So might West Virginia have a 100-catch receiver in 2011?
"Oh, yeah, definitely,'' Dawson said. "I think we've had a hundred-catch receiver probably every year for the last five years. I had a kid that caught  two years ago, Blackmon caught whatever, Crabtree at Tech caught 130-something one year. That's not out of the norm at all.''
Pointing toward a potential 100-catch receiver at West Virginia, the conversation naturally has to begin with Austin, who caught 58 a year ago and led the Mountaineer receivers with eight touchdowns.
Starks, meanwhile, had the highest per-catch average (16.7 yards), Bailey was perhaps the team's best possession receiver and Woods got better as the year went on. A fifth possibility is sophomore Ivan McCartney, who caught just one pass as a freshman but joins Starks as the most prototypical receivers in terms of size, both at 6-foot-3 and in the 190-pound range.
With four full-time receiver positions in the offense, all will get their chances to play, but where they line up doesn't seem to matter in relation to how many balls they catch. A 100-catch receiver could come from anywhere on the field.
"It could and it has,'' Dawson said. "If you look at the evolution of our offense the last 10 years, Wes Welker caught [nearly] a hundred two years in a row and he played H [an inside receiver], where Tavon plays. Crabtree caught over a hundred and he played Z [on the outside]. I had two receivers back-to-back that caught over a hundred and played X [outside]. And then my guy that caught 118 [Brooks] played Y [inside]. It just depends on where that guy lines up.
"We're not going to put a guy in a certain position because that position gets all the balls. It's funny how the ball finds the playmakers. Regardless of where you line them up, the ball's going to find the playmakers. It just happens that way.''
It is way too early for Dawson or Holgorsen or anyone else to pass judgment on which off this year's group of receivers has the best chance to step up, but trust that everyone will get an opportunity.
"You've got to put kids in position to make plays,'' Dawson said. "I'm biased because I've coached in this offense my whole life, but I feel like we get kids the ball in space and give them the opportunity to make plays. And I don't think every offense is geared that way."
Reach Dave Hickman at 304-348-1734 or dphickm...@aol.com.