Opponents could get stung by McClung

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As talented as UC's receiving corps is, they lost a lot of experience in Armon Binns and Marcus Barnett. Vidal Hazelton's six catch, one game cameo is over as well, leaving D.J. Woods as this year's wily veteran.

"We have a lot of youth and inexperience," coach Butch Jones admitted.

While the youthful wideouts are full of "upside", the truth is transfer Kenbrell Thompkins has yet to play a Division I down and Anthony McClung's just a sophomore.

He's not just another sophomore on the sidelines though.

"As of today, I'm in the starting line-up," McClung said proudly. "It's going pretty good, going in and playing every play. I'm used to rotating with D.J. (Woods)."

So, after 22 catches and a couple scores in his inaugural season, No. 6 is a primary target for quarterback Zach Collaros.

"The pressure's on him," Jones said. "He has to go from being a back-up to being a starter. He's got to understand the role that we need being a starter--playing 12 plays in a row on a big drive and being just as physical on the 12th play as the first one."

While the 22 catches may not "wow" you, it's eight more than senior D.J. Woods had in his first year and 22 more NCAA catches than Thompkins.

"They're both great playmakers," McClung said. "I'm just thankful to be on the field with them at the same time."

This season McClung hopes to add to those totals and find his spots when Thompkins and Woods are covered.  Thompkins is more a deep threat and Woods is more "possession", but all of them can run the other's routes.

"We all make the same amount of plays," McClung said. "They spread the ball out pretty much, so there's really no standout receiver. D.J.'s the senior leader, we all look up to him."

McClung is trying to learn the slot position from Woods, along with the ways of the various Big East defensive backs.  Some of that learning comes on the field, some in the classroom.

"Everybody changes their defense every year, so you've just got to watch film," McClung said.

He twice found the endzone last season (vs. Rutgers and Pitt) and is hoping to find that coveted area again.. He scored once in the open end of Nippert and once at the closed end, near the students.
(courtesy uspresswire.com)

"My first college touchdown was amazing," McClung recalled. "They picked me up. It was real fun. It was way more fun in the student section."

Ironically, McClung's high school teammate, Dyjuan Lewis will be among the other receivers pushing to join the starting crew. However, Lewis is more of the "Armon Binns build", where McClung is similar in size to Woods. 

Both McClung and Lewis went to Indianapolis Pike High School, as did offensive lineman Andre Cureton.

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