ASU football's wide receiving corps is ready to take Pac-12 by storm

Sun Devil wideouts are finding their time to shine as the season begins

During their first game of the season versus the University of Texas, San Antonio Roadrunners, ASU’s offense used packages with four wide receiver sets, but two out of the five receivers to which redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins completed a pass were especially noteworthy.

First monumental moment as a Sun Devil 

Wilkins threw four touchdowns in three quarters of play – junior wide receiver N'Keal Harry snagged two, sophomore running back Eno Benjamin came away with one, and redshirt junior Terrell Chatman had one. 

Chatman's touchdown not only gave the Sun Devils a 28-0 lead heading into halftime, but it was also Chatman’s first touchdown as a Sun Devil. Previous to his 11-yard touchdown on Saturday, Chatman had one catch for eight yards. 

“There was just so much adrenaline pumping – I just didn't know what to do,” Chatman said. “The first thing that came to my head was to throw up the L for my home state Louisiana.”

Wide receivers coach Charlie Fisher didn’t notice Chatman's emotion when he came back to the sideline. However, Fisher is proud of him and the quality of play he brings to the team.

“Terrell (Chatman) gives us length. Obviously, he’s very tall and very long armed, and the catch he made in the end zone was pretty indicative of his skill set,” Fisher said. “He’s long and went up and got it. Manny could put it nice and high, and he just went up and plucked it.”

Fisher joined the new coaching hires made by Herm Edwards this winter. Fisher was previously the head coach of the Western Illinois Leathernecks for two years in the Football Championship Subdivision. 

Fisher said that since his arrival, he noticed that Chatman had a good spring camp, and became a more comfortable player. 

“When you know what's going on, you can play that much faster and that much more confident. I think that's what you're seeing out of Terrell (Chatman)," Fisher said.

Chatman said that Fisher has helped him not only become a better player, but has also mold the entire wide receiving corps into a group of great young men. 

The next Sun Devil to be a first-round pick 

Harry has constantly been the focal point for defenses to game-plan around. Offensive coordinator Rob Likens even moved Harry around to keep the defense guessing.

“We can line them up anywhere, and he kind of knows the base concepts,” Likens said. “It's not hard for him. You'll see him doing that more often."

Likens makes it easier for Harry by moving him around before snaps and making the defense try to figure out where the star receiver is on the field. 

Fisher knows that everybody is keenly aware of who the best player is, but with the creation of Likens' new formations, Harry opens up the field. 

“We move (Harry) around and try to make people find him,” Fisher said. “Then that creates opportunities for everybody else.”

The "Z" position is the most important position for a wide receiver because of where they are lined up on the line of scrimmage and their ability to face top cornerbacks.

“There's going to be a lot of teams that plan to double team N’Keal (Harry),” Chatman said. “It’s just going to open up and give us more opportunities. We look forward to that.”


Reach the reporter at sbemanue@asu.edu or follow @SebastianEman5 on Twitter. 

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