One of the overlooked aspects of the early part of the season for UNT is the improvements its wide receivers have made. UNT struggled at the position last year.
There are a ton of reasons why UNT is better, including the return of Brelan Chancellor, the development of some young players like Darvin Kidsy and even the improvement Derek Thompson has shown at quarterback.
One has to wonder, though.
Are we overlooking wide receivers coach Mike Grant?
UNT made the switch in the off-season to move Grant from coaching running backs to working with the Mean Green’s wide receivers. Grant has coached receivers for most of his career and seems to have really made a difference.
I’m not the first one to point that out, but I bring it up because I spent some time talking to freshman Darvin Kidsy yesterday for a story that will run later in the week. He credited Grant for helping his develop quickly at the college level.
Wide receivers were one of UNT’s weaknesses last year, but one could make a case they have been a strength this year. Darnell Smith, (22 catches, 232 yards), Chancellor (16 catches, 256 yards) Carlos Harris (12 catches, 141 yards) and Kidsy (eight catches, 89 yards) have all played well.
UNT needed them to play well to help fill the void left by a running game that has struggled at times.
And in one other random thought, I was talking to a UNT fan not too long ago and got around to chatting about how big this recruiting year could be for the men’s basketball program.
After placing a couple of guys in junior college in Josh Friar and Tony Nunn, UNT will have just one freshman in Greg Wesley and one sophomore scholarship sophomore in Maurice Aniefiok on its roster this season. There are three seniors in Alzee Williams, Vertrail Vaughns and Brandan Walton. UNT will be fine after those three guys graduate after this season, but there is a huge seven-man junior class. Even if UNT gets an extra year for T.J. Taylor, that leaves a big batch of guys to replace in one shot.
UNT could really use an influx of guys to come in next fall, play for a year and be ready to step in when the members of a class that includes Jordan Williams, Chris Jones and a couple of Tony Benford recruits UNT is really depending on to come through in Kelvin Gaines and Armani Flannigan graduates.
It will be really interesting to see how UNT handles its open slots heading into the early signing period this fall and the late period in the spring.