Strongest position group: Oregon State

June, 12, 2012
6/12/12
11:00
AM ET
Every team has a strength -- that one position group that can make a play on offense or make a big stop on defense when needed.

Based on what happened this spring, we're going to look at the strongest position group for each school. It could be on either side of the ball -- and it could be subject to change after fall camp goes into full swing.

We're going in reverse alphabetical order.

Oregon State

Strongest position group: Receivers

Headliner: Markus Wheaton (73 receptions for 986 yards with one touchdown)

Supporting cast: Brandin Cooks (31-391, 3 TDs), Jordan Bishop (31-384, 1 TD), Obum Gwacham (8-147)

The skinny: First, there's good experience here. The returning cast of receivers combined for 156 receptions and 2,046 yards in 2011. Further, this is a really athletic crew. Wheaton and Cooks might be the fastest receiving duo on the conference. Wheaton, who earned honorable mention All-Pac-12 honors in 2011, actually beat Oregon's do-everything speedster De'Anthony Thomas in a 100-meter track race this spring. Bishop has plenty of athletic ability -- he just needs to stay healthy. Gwacham is the wild card. He's 6-foot-5, 224 pounds and is an elite jumper in track. He started to show signs of actually becoming a football player this past spring. Further, juniors Kevin Cummings and Micah Hatfield and senior Geno Munoz are in the mix for touches. And things are fairly solid at tight end/H-back, too.

So you have experience, athleticism, size -- Bishop is 6-3 and Wheaton, Cummings and Hatfield are each at least 6-foot -- and raw speed. You also have a second-year quarterback with plenty of potential as a passer in Sean Mannion. If the offensive line can provide some time to let these guys run their routes, the Beavers should be able to spread secondaries out and make big plays.

Ted Miller | email

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PAC-12 SCOREBOARD

Saturday, 12/20
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