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Monday, March 19, 2012
Offensive production: Receiver

By Andrea Adelson

The best receivers from the Big East last season are gone. Mohamed Sanu, to the NFL. Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin, to the Big 12.

Much like the quarterback position, the title of best receiver in the Big East is there for the taking in 2012.

Here is a quick glance at who returns as the most productive wideout in the league:

Alec Lemon
Alec Lemon is the Big East's top returning receiver.
Alec Lemon, Syracuse. If you saw my earlier post, then you also know Syracuse quarterback Ryan Nassib returns as the most productive at his position as well.

Lemon had a career year in 2011, with 68 receptions for 834 yards and six touchdowns. All three stats are tops among returning receivers in the league. Who else returns among the top 10 statistical receivers in 2011?
Yes, that means only three of the top 10 receivers in the league return to their respective teams.

This is among the most wide-open positions headed into spring practice. Not because there is inexperience. In fact, a lot of veteran players return, guys such as Mike Shanahan, Sterling Griffin, Michaelee Harris. Marcus Sales is back for the Orange as well.

But as noted above, many of these players now have the opportunity to become the best in the league. Players we have waited on to blossom perhaps have opportunities now -- players such as Mark Harrison and Brandon Coleman at Rutgers, for example.

I will have more on the receivers as a whole in my spring video series looking at positions across the Big East later week, including players I believe have a great opportunity to emerge this season.