More speed, attention to detail lead to more explosive WRs

Junior transfer Xavier Maxwell (left) and freshman Deontay Greenberry will seek to help the Cougars pick up their first win outside Houston this season. Neither have previously played at East Carolina’s Dowdy-Ficklin Stadium which is regarded as one of the toughest venues for opposing teams in Conference USA. | Rebekah Stearns/The Daily Cougar

Junior transfer Xavier Maxwell (left) and freshman Deontay Greenberry are expected to contribute explosive plays to the offense. | File Photo/The Daily Cougar

The Cougars’ wide receiving corp will have the same faces, but different expectations from the coaching staff and themselves.

Not only do the wide receivers have more experience in the position, but they, along with outside receivers coach Brandon Middleton, envision a higher level of success. Middleton said he is impressed with the energy and focus his players had through the first days of summer practice.

“I like the speed,” Middleton said. “Last year, I just didn’t think we were fast enough to be real competitive or any kind of threat. Now these guys are flying around the field, they’re paying attention to detail and have been real receptive to the coaching.

“They’ve bought in… it seems as if they’re playing as if they’ve got something to prove.” 

Sophomore receiver Larry McDuffey, who runs in the 4.4 second range in the 40-yard dash, said he has gotten faster and stronger in the offseason and pays more attention to detail. Instead of playing inside receiver like he did last season, he will be moving to the outside. And, as one of the faster players on the team, he will utilize his speed to expand the defense’s coverage and help make room for the running game.

The Cougars’ first five-star recruit, sophomore Deontay Greenberry, will move to inside receiver from the outside position. He said he’ll have more responsibility in the running game because he will be required to block more for sophomore running backs Kenneth Farrow and Ryan Jackson.

“Including the kind of switch we did, I now play inside receiver, and it got easier and I get the ball a lot more. I’m pretty excited about this year,” Greenberry said at media day.

Other than Greenberry and McDuffey, who were a part of the Conference USA All-Freshman Team, Daniel Spencer, who is a junior and was second on the team in receiving, senior receiver Xavier Maxwell and freshman Andrew Rodriguez will also make explosive plays, Levine said. USC transfer and former five-star recruit Markeith Ambles is expected to arrive at practice soon, said head coach Tony Levine.

“When I was in Rhode Island at conference media day, I was telling the national media ‘Here are some names that you need to write down,'” Levine said. “If you don’t know them today, you’ll know them by Christmas.”

[email protected]

Leave a Comment