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Spring Review: Wide receivers

Position-by-position analysis after NIU spring football

Welcome to the fourth edition of "Spring Review." This time, we'll take a look at wide receiver and tell you who came out ahead, who improved and which wideout still has work to do to catch up to the rest of the pack.

After losing five wide receivers to graduation, the position is as wide open as any and likely won't be decided until the last week of fall camp.

The wideouts tried to get a jump-start on spring ball, working with the quarterbacks at Chick Evans Field House on timing and running routes. So far, timing is the biggest thing that the group has to improve on, but as a whole the wide receivers did improve. The question now is whether or not they can do it in a game situation, with virtually no experience. That's a tall task but no one will have an answer until after the first game against Wisconsin.

Most improved: Marcus Lewis

Lewis, a senior, routinely made the most spectacular catches at practice. Lewis took advantage of arguably his biggest and best opportunity to see the field in his career to impress the coaching staff.

At 6-foot-3 and with his leaping ability, Lewis has the physical tools to succeed. He still drops the ball occasionally but if the season started in April, Lewis would be a starter. Now, how will he handle things when much is expected of him?

Need to see more: Willie Clark

Clark started off hot in the spring, but cooled off and dropped more passes as practice progressed. Midway through spring, he said he still was getting used to the high number of reps he was seeing. Clark still has the potential to be a starter, but will need a good fall camp for that to happen.

Post-spring depth chart

WR 1: Nate Palmer (sophomore), Ron Walker (redshirt freshman), Matt Ng (redshirt freshman)

WR 2: Marcus Lewis (senior), Willie Clark (sophomore)

WR 3: Landon Cox (junior), Preston Williams (senior), Tyler Clasey (junior)

Incoming recruits: Perez Ashford, Anthony Johnson, Martel Moore, Daniel Rodriguez

Not-so-bold prediction: At least one of the incoming freshmen will see playing time

Video interview:P.J. Fleck (4-22)

Next Spring Review: Tight ends


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