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WSU Receivers

Elite Receivers Should Keep Cougs in Hunt

—With yet another plug-and-play transfer quarterback in place, WSU shouldn't miss a beat—      

By Jace McKinney, SportsPac12

If the Cougs can find an viable replacement for 2018 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year Gardner Minshew—and who doubts that quarterback wizard Mike Leach can?—WSU should be back in the thick of things in the North. The new signal caller will have an abundance of returning talent at the wide receiver position, a group that Bleacher Report ranks fifth-best in the country. 

WSU's Dezmon Patmon pulls in a touchdown catch against Oregon at Martin Stadium in 2018. | Getty Images

—Receiving Talent to Spare—

Just how much receiving talent do the Cougars return on the Palouse this year? Seven players caught at least 20 passes in 2018, including Dezmon Patmon, Davontavean Martin, Easop Winston Jr, and Jamire Calvin. The four combined for a total 224 receptions, 2652 yards, and 22 touchdowns on their own. 

Dezmon Patmon

Typically, there is no set “Number One” receiver in Leach's Air Raid system, with a wealth of catches spread nearly equal among all receivers. This year, however, senior Dezmon Patmon may well take on that role. Patmon, recently named to the preseason Biletnikoff Award Watch List for nation's best wide receiver, poses daunting matchup problems for opposing teams with his 6-foot-4 frame—especially in the Red Zone. Last season Patmon caught 61 balls for 816 yards and five touchdowns, recording three 100-yard receiving games and a team-best 13.4 yards per catch. 

Easop Winston

WSU senior Easop Winston, last year's ‘Mr. Clutch,’ caught 52 passes for 654 yards and a co-team high eight touchdowns. Winston turned in some spectacular performances when the Cougs needed them most, including a 115-yard game against Utah, in which he hauled in an 89-yard go-ahead touchdown in the final minute. He also caught seven passes for 92 yards against Cal, including the game-winning touchdown with 32 seconds left. 

Davantavean Martin

Speedy junior receiver Davantavean “Tay” Martin is another key cog in the Cougar wideout machine. Martin caught a team-high 69 balls for 685 yards, matching Winston's eight touchdowns. He also racked up three 100 yard games while pulling in 11 balls for more than 20 yards each. With a full year under his belt, Martin seems poised to have another standout season.

—Exceptional Depth—

While these three should carry the bulk of the load this season, the real strength of the Cougar receiving corps is its exceptional depth, enabling Wazzu to keep opponents guessing, while keeping its dynamic playmakers fresh. 

  • Jamire Calvin hauled in 42 receptions last season for 497 yards and one touchdown, averaging a solid 11.8 yards per catch. 
  • Redshirt sophomore Travell Harris nabbed 22 balls for 309 yards and a touchdown, doubling as one of the best kickoff returners in the country. 
  • Senior Calvin Jackson Jr. started off a little slow, but was performing up to expectations by season's end. He finished the year strong, pulling down 26 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns. 
  • Renard Bell is back and ready to make an even bigger impact this season, after catching 20 passes for 202 yards and five touchdowns last year, including a 16-yard touchdown catch against Oregon. 

—Surprises Up Coach Mike's Sleeves?—

While these seven elite wide receivers should give Leach plenty to work with, you can’t help but think he has something hidden up his sleeves, in the guise of a redshirt and/or new recruit. 

  • Kassidy Woods is a 6-foot-4, 225-pound receiver coming off a redshirt year, whom coaches expect to earn significant playing time this season. 
  • Donovan Ollie, a a 6-foot-3, 210-pound three-star recruit out of Texas, could get some early playing opportunities as well, with a strong showing in fall camp.

In short, Washington State's explosive offense won't lack for talented receiving targets. Now about that quarterback situation...

Jace McKinney covers Washington State football and basketball for

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