Tag:Mark Stoops
Posted on: July 20, 2011 8:30 pm

Mike Stoops: WR Criner "here and ready to go"

There has been a great deal of speculation as to the health and readiness of All-American wide receiver Juron Criner during the off-season, but according to his head coach, the 6-4, 215 pound wideout is "fine" and "here and ready to go."

Criner earned First Team All Pac-10 honors this past season with a record-breaking campaign, catching 82 passes for 1,233 yards and 11 touchdowns. However, he missed a scheduled trip to ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut during the off-season due to personal and family troubles and the rumors began to really get going after Criner was, according to a television broadcast, hospitalized after neurological testing.

Arizona head coach Mike Stoops, however, expects his star receiver to be available when  Arizona opens up fall camp August 4.

"We anticipate having Juron," Stoops said. "He had some family issues that were concerning over the summer, and those are personal. We anticipate him being the same player - or a better player - than he was a year ago."
Criner demonstrated a knack for big plays earlier in his career, notching nine touchdowns among his 45 catches (for 582 yards) as a sophomore. He took his game to another level last year, however, and obviously the Wildcats are hopeful he can make the same jump in production in 2011.

As productive as Criner has been, he rates only as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 7 senior wideout entering next season. This grade is largely based on the fact that Criner has questionable deep speed. NFLDraftScout.com estimates him as capable of running the 40-yard dash in 4.62 seconds.

Should Criner be able to return and enjoy another big season in 2011, he'll likely get plenty of opportunities to prove that his production isn't simply a by-product of Arizona's spread offense and the talent of quarterback Nick Foles, also viewed by NFLDraftScout.com as a potential NFL prospect. With a pro-caliber combination of size and overall athleticism, Criner could appeal to all-star game scouts and certainly will rank among the senior wideouts pro scouts will be most interested in putting the stopwatch to come the off-season.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com