FROM THE HILL: Razorback Receivers Out To Prove Everyone Wrong

by Chris Bahn  on Monday, Aug. 23, 2010 12:00 am  

Jarius Wright, Greg Childs and Joe Adams are ready to step up as a national recognized receiving corps. (Photo by Nelson Chenault)

This story is from the archives of ArkansasSports360.com.

McGee, the Razorback offensive coordinator, doesn’t think of Childs’ five catches for 140 yards and two touchdowns against Georgia in 2009. Adams’ three catches for 110 yards against Texas A&M don’t come to mind, nor do Wright’s four catches for 90 yards and touchdown in the Liberty Bowl.

Instead, McGee’s thoughts shift to a 2008 game at Texas when the trio combined for just 52 receiving yards and no touchdowns on five catches. Arkansas lost 52-10 and it was collectively — and individually — as bad a game for the trio as you could imagine.

Adams led the way with two catches for 29 yards. Wright had two catches for 12 yards and Childs had one catch for 11 yards.

“We played those guys as freshmen with the plan they’d grow up and really be something in the future,” McGee said. “They remember what it was like going to Texas. That team was big and mentally tough and wore us out.

“They took some lumps, knowing they’d get their turn.”

Losing like that to Texas in a 5-7 season was a humbling experience for the trio and the entire Arkansas team. More importantly, it was a fantastic learning experience that stuck with a tight-knit group of junior receivers that join with sophomore Cobi Hamilton to form what is arguably among the best collection of receivers in the country.

ESPN.com Southeastern Conference blogger Chris Low named Arkansas as having the top receiving corps in the league, and there are few better nationally.

Childs is what quarterback Ryan Mallett calls a “freak” athlete at 6-foot-3, 217 pounds. Adams added nearly 10 pounds of muscle to his 5-11, 190-pound frame in the off-season but maintained his elusiveness. Wright is 5-10, 180 pounds of pure speed and precision route running.

Together the native Arkansans combined for 2,143 yards and 19 touchdowns on 118 catches. That’s an average of 18 yards a catch and a touchdown every six receptions before you mix in Hamilton, who as a sophomore had 19 catches, 347 yards and three touchdowns.

For Mallett, it’s hard to imagine a better group of receivers.

“You’re not going to cover any of those guys one-on-one,” Mallett said. “It’s a dream as a quarterback to have guys to throw to like that. They’re a year older and now they know exactly what to do. They’re going to be ever better this year.”

As good as they are, none of the three wound up earning individual preseason recognition when all-conference teams were announced this summer. Only Childs made the SEC’s postseason 2009 awards list after catching a team-best 48 passes for 894 yards and seven touchdowns. Wright ended 2009 with 41 catches for 681 yards and five touchdown, while Adams had 568 yards and seven touchdowns on 29 catches.

 

 

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