roles in the offense.
But with the dust settled, the Hoosiers have a talented crop of wideouts. It’s one of the stronger areas of the roster.
Just how good can this group be, and how will these players fit into Indiana’s offense this year? Here’s our outlook for the wide receivers, with roster turnover, the projected depth chart, quotes, and more.
Roster turnover — who’s gone
- D.J. Matthews Jr. (out of eligibility),
- Emery Simmons (transfer — Utah),
- Malachi Holt-Bennett (transfer — UAB),
- Javon Swinton (transfer — Eastern Michigan),
- David Baker (medical hardship)
Roster turnover — who’s back
- Cam Camper (senior),
- Donaven McCulley (junior),
- Andison Coby (senior),
- Jaquez Smith (redshirt sophomore),
- Kamryn Perry (redshirt freshman),
- Omar Cooper (redshirt freshman)
Roster turnover — who’s new
- E.J. Williams (transfer — Clemson),
- Dequece Carter (transfer — Fordham),
- Derrick Bohler (3-star, Miami, Fla.),
- Orlando Greenlow (3-star, Lawndale, Calif.)
Projected depth chart
Here’s our best estimate of Indiana’s starters at wide receiver and who the other key players will be.
- X receiver: Cam Camper, senior, 6-foot-2, 195 pounds (seven career starts)
- E.J Williams Jr., senior, 6-foot-3, 200 pounds (six career starts at Clemson)
- Slot receiver: DeQuece Carter, fifth-year senior, 6 feet, 200 pounds (38 career starts at Fordham)
- Kamryn Perry, 5-foot-9, 165 pounds
- Omar Cooper Jr., redshirt freshman, 6-foot-1, 195 pounds
- Z receiver: Donaven McCulley, junior, 6-foot-5, 200 pounds (four career starts at quarterback, none at wide receiver)
- Andison Coby, junior, 6-foot-2, 175 pounds (10 career starts)
This looks like Indiana’s main crop of receivers for this season. Tom Allen said Camper is healthy coming out of fall camp and he’s expecting the senior to start against Ohio State. It’s easy to see IU going with either Williams or McCulley on the other side, but we’re putting McCulley there for now. The junior has looked like an entirely different player than he was last season — better hands, more explosive, and running crisper and cleaner routes. Williams will be a factor in the offense as well. Carter gets the nod in the slot as an older, more developed player, but Perry has looked like a real weapon throughout spring and fall. Both should play roles this season.
The wild cards
Indiana has a lot of talent at receiver, but perhaps the biggest wild card impacting that group will be the running backs, particularly Jaylin Lucas. IU certainly utilized its running backs in the passing game last year — Josh Henderson was Indiana’s third-leading receiver. And the Hoosiers are clearly looking to make Lucas a focal point in this year’s offense in many different ways. He’ll get the ball out of the backfield, but Lucas will line up at slot receiver at well. Henderson and Christian Turner should be involved as well. The number of targets taken up by the running backs will directly impact how many remain available for the wide receivers.
Cam Camper on the wide receiver room:
“Everybody brings their own juice to the (wide receivers room). You have Donaven (McCulley), he can take the top off (the defense) and is a big dude. (Andison) Coby is explosive and makes plays. KP (Kamryn Perry) is explosive. Everybody has their own thing they can do well and that contributes to the room and makes us better … Starter or not, coach (Anthony) Tucker says there shouldn’t be a drop off regardless of if you come on the field first or second it should be the same standard all the time.”
Anthony Tucker on Cam Camper:
“I have seen his investment since I’ve been here. He’s highly invested in our program, highly invested in that room. He does have a voice and a presence on our team. Our team respects him. He’s a leader in our room, in the receiver room. But he had his own things that he needed to work through. And he’s been ahead of schedule on everything. That’s a tribute to who he is as a person, and why he fits in our program so well, because he’s worked so hard to make his way back through that. Those are things that he had to deal with and, just from my estimation, he’s done a great job from what I’ve seen. He continues to do a great job.
E.J. Williams on the size in the wide receiver room:
“I feel like having guys with a lot of length like me, Cam, D-Mac and other guys, that’s going to (provide) more length for the QB to throw to downfield and bigger bodies for blocking and things like that. It’ll (help) to open up the run.”
Why it will work
Indiana’s wide receivers may be the most talented group on the team.
Camper played only seven games last season, but when he went down, he was among the top receivers in the Big Ten. He could absolutely be back in that position this year if he can stay healthy.
And outside of Camper, there’s just a lot of guys who look like potential playmakers. McCulley and Perry had great camps. Carter was a very productive player at Fordham. Williams, a former top-100 recruit, has the size and tools to be a difference-maker. Coby flashed potential in spurts last year. Cooper was a four-star recruit out of high school.
The seven receivers in the above depth chart comprise the main core — surely there will likely be a smaller circle of primary options within that group. But with that many guys Tom Allen and Walt Bell see as part of the rotation, there’s sufficient depth in the room.
IU’s offense may center around concepts that make it easy to get the ball in its running backs’ and wide receivers’ hands. If that works out, this group of receivers could sneak up on some teams.
Why it won’t
Talented wide receivers can only do so much if their quarterbacks can’t get them the ball.
Indiana has yet to announce whether Tayven Jackson or Brendan Sorsby will start against Ohio State. Either way, it will be a redshirt freshman at quarterback against one of the best teams in the country, and for at least the first several games of the season.
Whether it’s Jackson, Sorsby, or Dexter Williams II later in the season, if Indiana’s quarterback is an unreliable passer and has trouble with even the simple throws, IU’s wide receivers would have a limited impact.
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