One of the strengths of the 2010 Eastern Illinois might be its incredible depth at the wide receiver position. Add to that the fact that most of the faces are sophomores and the Panthers are stocked in that position for years to come.
Last season EIU had solid balance with eight players catching touchdown passes while seven receivers finished the year in double digit receptions. The core of the young receivers are Chris Wright, Erik Lora and Kenny Whittaker. While they probably don't have a nickname for themselves the vast difference in personalities may trend to calling them the Three Amigos.
In the Panthers new Pistol offensive scheme this season look for receivers to have to make plays after making catches. The top long ball threat continues to be junior Lorence Ricks who last season was named the National Special Teams Player of the Week in a win at Jacksonville State.
Senior Charles Graves provides a solid possession receiver while above mentioned 3 Amigos provide the ability to gain YAC (Yards After Completion). Toss in redshirt sophomore Chavar Watkins who showed promise before missing a good portion of the year with injury.
This season the tight end position will become more valuable in the new scheme as Cody Bruns a senior who saw limited action last year appears to be headed into a starting role while Von Wise could blossom into a surprise player. In other formations you toss back in traditional tight ends Danny Vehovic and Keagan Robinson.
Nine days until kick off at Iowa.
One other note if you have not seen the new Kenny Chesney video "Boys of Fall" - check it out. Features a nice cameo by Sean Payton who will be returning to EIU on Sept. 11 to have his No. 18 retired. Word on the street is that former EIU head coach Al Molde may also be in the building that day.