Spring shoes to fill: Cincinnati

April, 27, 2011
4/27/11
9:00
AM ET
Every Big East team needs to replace at least one major star, and I'm taking a look at how that process went this spring for each team. Up today is Cincinnati, and next week we'll pick up Rutgers and West Virginia once they are done with spring drills.

Biggest shoes to fill: Armon Binns

Binns led the Big East with 75 catches for 1,101 yards in 2010, hauling in 10 touchdown catches. His 6-foot-3 frame provided a nice safety blanket in the end zone.

Spring replacement: Kenbrell Thompkins

Butch Jones has sung the praises of Thompkins, a junior-college transfer who wasn't eligible last year. Thompkins should ascend to No. 1 status among the Bearcats receivers and was having a strong spring before he was slowed by a hamstring injury. Though two inches shorter than Binns, he brings playmaking ability with his speed and hands. Anthony McClung also made progress this spring after coming on late last season, and early enrollee Shaq Washington was impressive before suffering an ankle injury.

Summer outlook: First priority is to get Thompkins and Washington back to full health. Former highly-rated recruit Dyjuan Lewis finally becomes eligible this summer, though expecting too much out of him right away after a year away from organized team activities is unfair. With D.J. Woods back in the slot and expected improved play from the tight end position, Zach Collaros should have no shortage of targets in the passing game.

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