What looked three months ago like a team strength might have become a weakness.
Akron's receiving corps boasted a talented, yet inconsistent senior in Jabari Arthur, two blossoming underclassmen in David Harvey and Jermaine Lindsey and promises of another to join them in Vince Hill.
Then Harvey missed the spring season with a mysterious personal issue. Arthur and Lindsey fell to injuries. Not counting Hill, who will join the team this summer, Akron's number one receiver suddenly became 5-foot-9 senior Marcus Patterson.
Will Harvey return? Will Lindsey be eligible? Will Arthur be at full strength? Can Hill contribute immediately? These are important questions to the offense. In one of the quirks of college football that happens occasionally, the Zips' receivers could be among the MAC's best or the nation's worst.
The spring showed an emphasis on the running game. It's good to start that mentality because -- with a new quarterback, questionable blocking and possibly a skeleton crew at receiver -- J.D. Brookhart might have no other choice.
We should know by the middle of the month whether Harvey and Lindsey will be on the 2007 roster.
A miscellaneous note...
This isn't all that newsworthy, but a couple of Kent State football players tried to start a fight with my pals at a bar in Kent last night. Apparently, wearing a Zips hat is equivalent to hitting on one's girlfriend and worth the feminine penalty of throwing a beer at the offender's face. Classy guys.
Some new offers...
linebacker, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, Iowa, UCF, Florida Atlantic and Florida International
Notes: I'm surprised a linebacker as slow as Williams has two BCS offers. To put it in perspective, former Zips offensive lineman
Andy Alleman is faster.
Likelihood: I can't find much on Williams. Any speculation would be worthless.
Tyrone McBride, safety, Atco, N.J. Height: 6-1 Weight: 210 Speed: 4.6 Offers: Akron, Iowa, Connecticut, Temple and Tennessee Notes: Interest in McBride picked up after the Elite College Combine last month. Likelihood: Akron has a good chance to duel BCS teams on recruits, but the coaches must be one of the first teams to offer a scholarship. Often, recruits feel loyalty to the first team to invest in them. It looks like the Zips were a step or two behind on McBride, a three-star recruit on Scout.com.
Sam Gaymon, wide receiver, Detroit Height: 6-3 Weight: 188 Speed: 4.56 Offers: Akron, Boston College, Central Michigan, Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, Toledo, Cincinnati and Howard Notes: Gaymon's stock shot up after the NIKE Camp last month. Rivals.com says he is now a BCS-level recruit. Likelihood: Despite that, Gaymon did not really say he desires to play a huge school. The MAC schools look to be in contention still.
Lynell Payne, wide receiver, Marlton, N.J. Height: 6-3 Weight: 205 Speed: 4.6 Offers: Akron, Clemson, Connecticut, Delaware and Temple Notes: Payne wants to go to a school where he can play immediately, where he can get along with the coaches and where they will support him academically. Likelihood: Seeing how offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead is about as nice as they come, Akron meets those criteria.
Tyler Bass, quarterback, Stockbridge, Ga. Height: 6-3 Weight: 207 Speed: 4.68 Offers: Akron, Air Force, Indiana, Western Kentucky, Purdue and Toledo Notes: Despite completing just 48 percent of passes his junior year, Alabama's Nick Saban dropped by Bass's high school. Likelihood: If he can bring those numbers up, Bass is almost certainly headed for the SEC or ACC. He has a particular fancy with Butch Davis' Tar Heels.
Albert Evans, running back, Portage, Ind. Height: 6-1 Weight: 190 Speed: 4.5 Offers: Akron, Cincinnati, Illinois, Indiana, Northern Illinois and Purdue Notes: He ran for 1,603 yards and 14 touchdowns on 254 carries as a junior. That's an average of about six yards per carry. However, Indiana isn't quite a high school football hot bed. Still, Evans has good speed for his size. Likelihood: I can't find much on Evans, so who knows?
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