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McDonald, Beyah look to shine in final year

Unit has good mix of experience, youth

July 31, 2011 · Athletic Communications

Headlines
Key Losses: Garrett Andrews Key Returnees: Malcolm Beyah, Tavarres Jefferson, Sancho McDonald

Battle to Watch: The one to keep an eye on will be for the "Z" starting spot between Malcolm Beyah and Andrew Banks. Both had strong springs and showed improvement in all areas. Beyah provides big play capability and Banks is a player who can play all four positions.

Spring Standout: Sophomore Richard Drake is a guy who clearly stepped up his play in the spring. Coaches saw a dramatic change in his work ethic and the fact he competed on a daily basis. Drake caught the ball well and became more accountable in the run game. He was presented the award for most improved among the receivers following spring drills.

Coach Watts on the wide receivers
"There is a good mix of experience and youth and I like the fact we came out of spring raising our level of play. We have guys battling at all four positions and I feel real comfortable with our two-deep. All of the guys grasped the new changes to our offense and I am very excited to see them peform this fall. We had four guys miss all of spring practice with injuries and three more who did not finish so getting healthy is critical for the entire group."

Players
Wide Receiver (X)
SANCHO MCDONALD
(Senior) - Has shown consistency in improving his game since the GoDaddy.com Bowl ... Leads all receivers with 38 games played ... Has worked hard and become stronger ... Needs to understand the importance of his leadership.

RICHARD DRAKE (r-Sophomore) - Has improved entire game and is showing maturity ... Route running has improved ... Expected to see lots of snaps if he continues progression ... Has become more coachable.

MARCUS THURMOND (r-Junior) - Still recovering from broken leg suffered in 2009 ... Worked hard in the spring ... Needs to be more consistent catching the football.

Wide Receiver (H)
TAVARRES JEFFERSON
(Junior) - Enjoyed a consistent spring ... Came to work every day ready to compete ... Improved his route running and continues to be an excellent blocker.

HAROLD TURNER (r-Junior) - Held out of contact early in spring due to a hand injury ... Caught the ball well and showed flashes of explosiveness ... Needs to improve blocking.

KYLE GRISWOULD (r-Sophomore) - Moved from running back in the spring and brought toughness to the position ... Very coachable and cares about doing things the right way ... Has the ability to make defenders miss.

Wide Receiver (Y)
SHANE BLISSARD
(r-Senior) - Missed final week of practice due to a ruptured spleen but was having an outstanding spring before the injury ... Quarterbacks looked to get him the ball because of his size and sure hands ... Not afraid to go across the middle and get the ball in traffic.

TYLER MASON (Senior) - A smaller receiver who shows toughness in the run game ... Needs to be more consistent and run more exact routes to be productive in offense.

ANTHONY AMOS (r-Junior) - A bigger receiver who runs nice routes and catches the ball naturally ... Had two TD grabs in the Blue-White Game ... Has picked up offense nicely ... Strong offseason could result in significant playing time.

Wide Receiver (Z)
MALCOLM BEYAH
(Senior) - Strong receiver with big play capability ... Explosive with the ball in his hands ... Needs to concentrate on being more detailed in every assignment.

ANDREW BANKS (r-Senior) - A consistent receiver who can line up at all four positions ... Showed improved toughness in run blocking during the spring.

REGGIE WHATLEY (r-Freshman) - Moved from running back in the spring ... Showed a lot of improvement ... Very fast and quick ... Has ability to do special things with the ball in his hands.

Returners
*Anthony Amos r-Jr. WR
83 Jared Bamber Sr. WR
19 *Andrew Banks r-Sr. WR
4 Malcolm Beyah Sr. WR
16 *Shane Blissard r-Sr. WR
17 Jamar Brown Jr. WR
*William Carter r-Jr. WR
84 Richard Drake r-So. WR
*Patrick Hubbard r-Fr. WR
3 Tavarres Jefferson Jr. WR
13 Tyler Mason Sr. WR
15 Sancho McDonald Sr. WR
*Jonathan Moore r-So. WR
88 Marcus Thurmond r-Jr. WR
37 *Harold Turner Jr. r-Jr. WR
87 Vincent Van Horne Sr. WR
25 Reggie Whatley r-Fr. WR
82 Arthur Williams r-So. WR

Newcomers
81 Christian Collis Fr. WR
80 Jamal Gray Jr. WR
9 Kyle Griswould So. WR
*Nonscholarship

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