NCF Nation: Johnny Holton

It is no secret that Cincinnati has gotten inconsistent play out of its receivers the past two seasons, and it's one huge area that has to be addressed going into 2013.

[+] EnlargeAnthony McClung
Jeremy Brevard/USA TODAY SportsWR Anthony McClung was one of the key players in the Bearcats' win against Duke in the Belk Bowl.
Perhaps a guy like Anthony McClung is ready for a featured role.

McClung has been reliable, if unspectacular, during his Bearcats career. But he certainly caught the attention of new coach Tommy Tuberville during the Belk Bowl against Duke. McClung had three catches for 110 yards and a touchdown -- just the second 100-yard game of his career.

Now, he has seemingly picked up where he left off this spring. In the first major scrimmage the team had, McClung was one of the biggest stars, with four receptions for 151 yards and three touchdowns. On his 73-yard scoring catch from Munchie Legaux, McClung faked out two defenders and sprinted into the end zone. In a second, smaller scrimmage, McClung had three catches for 28 yards.

With the Bearcats taking the week off for spring break, it is probably safe to say McClung has been one of the early standouts during practice. He certainly has ample opportunity to prove himself, with Alex Chisum banged up and incoming junior college transfer Johnny Holton set to come in this summer.

McClung is going into his senior year, and has a new coaching staff. Those could be providing him some big-time sources of motivation. Another source of motivation should be the top of the depth chart. Only three receivers caught more than 20 passes last season -- Kenbrell Thompkins (34), McClung (34) and Damon Julian (24). Only McClung returns. Tight end Travis Kelce -- who led the team in receptions and receiving yards -- also is gone.

There clearly is a huge opening for McClung to capture for himself. So far this spring, it appears as if he is rising up to the challenge.

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