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Sunday, March 7, 2021

SOU Football Preview: Wide Receivers

Credit: KDRV
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SOU Football Preview: Wide Receivers
SOU Football Preview: Wide Receivers

Look ahead to the Spring Season for the Southern Oregon University Raiders football team.

From around the world of college football still to come on college game night.

Announcer says: "welcome back to college football game night."

Welcome back to college gamenight.

While the power 5 conferences are now back in action, the s-o-u raiders are still waiting to play football.

As of right now, the raiders are set to begin their year on february 27-th.

Before we get there-- we'll spend a few minutes every week on gamenight taking a deep dive into some position groups.

We'll get familiar with the raiders team in anticipation of a spring 20-21 season.

This week we start with the receivers.

And before we get to who is in line to be big contributors, it's important to know who isn't coming back.

The biggest name is one of the biggest and best receivers the raiders have had in recent years.

Jordan suell.

Suell led the team in receiving yards and touchdowns last year by a pretty substantial margin.

Almost 200 more receiving yards then the next player and his 12 touchdowns accounted for over half the team's receiving touchdowns.

It will be hard to replace the 6-6 wide out who ended his career fourth all-time in raiders receiving touchdowns.

But suell isn't the only receiver the raiders will be missing.

Parker randle and jason shelley were both key contributors on the offense.

Both had over 300 yards receiving last year.

Khalil hudson racked up over 200 yards last season as well.

None of those guys coming back to the receiving corps.

Experience is going to be low for the raiders this season.

Matt boudreaux says, "this is the youngest group.

We probably had in years that played together.

We only have like, maybe like a one outside return of who actually, well, outside receiver or inside receiver who actually played in big games last year or the year before last.

And we just have to really like, learn like, this is us."

Here's lack of on-field expereince in a graphic.

On the left, the graduated receivers.

On the right, the returners.

On the left... only six people who combined for 56 games played.

On the right-- 11 players who combined for 80 games.

Suell, randle, and shelley make up the vast majority of the production from the graduated receivers.

And even more surprising... one person makes up over half of the returners receiving yards.

Who is that mystery man who led the raiders in receptions and finished second behind jordan suell in receiving yards?

It's redshirt junior christian graney.

A consistent producer for the raiders last year who they'll look to lead the young receiver group.

Among players listed as receivers, graney is the only returner with more than 7 receptions.

And last season he had 59-- 17 more than jordan suell.

On average he was picking up about 60 yards a game for the raiders and was a reliable target for the inconsistent quarterback situation last season.

A lot of pressure will be put on the 5-11 junior to lead the inexperienced receiver corps.

But graney is taking the experiences from his freshman year to better teach the young group.

Christian graney says, "basically all i'm trying to do is boost their confidnce up because i know when i was a freshman i didn't come in with a a lot of confidence.

I was making mistakes, i was dropping balls.

For me i want to be that guy to go ahead and step up and be there for them and let them know that, 'hey it's alright if you mess up.

This is all a learning experience so we're gonna go ahead and get better as a team, as a corps and, you know, we're gonna be dangerous.'" graney easily has the most experience, but there are a few players that have some game-time experience.

Notably two track stars looking to add some speed on wings.

Bryce goggin and shane mclaughlin.

Goggin has limited game experience, playing in only 3 last years and making two catches.

Goggin also runs hurdles for the raiders in the spring, a great skill for a receiver.

Mclaughlin, a sprinter for the s-o-u track team.

Raiders will get help in other forms too.

Former ashland high school receiver shashi penn is back in the rogue valley.

A goldenwest college transfer looks to add a little experience to the group.

Jaden cummings served as a back-up last season.

A junior this season, he played in 7 games last year with five catches for 68 yards and a touchdown.

Ben graziani, a redshirt sophomore, looks to contribute this year.

His father, tony graziani, played q-b for the oregon ducks in the 90s and was drafter in the seventh round of the 19-97 n-f-l draft by the atlanta falcons.

Tahir mills is a junior transfer who features size and speed.

And then there's redshirt freshman sawyer cleveland who's a converted high school quarterback.

According to coach hall-- cleveland has the potential to be a jordan suell type receiver.

This receiver group will need some polishing, but luckily they get a little bonus time before they play their first game.

And helping them along the way will be third-year starting quarterback wyatt hutchinson.

He battled injuries last year, but in his final year with the raiders, he could help accelerate the learning process for the young group of wide outs.

Matt boudreaux says, "he knows how it goes.

He knows what needs to be done, which is nice that i'm glad that we still have wyatt around.

And we have a few more seniors that was just like that, like been here since 17, 16 that knows like, this is how it needs to be done.

And this is how it will be done."

Charlie hall says, "there are guys with lots of talent, but it takes more than just talent.

It takes you gotta remember your plays, you gotta-- you certainly gotta catch the football consistently and things like that.

But yeah there's some guys with some length and some height.

They've had some great experiences against us.

Again, the proof's gonna be when we come out against rocky mountain here on february 27 and see who's gonna make those plays."

Here's a look at the schedule for the raiders as it stands right now for the spring.

Home opener against rocky mountain college on the last saturday in february.

Then two road games until montana western visits raider stadium.

Now we all just need to keep our fingers crossed for s-o-u football in the spring.

We're hopeful there will be some approval of testing guidelines that

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