Bison wide receiver depth open for the taking

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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -- Easton Stick threw 28 touchdown passes last year. Only ten of those were to wide receivers and eight of those were to RJ Urzendowski.

Stick is clearly in need of a new go-to target this year and the field is wide open for the 19-man position group.

Names like Darrius Shepherd and Dallas Freeman are quick to float to the top of the list but a new position coach is providing plenty of opportunities and great competition that Shepherd says is helping everyone get better.

"W e're loving it," senior wide receiver Darrius Shepherd said of his new position coach. "He's come in and Coach Ray has done a great job with the guys and we're all competing in there and he's teaching us a lot of new things. So we're all excited and fired up for practice just to learn from him."

Jason Ray was hired this summer after Atif Austin left for an opportunity with the New England Patriots.

Ray has lots of experience coaching in the Missouri Valley Football Conference and played college football at Missouri.

The Bison return five letterwinners to the position and have moved former safety Eric Bachmeier to the wide receivers corp.

The five returners have a combined 69 receptions and two touchdown catches with Shepherd leading the field with 41 of those. He led all Bison last year in receptions.