The Texas Longhorn’s receiver position got a little thinner today as Jaxon Shipley went down with a hamstring injury. The injury is not considered serious, but it is expected to cost the senior wide receiver approximately three weeks.
Shipley’s injury makes a thin receiving group even thinner. Kendall Sanders and Montrel Meander have been dismissed from the team. Daje Johnson, moved from running back to receiver to take advantage of his game-breaking speed, will miss at least one game due to suspension. Marcus Johnson is watching practice from the sidelines following minor surgery. John Harris is the only receiver on the field with game experience.
Could this be a blessing in disguise?
The injuries and dismissals have opened the door for several young receivers to make an impression on the coaches. One player who can really make a name for himself is Jacorey Warrick. Built similarly to Daje Johnson, Warrick could move into the spot vacated by Sanders. He was one of the top receivers in high school two years ago. After that, three true freshmen could hear their numbers called. Armanti Foreman, Lorenzo Joe and Jake Oliver all have a chance to shine in fall practice. Foreman and Joe were ranked among the Top 25 wide receiver recruits in 2014. Oliver redshirted, but offers up a big target at six-foot-four.
The good news is that the Longhorns have a veteran quarterback to help the youngsters along. David Ash has really only thrown to Shipley and Daje Johnson in his career. This will give him the opportunity to build some trust in the other receivers. Ash will need to be able to count on one of these receivers with a key third down play at some point this season. Building rapport has never been more critical than right now.
Even with Shipley and the Johnson’s, someone was going to have to step up and fill some big shoes. The extra reps these players will get in practice now will only pay dividends down the road.