A Look at the SFA Receivers
Aug. 18, 2008
NACOGDOCHES - On a roster loaded with the words freshman and sophomore, it will be refreshing for Lumberjack fans to take a quick peek at the wide receivers. The most veteran unit on team, SFA has a good mix of deep threats and possession receivers.
SFA is fortunate to return a trio of veterans with big-play potential in senior Dominique Edison, junior Aaron Rhea and sophomore Marcus Taylor. Both Edison and Rhea have received All-Southland Conference recognition during their careers, while Taylor had a breakout rookie season. Anyone of these three guys can be a starter, and Edison and Rhea have spent a majority their careers in that role.
In addition to those three SFA also returns senior Tyrell Williams who redshirted the 2007 season, junior Contrevious Parks and Central Michigan transfer Duane Brooks. Williams, Parks and Brooks each have the talent to be starters, which gives receiver coaches Todd Schohnar and Jared May an explosive skill set to work with.
"Our guys are really working hard," said Schonhar. "They have come into camp with the right mindset. They have the ability to make big plays, but they are also doing the little things really well."
"I think what makes this group really special is they go out everyday and prepare themselves. They want to win, and they do the extra things to get the job done right," added May.
Edison enters his final season as one of the school's all-time leading receivers. He is currently eighth all-time at SFA with 115 career receptions, and needs only 102 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions to move onto the school's all-time top-10 list in those categories. The 6-3, San Augustine, native is coming off an '07 campaign that saw him lead the team with 55 catches for 582 yards.
"Dominique had a really good spring," said Schonhar. "He is continuing that good work here during the early part of fall camp. We need him to make big plays for this team, and we expect him to deliver."
Rhea joined the cast of receivers with big-play potential during his sophomore year. He earned honorable mention all-conference honors after hauling in a career-high 31 passes for 496 yards and four touchdowns. Rhea jumped into the record books when he caught six passes for 176 yards and two touchdowns at Texas State last season. The 176-yard performance marked he ninth-best single-game mark in school history.
"Rhea really became a playmaker for us last season," said Schonhar. "He is one of our veteran guys who has improved every year here. We really need him to take his play to another level this season."
Add to that Williams who returns stronger after redshirting the 2007 season. Williams led the 'Jacks' with a team-high 39 receptions as a junior. At 6-5, Williams and Edison provide the SFA quarterbacks with two very big targets who can pick up yards after the catch.
"Tyrell has great size," said May. "He presents a great matchup problem for people. Whereas Parks and Brooks use their speed to pickup yards after the catch, Williams takes on defenders. He has shown an ability to break tackles and pick up extra yards."
The most versatile of all these athletes may very well be Brooks. That is a fairly easy claim to make considering he transferred to SFA as a quarterback, but has since been moved to receiver do to his incredible athletic ability. But don't be surprised to see Brooks pull some double-duty in 2008.
"I couldn't tell you right now who the backup is going to be," said Dawson. "But if somebody doesn't step up quick it will be Duane Brooks. He is a special player. I don't think I've ever been around a young man like him."
"Brooks' speed is a great asset. We can do a lot of things offensively with Brooks. We can use him in space, and we can utilize him going one-on-one against defenders," added May.
One of the best weapons that SFA has, and one of the 'Jacks' best-kept secrets, is Parks. SFA fans haven't seen a lot of him at receiver do to previous circumstances. Despite working his way into the lineup as a freshman, he was stuck behind some other big names like Edison and Rhea. Last season, he was forced to the defensive side of the ball due to staggering injuries in the Lumberjack secondary. A very strong athlete with great speed, Parks could be a tremendous weapon now that he will have the ability to focus on the receiver position.
Taylor is coming off an outstanding rookie campaign that saw him haul in 30 passes for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Taylor recorded a breakout game in a near upset of Nicholls where he caught eight passes for 108 yards and a score. Taylor is another receiver who can go up and get the ball and turn it upfield for a big gain.
The 'Jacks are also blessed to have several unknowns waiting in the shadows waiting for their opportunity to have an impact. Redshirt freshmen Roderick Warren and Garret Williams, and true freshman Taylor Lokey have all had impressive preseason camps. Warren is a 6-2, 200-pound prospect from John Tyler High School who possesses good speed. He has proven he is not afraid to take a hit, while Lokey and Williams continue to get open and make catches.
Another fresh face who has been a surprise during fall camp is 6-0, 190-pound Galveston Ball product Brandon Scott. A former first-team all-district selection in high school, Scott has come in and picked up the system very quick.
The outcome for the 2008 season, obviously, is yet to be determined. But if the 'Jacks' are to be successful, a lot of fireworks will come from its talented receivers.