Faulty reception: The Longhorns waiting on talented receivers to put it together

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Mike Davis looks up for the ball during the Longhorns’ 34-9 win over Rice. Davis caught three passes for 115 yards against the Owls but did not make a reception against BYU.

Photo Credit: Elisabeth Dillon | Daily Texan Staff

Though they failed to move the ball last year, the Longhorns entered this season with a group of young, up-and-coming wide receivers that looked like it had the potential to grow into one of the best units in the conference.

And now, after two straight weeks of so-so play, they head to Los Angeles with a whole lot of question marks.

Obviously, that’s bad news for a team breaking in two new quarterbacks.

Consider the top targets for Case McCoy and David Ash: Jaxon Shipley and Mike Davis.

That’s about it.

We’ll have to wait and see how the benching of Garrett Gilbert affects Davis, who caught three balls for 115 yards against Rice but didn’t register a reception against BYU.

Sophomore Darius White boasts a ton of talent but only has three career catches. He even fumbled — without cause — after making a reception last week.

Something’s missing there.

Still waiting on DeSean Hales to become the impact player he was in high school, but that hasn’t happened yet either. Now a junior, Hales is buried at No. 3 on the depth chart.

John Harris proved he could toss a nice ball. Miles Onyegbule, who cross-trained at several positions in high school, has unique versatility.

Add Marquise Goodwin to that mix, and you’ve got seven receivers jockeying for playing time. Seven receivers who, against BYU, recorded a combined seven receptions for 57 yards.

What does it say about the rest of the receivers that Goodwin can bypass spring, summer and fall workouts, jump back in with the team out of the blue and be starting after one week of practice?

Maybe it means nothing — Shipley says they’ll take all the “fast players” they can get — but it’s not exactly a stamp of approval for the other guys on the roster.

The Longhorns’ wide receivers don’t need to be world-beaters. They just need to be better than last year’s group, which lacked a true go-to guy.

Texas has devoted so much of its time and recruiting focus the past few seasons to fielding a roster of talented catchers and throwers — in turn, making the Longhorns a team that struggles to run the ball — that it can’t afford for the receivers to turn in sub-par performances for consecutive years.

The wide receivers should have enough talent to make sure that doesn’t happen. Emphasis on “should.”

Printed on September 15, 2011 as: Texas needs more out of its receivers