By Sean Anderson
KINGSTON, R.I. - Lauded for their depth, speed, and height, Rhode Island's receiving corps will be among the best in CAA Football heading into the 2018 season. The Rams have the good fortune to have their standout receivers returning for another year to shine.
In redshirt senior Marven Beauvais (Cranston, R.I.), senior Khayri Denny (Reston, Va.) and junior Aaron Parker (Brandywine, Md.). Beauvais and Parker both earned CAA Football All-Conference honors last season, getting named to the third team and second team, respectively. The trio combined for 136 catches, 1,894 receiving yards and 13 touchdown receptions in 2017.
Beauvais (pictured) accumulated 46 catches, 732 yards, and five touchdowns last season, including an 80-yard touchdown against Central Michigan that helped send the Rams into overtime in that game. His best attribute is snagging the ball at its highest point. Beauvais is a major red zone threat with sure hands.
Denny is the team's active leader with 92 career receptions, leaving him just eight shy of 100 for his career. Entering his final year at URI, he has already played in 32 games for the Rams, with 23 starts. Despite being hampered by injuries last season, he still had 39 catches for 339 yards and one touchdown in 2017. With a healthy offseason, he is primed for even more production this fall.
Parker was the team's breakout offensive player in 2017, catching a touchown pass in each of the first seven games of the season. He set the program record for overall consecutive games with a touchown catch (9), and his 823 receiving yards were the ninth highest single-season total in team history. Parker led the team with 51 receptions and seven touchdown catches, and he already ranks in the top 10 in school history in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.
Behind the top three, Rhode Island has a pair of sophomores who contributed as true freshmen a year ago. Isaiah Coulter (Brandywine, Md.) caught 18 passes for 212 yards and one touchdown, with the score coming on a 56-yard screen pass against Central Michigan on the first catch of his career. Ivory Frimpong (Centreville, Va.) caught five passes for 62 yards last season and also was a key member of special teams. Both players are athletic and tall (both are 6-3), giving Rhode Island significant size advantages on the outside against most defenses.
Redshirt freshman Edward Lee (Washngton, D.C.) is a shifty receiver with excellent ball skills. He impressed on the scout team last season and will compete for time. Expect him to continue honing his craft and climb up the depth chart. The Rams bolstered their receiving crop in the offseason by bringing in juniors Ahmere Dorsey (Wilmington, Del.) from Nassau Community College and Josh McClean (East Flatbush, N.Y.) from Hudson Valley Community College. Last year Dorsey caught 22 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown. He also averaged 30.1 yards per return on kickoffs, tallying a whopping 571 yards and one touchdown. McClean - who was with the team for the spring semester - is a shifty receiver who had 16 catches for 183 yards and two touchdowns for Hudson Valley last fall.
URI brought in John Erby (Chester S.C.) as part of its signing day group last February. A multi-position player in high school, Erby played wide receiver, quarterback, and was the team's kicker and punter. In-state talent stayed home as wideout Peyton Robinson (Porstmouth R.I.) was brought on. Robinson a lengthy 6'1" fits the frame of the receiver at URI. Providence native Jarrell De Los Santos (6-0, 180) returns after making the team last season as a walk-on.
Check GoRhody.com Friday for a look at the offensive linemen on the 2018 roster.