Last football season, two guys that are going on to play ball at the collegiate level caught 35 of the 59 passes Morris completed. Danny Friend, now with Indiana University and Anthonee Monson, now with Bemidji State pulled in 15 and 20 passes, respectively for the runner-up Redskins.
While much of the talk this summer has been around who is going to replace quarterback Zach Cinnamon, the question mark quietly flying under the radar involve who is going to catch the passes from the kid who eventually wins the quarterback job?
To this point, five names have routinely popped up as making an impact at the wide receiver position this summer.
“Jake Walker and Kyle Hill will be our slot guys. They are quick little guys who are like the Wes Welker type. They are fast and we like to throw them the quick stuff,” Morris offensive coordinator Bill Lauer said. “Jeremy Shannon has been doing a good job, along with Trevor Albert and Tyler Post. Those are also guys who can catch the ball.”
None of the five guys Lauer mention has ever caught a varsity pass, nor is any of them over 6-0 tall. Friend is 6-5 and Monson 6-1.
“We don’t have the height like we’ve had in the past, but we’re still going to throw the ball. We just have to be smart with the plays we are running,” Morris coach Alan Thorson said. “Kids like Jake Walker and Kyle Hill have a lot of speed and we need to find a way of getting the ball to them. If it’s short passes or whatever, we know if we get them the ball that they are going to make plays happen.
“We’ve been repping five a lot. Shannon and Trevor Albert and Tyler Post have been getting the reps, though guys like Chase Hansen are stepping up, too. Josh Hulbert has done a good job, as have Dino and Robbie Meucci. We’re still getting a long look at a lot of guys. We might be deep in a lot of spots.”
The quarterback competition to this point has been between senior Matt Darlington and junior Griffin Sobol. They, as much as anyone, know who the go-to guys are on the receiving corps.
“They all have good hands. Jeremy, Chase, Hill, Walker, Post — those guys can catch the ball,” Darlington said.
“Our starting four is doing pretty good right now. Chase Hansen is doing good. He’s got good hands,” Sobol said. “Walker and Kyle are solid. They are fast and quick and hard to catch. Jeremy Shannon is also a good receiver. Tyler Post is really good, too. I think we have a good receiving corps.”
Nine different Morris receivers caught at least one pass in 2012. Don’t be surprised if that number gets eclipsed this fall as the Redskins search to fill out the depth chart this time around.
“It’s a matter of getting some guys open and for the quarterback to complete the pass. We’re not going to be a team that looks for the home run right away,” Lauer said. “Especially if we can open up our offense with the shallow stuff. Then we will hit them deep every once in a while. That kind of ball control is the same thing as three yards and a cloud of dust.”