Fall Camp Roster Review – Wide Receivers

Previously Posted …

The Roster … 

bold = returning starter … italicized = walk-on … *= early enrollee (in school for spring practices) … TR … Transfer …

— Wide receivers (10):

  • Seniors … seniors
  • Juniors … Maurice Bell … Jaylon Jackson … Daniel Arias
  • Sophomores … Dimitri Stanley 
  • Red-shirt freshmen … La’Vontae Shenault
  • True freshmen … Brenden Rice … Montana Lemonious- Craig … Keith Miller … Michael Harrison
  • 2021 Signees … Chase Penry … Ty Robinson

The Stats … 

Hard to post impressive stats in a five-game season (CU doesn’t count bowl statistics in year-end numbers), but there are some clues as to how the 2021 season might play out in reviewing the 2020 numbers:

  • La’Vontae Shenault … 17 catches for 193 yards; no touchdowns; long of 41 yards
  • Dimitri Stanley … 16 catches for 249 yards; one touchdown; long of 55 yards (a touchdown catch v. Stanford)
  • K.D. Nixon … 10 catches for 93 yards; no touchdowns; long of 41 yards
  • Maurice Bell … 9 catches for 89 yards; one touchdown; long of 21 yards (a touchdown catch v. Utah)
  • Brenden Rice … 6 catches for 120 yards; two touchdowns; long of 61 yards (a touchdown catch v. Utah)
  • Daniel Arias … 5 catches for 88 yards; no touchdowns; long of 38 yards
  • Jaylon Jackson … 2 catches for 17 yards; one touchdown; long of 14 yards

CU Nationally … 

  • Red zone offense … .913 (21-of-23; 17 touchdowns; four field goals) … 14th nationally
  • Third down conversion offense … .427 (41-of-96) … 48th nationally
  • Total offense … 413.8 yds./game … 48th nationally
  • Scoring offense … 28.5 pts./game … 63rd nationally
  • Passing offense … 201.5 yds./game … 87th nationally

What others say about the CU wide receivers … 

Pac-12 Media … Dimitri Stanley, preseason All-Pac-12 honorable mention

Athlon’s … Unit Ranking: 11th in the Pac-12 (seriously?!) … At receiver, Buffs have a load of talent by Dimitri Stanley and La’Vontae Shenault, who both had good seasons in 2020. Brenden Rice was explosive at times and could be a future star.

Phil Steele … Projected Starters: Dimitri Stanley and La’Vontae Shenault … This year, the only loss is Nixon as eight are back with eight are back with previous starting experience (11 of 12 who caught a pass last year) including Brenden Rice, who had 120 yards (20.0 per catch) as a true freshman. This is a deep, veteran and more experienced group.

Lindy’s … Receiver has been a consistent strength in recent years, and three of the top four pass catchers from 2020 return: Dimitri Stanley (20 receptions, 335 yards; La’Vontae Shenault (17 for 193); and K.D. Nixon (15 for 132) (which shows you how up-to-date some of these publications are)

Comments … From the Daily CameraDespite not having a lot of game experience, CU has one of the most talented groups of receivers in the Pac-12 Conference. Playing mostly as a slot receiver, Stanley had flashed All-Pac-12 potential and should be a main target for whoever plays quarterback. Shenault is a comfortable target for quarterbacks, as well, as he runs good routes and has shown to have reliable hands. Rice could be in line for a starting spot if he continues to build upon a great freshman year. He’s a big target who has already shown some big-play potential. Arias, Bell and Jackson are all veterans who provide significant depth. With good size and speed, Arias might be the most physically gifted receiver on the team but needs to find some consistency and stay healthy. The younger group is very talented, and Lemonious-Craig might be the leader this year. He was relied upon quite a bit this spring by the Buffs’ quarterbacks.

CU’s Dimitri Stanley was named as a honorable mention All-Pac-12 candidate by the Pac-12 media … right along side his former teammate, K.D. Nixon.

Stanley, a Cherry Creek High School graduate, is entering his fourth year with the program. Counting the Alamo Bowl, he led the Buffs in receptions (20) and receiving yards (335) last season. He’s had 55 catches in his career and has also handled the Buffs’ punt return duties.

“The veteran guy is probably Dimitri Stanley, who’s played a significant amount of college football,” Chiaverini said. “Besides that, everybody else is really, really young, as far as their snaps in college football.”

Chiaverini’s comment is interesting, especially considering that Stanley – the “veteran guy” – is still considered just a sophomore, while CU has three juniors on the roster: Maurice Bell; Daniel Arias; and Jaylon Jackson.

Arias battled an ankle injury through most of 2020 and comes into this year with 11 career catches. Bell got his first significant playing time last year and has 12 career catches. Jackson has fought through injuries to play in all 18 games over the last two years, mainly on special teams. One of the Buffs’ top special teams players, Jackson has 14 career catches. (Update: Maurice Bell will miss the 2021 season with a torn ACL)

La’Vontae Shenault is entering his third season at CU but has yet to exhaust any eligibility because of the pandemic.

Returning freshman Brenden Rice is another receiver with exceptional genes and star potential. The son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice, Brenden caught six passes for 120 yards last year and was the only receiver with two touchdowns. Including a punt return, he touched the ball just seven times but scored three touchdowns.

“La’Vontae has flashed some really good things but he hasn’t played a lot of college football,” Chiaverini said. “Same thing with Brenden Rice. He flashed some good things but didn’t play a ton of snaps last year.”

And that doesn’t include Montana Lemonius-Craig, who has shown flashes of his own.

Shenault, Rice, and Lemonius-Craig are among many CU receivers with great potential, but not a lot of experience.

“I’m really excited about the potential,” offensive coordinator/receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said. “They are young. I mean, I’m not gonna lie about that. It’s a young room.”

Final word … The Colorado wide receiver corps – along with the defensive backs – have been the most successful units on the team over the past decade. In his five seasons as quarterbacks coach, Darrin Chiaverini has coached five of the top 20 receivers in Buff history (in terms of receiving yards: Shay Fields; Laviska Shenault; Bryce Bobo; Devin Ross; and K.D. Nixon), but now faces a new challenge.

Instead of star power returning in the wide receiver room, their is star potential.

At the Pac-12 Media Day, Karl Dorrell had this to say about his wide receivers … That group has skill. The receiver group has skill. We’re continually have to refine that skill where the talent is consistent. That’s the way I would say it.

I’m a hard-ass receiver coach, though, right? I’ve done that most of my career. There’s definitely some really good talent in that group. It’s strong, but it’s young. That’s the part that they have to grow and have a level of consistency that needs to be better than where it is.

For the Colorado offense to be successful in 2021, the new quarterback will need to rely upon his wide receivers to make plays. If last season is any indication, there will be plenty of short passes to the receivers, passes designed to have a high completion rate … and a high dependence upon the receiver to post significant yards-after-catch.

Can this group do that?

You bet.

Will they?

That remains to be seen.


13 Replies to “Fall Camp Roster Review – Wide Receivers”

    1. Agree 100%. He needed to be gone. He did his time. Made some nice plays. Dropped a lot and size was a factor.


      Note: Please God don’t let him come back to haunt

  1. When a lot of your plays are running plays you need bigger receivers becuase they are blocking 50% of the time. I have a feeling that is why KD is no longer here. I think Chev demands downfield blocking and we have seen what Broussard can do.

    As I have said before I think Lewis wins the battle. One becuase we are a run first team and our running offense is a read option at least 50% of the time and both Dorrell and Chev have said in interviews it is super powerful to make the defense defend 11, which implies a running qb. Now if Shrout comes into fall camp throwing dimes……that all changes but I don’t think he will. And Lewis is a solid touch passer. I am not sure we are going to have all pac 12 receivers becuase frankly we are not going to throw it that much and the three I think start Stanley, Shenault, Rice are all pretty talented and so we can spread the ball around. And you have to factor in the tight ends if Brady is healthy and we find out the freshman can play ball.

    Super excited for the season, taking the over, expecting a bowl.

  2. It was just the Spring game, but it appeared that a couple of the big Froshes have climbed the depth chart and developed the trust of the QBs.

    1. That run game mixed with a running QB that can keep the play alive will hopefully result in some good throws too; really keeping the defense honest for when he does run. Add if they use the TE’s as stated (they got a couple now that can catch) along with passes to the RBs, then wham bam one of the WR speedsters (i.e. Rice’s return last year) takes it home from the around the 20 (Red Zone side) yard line.

      If the pocket passer wins, then he better be able to get rid of it quickly when not handing off, so everyone should be used, as above too(captain obvious?). I guess I like a lot of their weapons if the QB can manage the game and step it up too, it could be a great year.

      KOOL AID time!!!

      Every year, especially the first 2 games, a school like CU beats a school like A&M, can Dorrell be that coach?

      Can the leaders, lead on the field?

      I think yes to the HC and the leaders on defense, so step up QB and… (insert another leader or two) and surprise the country.

      Before college football really gets crazy due to NIL, alignment & CFP.

  3. The potential of the receivers will only be realized if the potential of the OC is realized.

    Buffs Bowl Bound

      1. Clearly the qb coach has worked em hard to be really good at their jobs.
        Hopefully the OC has put together a schematic for the qb’s and the receivers and the
        running backs that allows them to beat their own expectations and has finally developed the ability to manage the game and be proactive enough to stay ahead of the other team. That would be nice.

        Bowl Buffs Bound

        Note: Nothing against the chev. But as the players are expected to do, continuous growth and improvement are required. Need to see it. This year.

  4. (CU doesn’t count bowl statistics in year-end numbers)

    So why is that Stuart?

    Asking for everybody.

    Bowl Bound Buffs

      1. Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

        I knew the Mighty Buffs were rebels. The Buffs play by their own rules. Do it their own way. Get on board or get out of the way eh?

        That is probably why the media, prognosticators, and pundits hate the Mighty Buffs.

        God Bless Plati

        Bowl Bound Buffs

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