The following edition of Getting to Know the Bearcats focuses on the receivers. That means the receivers and the tight ends. This one is probably the longest entry, so most of it is hidden behind a continue reading. But not all of it.
#6 - Anthony McClung
Anthony McClung is a senior from Pike HS out of Indianapolis. He's the leading returning receiver. He's got 105 catches for 1,439 yards and 10 TDs. Last year he battled injuries to finish with some disappointing stats. In his freshman year of 2010, Anthony came on late to finish the season with 22 catches for 217 yards and 2 scores. 2011 saw him step up with more action. He had a career best 49 grabs for 683 yards and 6 TDs. As mentioned, last season McClung battled the injury bug for the early portion and had to fight his way into the mix. He finished with 34 catches for 539 yards and 2 TDs. He returned punts for a short time, taking 16 for a decent 9.9 yard average.
It seems like people have been talking about McClung breaking out for a while. He has just two 100 yard receiving game to his name. The latter was in the very last game, the Belk Bowl, where he had 3-110 and a score. He had two of his best three games down the stretch, with a season high 6 catches for 70 yards against Connecticut. McClung's best game was in 2011 against UConn. He had 8 catches for 142 yards and 2 TDs. The first two are still career highs, the TD total matches his career best.
McClung has the most experience coming back. He's flashed the ability to be great. It's his last chance to put all the pieces together. But of course, he's been battling a hamstring injury as of late. Word is that he'll be fine for the opener, but you never know with hamstrings.
#80 - Alex Chisum
Alex Chisum is a junior from Fayetteville, Georgia. Chisum is a big play receiver. He has 28 grabs for 442 yards. That's a 15.8 yard average. He's scored twice. Chisum had his season derailed in 2012 after a promising 2011. Like McClung, Chisum had some breakout moments his freshman season. The picture above is of his first career TD catch against USF. He had 73 yards, the most he's had as a Bearcat. The only other game Chisum had over 50 yards was against Rutgers in 2011. His other TD was a 22 yard catch against UConn. Chisum played in 7 games last year. He had just 9 catches. His best game was a 2-45 day against Fordham. His longest catch might have been the 29 yarder he had against Temple.
I've called Chisum 'Skinny Binns' because he's skinny and wears 80. If Chisum could turn it on his junior year like Armon Binns was able to do, then we would have a very special player. The theme of the receiving corps is talent but no production. Time to see what AC has.
#19 - Shaq Washington
Shaq Washington is a sophomore from Maple Heights, Ohio. He's a small guy at 5'9. He played in 5 games as a freshman, catching 3 passes. Last year he had 1 game where he had 3 catches. That was it though. You couldn't tell by the picture, but that was him on offense trying not to let a pick happen. We know Washington has nice corner skills. Shaq had 1 catch for 1 yard against Austin Peay in '11 and 2 for 13 against Akron. Against Delaware St, he had 3 catches for 23 yards and 1 run for 1 yard. Washington is a pretty dynamic player who just hasn't had a chance to shine. He'll get one this year. He's slated to start because of the McClung injury, and he's listed as the punt returner.
#15 - Chris Moore
A sophomore from Tampa, Chris Moore made a big impact on the season despite only having 4 catches. Moore's first two grabs were for 11 vs Fordham and 12 at Toledo. He caught a bomb from Brendon Kay for 65 yard TD against Temple. In the Belk Bowl, he caught a big time 25 yard TD. Moore only made big plays last year. The stats back it up. He was also a valuable special teams player, because he made a tackle against Rutgers. We've hit the theme a lot, Moore can make the big play but now he's got to show up and show out every week. The spotlight is on.
#82 - Max Morrison
Max Morrison is a redshirt sophomore from Kenton. He played in 11 games last year, but had no stats. He had a lot of stats in high school. He caught 142 passes for 2,033 yards and 27 TDs his senior year. That is a pretty good offense for receivers to get college scholarships. Morrison's father was a receiver at Ball State. Stop making awful jokes about being a receiver at Ball State. Just stop it. Morrison has been talked up this spring because he catches a lot of passes. He's not going to start, at least not initially, but he should see some time. It sounds like everyone who can run routes is going to see time. Morrison will get his chance. I would suggest he not try to catch passes with his eyes closed during game though.
#17 - Jeremy Graves
Jeremy Graves is the second receiver from Maple Heights High. He saw a lot of action on special teams as a freshman. The former universal 3 star recruit made his first tackle against Virginia Tech. He made his second and final tackle of the season against Toledo. That wasn't all of the hell he raised, Graves recovered a fumble against Syracuse. Jeremy Graves has something some of the other guys don't, size. He's 6'2, 190. He's a different look in there. If he looks at opposing players like he did whoever took at that picture, Graves would intimidate a lot of folks.
#84 - Nate Cole
Nate Cole is a redshirt freshman from Memphis. He's 6'1, 193. He was a 3 star recruit out of high school. Cole had some flashy receiving numbers in high school. He had 64-941-11 TDs as a junior and 44-664-11 TDs as a senior. If there is one thing Nate Cole knows how to do, it's score. I think he'll score a TD this season. Bold prediction. You can guarantee that I'll say COLE WORLD whenever he catches a pass. Just you wait. I may also say 'It's not a TD if Nate Dogg isn't in on it,' just to mix it up. Lots of potential for ol' Nate.
#24 - Chris Burrell
Chris Burrell played in two games last season, his first as a Bearcat. He played his freshman season at Temple. At Temple in 2010, he had 10 carries for 3 yards. He had a solid 6 carries for 6 yards against Buffalo. 2 carries for -4 yards against Kent State really ruined things. The last thing he did as an Owl was return 2 kicks for 20 yards against Ohio. Fast forward to the Pitt game last season. After the Panthers scored very late, Burrell returned a kick 22 yards. He played in 1 more game that season. The opponent? Temple. He got his revenge by being on the field for the winning team. Burrell is a short guy at 5'6. Unfortunately for him, he's the loser of the google image search. The first receiver to get the bio photo.
#88 - Shakim Alonzo
The freshman from Pittsburgh was a redshirt last season, so even though he's not a freshman in the classroom, he is on the roster. He was a 3 star recruit from scout and 247 and a 2 star from rivals. He is 6'4 and looks like the tallest receiver. He's definitely taller than Shaq Washington and RDA IV. I can't find any of Alonzo's old high school stats. I did see he had 5 TDs when he committed to UC. Alonzo was in some trouble in high school for hitting someone during a basketball game. I guess not too much came of that. This is not the most informative paragraph. I suggest that you follow him on twitter. He's a pretty cool cat.
#20 - Tshumbi Johnson
Tshumbi Johnson is probably one of the greatest names of all time. The freshman from Immokalee, Florida was a highly thought of recruit. He had a little something going with USF before that ended for whatever reason and now he's at Cincinnati. Johnson was recruited as an athlete. He played QB in high school. He wasn't the greatest of passers, but completed 65% of his passes last season for 1,875 yards and 16 TDs. His junior year saw him throw for 2,629 yards and 25 TDs against 9 INTs. Johnson is also a threat to run. As you can see, he'll hurdle a bitch if he has to. He ran for 521 yards and 9 TDs a year ago. He put up 862 and 19 TDs as a junior. Clearly he was targeted more by defenses. He had a minor problem with fumbles, as he fumbled 11 times over the last two seasons. Thanks max preps! Johnson is another example of someone who can be a playmaker when he's given the chance.
#3 - Johnny Holton
Johnny Holton is a junior college transfer from the College of Dupage. That sounds like the most fake school in the history of the world. That sounds like a school that's made in a movie. Holton is from Miami. He played in just 9 games last year, but he showed some ability. He caught 23 passes for 548 yards and 8 scores. That's a healthy 23.8 yards per catch. He came onto the scene with 86 yards and 1 TD. Holton wore out stupid Iowa CCC with 5 catches for 98 yards and 3 TDs. He caught a TD the next week as well. He had 2 catches for 86 yards the following week. Oh and both of those catches went for touchdowns. Holton had a season high 6 grabs for 119 yards and a TD against Ellsworth. He missed the following game and never really got back to that pace. He had just 4 catches the rest of the season. One was for 50 yards though. Holton missed the season finale. He's 6'3 and he sounds like someone who can fly down the field. Every team can use those guys.
#87 - Javon Harrison
Javon Harrison comes to Cincinnati as a universal 3 star recruit. He played QB and receiver in high school. He threw for over 1,100 yards and 10 TDs. He ran for 514 yards with 10 more TDs. I guess he didn't play receiver well enough to have stats. Harrison threw for over 2,100 yards and 21 TDs as a junior with 673 rushing yards and 19 TDs. I guess coaches take it easier on kids their senior years if they have scholarships. Don't want to ruin their future. Makes sense.
#5 - Mark Barr
Mark Barr is a receiver from Fort Lauderdale. He's listed at 6'1, 163. That has to be some kind of typo. He's listed at 171 in other places. He was a 3 star recruit by rivals and ESPN, but a 2 by scout and 247. He hauled in 33 passes for 741 yards last year. That's pretty damn effective. Barr also ran track. He's a speedy fellow. If he can make the college transition, some with his skills could get some run.
#34 - Tim Helton
Tim Helton is a preferred walk on from NDCL in Cleveland. Helton had 40 grabs for 1,010 yards and 7 TDs last year. He also ran for a score. He was also the punter at his high school. He averaged 41 yards so that's pretty good. That's about all I know about Tim Helton. We can see from his twitter photo that he knows a pretty girl. Good for him.
#2 - Mekale McKay
Mekale McKay is a transfer from Arkansas. He had 21 grabs for 317 yards and 2 TDs last season. He has to sit out this year due to transfer rules. He could get a hardship, but it doesn't seem like that would change things that much since the season starts very soon. That's why he's last at receiver.
#86 - Blake Annen
Blake Annen is listed as the starting tight end. He's been primarily a blocking tight end during his time at Cincinnati. He's done a solid job of that. The senior from Upper Arlington, Ohio started the Rutgers game, his only career start to date. Annen has 3 career grabs. They went for 27, 6 and 2. Judging from the picture, you would think that was the 2 yarder. That was in fact the 27 yard reception. The 2 yard catch was his only grab of 2012. No one is expecting Annen to be Travis Kelce, but it would be nice to see him contribute in the passing game like he has done in the rushing attack.
#81 - DJ Dowdy
DJ Dowdy is a real person, not a picture. He redshirted in 2012. He is a freshman from Akron. He was a 3 star recruit of out high school. He was ranked as a tight end and as a linebacker. He's athletic. Dowdy seems more like the playmaking tight end to the blocking tight end that Annen seems to be. Dowdy had 430 yards and 4 TDs one of his high school years. The pass catching ability is there. I didn't want to give the potential starting tight end the bio treatment, so he gets the @carlschmid plug. I don't know who that guy is, but he's pretty talented.
#85 - Travis Johnson
Johnson is a freshman from Tampa. He was a one time Miami commit. He's a big time recruit. ESPN and scout gave him 4 stars, rivals and 247 gave him 3. He was 162 on the ESPN300. He had 21 catches for 287 yards and 2 scores last year, but 43 for 656 and 6 TDs as a junior. The offense must have changed or something. Johnson said one of the main reasons he picked Cincinnati was that he wanted to play for a team that threw to the tight end a lot. With the success of Ben Guidugli and Brent Celek and Travis Kelce, he picked a mighty fine university. Johnson could make an impact this season.
#35 - Josh Russ
Josh Russ is a junior, but he didn't have any pictures. I didn't want to bio him, so he gets old high school photo. Russ came to UC as a 3 star recruit. He played receiver and defensive end. His position changed in college. He didn't play in 2011. Last year though, last year Russ saw his time to shine. He played in 4 games, Pitt, Fordham, Louisville and Temple. In the one game you wouldn't expect him to play, Russ made a tackle. He wins the two first name awards. Congrats, Josh Russ.
#83 - Chris Burton
Chris Burton is a freshman from Danville, Virginia. He was recruited heavily by Tommy Tuberville and the Texas Tech staff for years before the coach made the move to Cincinnati. Once he did, Burton decided to come to Cincinnati. Burton was a 3 star recruit. He caught 15 passes for 364 yards and 4 TDs last year. That's 24 yards a pop. He had 16 catches for 315 yards as a junior. He can make big things happen with limited opportunities. That's a good thing.
#18 - Tyler Cogswell
The freshman from Plantation, Florida was a quarterback in high school. He's 6'4, 248, so he would be a big QB. I suppose that's why Cincinnati has moved him to tight end. He was a universal 3 star recruit. I don't know why I'm saying universal over consensus. Probably just to piss you off. He threw for 1,824 yards and 23 TDs. He had an offer from Nebraska. I just thought that was interesting. Cogswell probably won't play a ton. The end.