Hogs Hoping Keon Hatcher Can Be Go-To Receiver

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Even if you believe the hype that Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen will be much improved this year, it won't really matter if he doesn’t have anybody to throw the ball to. The big concern for the Razorback offense this summer is at receiver. With Javontee Herndon and Julian Horton both gone, Keon Hatcher is the only receiver with real experience from 2013.

"I've got to be a leader of this team and I've got to stay consistent,” said Hatcher. “As far as I am going to go is as far as the receivers will go. I just got to keep working."

It's not an understatement to say Hatcher is the only returning receiver with a lot of experience. In 2013 the Hogs caught 150 passes as a whole. Hatcher had 27 of the 30 receptions among returning receivers. The team had a total of 1,782 receiving yards last year; Hatcher had 346 of the 378 among returning receivers. He also had the only two touchdowns.

"He's very reliable. He has always wanted it and had the drive,” said quarterback Brandon Allen. “He's the first to arrive and last to leave kind of guy. He's really taken the receiving core to a new level and he's shown a lot of great things these first couple of days."

The other veteran receiver expected to see time is senior Demetrius Wilson, who redshirted last season because of an injury. Wilson appeared in all 12 games in 2012 and caught nine passes for 117 yards and a touchdown.

After practice on Thursday, wide receivers coach Michael Smith told 5NEWS that Greenwood native Drew Morgan is playing the best of any receiver right now and currently practicing with the first team.

Most of the competition will be among freshmen Jared Coreilius, JoJo Robinson and transfer Cody Hollister.