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Top 60 Countdown: No. 15, WR Thearon Collier

Time to get the Top 60 Countdown cranked up again. No. 15 on our list is another talented Canes receiver: Sophomore Thearon Collier, who was one of the team's leading pass catchers a year ago. Collier separated himself from the competition as a slot receiver last year. Will he be able to do it again this year?

Thearon Collier > What we heard about him on Signing Day '08: "Pimp" as he's known to his friends and teammates, was one of three-top notch recruits from Miami Booker T. Washington to pick the Canes. As a senior, he hauled in 33 passes for 711 yards and seven touchdowns and was selected to the All-State team as a return man after returning six punts for scores. He chose UM over Auburn, Florida and South Florida and was tabbed the 92nd best receiver in the country by Rivals, 110th by Scout and 26th by ESPN.

> What he's done as a Cane: He may not have been the most hyped receiver in UM's recruiting class, but statistically, he turned out to be the second best receiver on the team last year. He finished with 26 catches for 324 yards and two touchdowns -- including a 43-yarder against Virginia. As UM's top slot receiver, he became a go-to target on third downs over the middle of the field. He also returned eight punts for 35 yards.

> What Eye On The U expects from him in '09: At 5-8, 185 pounds, Collier proved his first season to be not only fast and talented, but dependable. There are reports he's bulked up this offseason and "lost a step." But I'm not buying it until I see it when practice opens Aug. 8. This spring, he tested and ran a 4.58 -- a bit slower than his biggest competition Kendall Thompkins (4.43). But Collier makes up for it by being the best route runner on the team according to receivers coach Aubrey Hill. With the amount of attention Aldarius Johnson and LaRon Byrd figure to get, Collier, Thompkins and whoever UM's slot receivers end up being figure to get a lot of one-on-one opportunities. I'm expecting a big season from whoever gets the majority of those snaps.