Despite recent losses, BYU receiving corps still runs deep

PROVO, Utah (ABC 4 Sports) - When Nick Kurtz went down with a fractured foot in last Saturday's scrimmage, which will sideline him for 6-8 weeks, and Devon Blackmon announced that he will be suspended for the season opener agaisnt UConn, it looked like the BYU receiving corps was in trouble.

Not quite. Led by returners Ross Apo and Mitch Mathews, alongside former UTEP star Jordan Leslie, former Stanford receiver Keanu Nelson and lightning quick freshman Trey Dye, the Cougars are still loaded. 

"It's not very often that there might be two players that are out for the first game and there's not panic and racing to move players," head coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We did target that a year ago as we watched what we thought was a strong receiving corps a year ago. They were, but they weren't deep enough. So, we targeted that in the off-season and so far it's really been nice in camp."

"We had a lot of injuries towards the end of the season last year and it really affected our passing game," said Mathews, who caught 23 passes for 397 yards and four touchdowns in 2013. "We want to make sure that if we do have guys down, which always happens in every position, that we are still deep enough."

The Cougars receivers are deep enough and tall enough. BYU has five receivers that are at least 6-foot-3, led by Kurtz and Mathews who are both 6-foot-6.

"I think it just makes Taysom's job a lot easier," said Ross Apo, a 6-foot-3 senior. "He can just put it up in the air and we'll go get it. The worst that can happen is we'll just bat it down if it's going to be intercepted."

Last year Cody Hoffman was the only consistent receiver BYU had, leading the team with 57 catches for 894 yards and five touchdowns. This year quarterback Taysom Hill will look to spread the wealth.

In fact BYU receivers coach Guy Holliday has told his guys to "make it rain," meaning, "Score," said Apo. "Score as many touchdowns as you can and make it rain. When Taysom throws it up, we know it's coming down into our hands."

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