Football Sports

Running with it: junior receiver making most of his chance


Junior receiver Demarcus Ayers had to wait his turn, but has impressed as the top option on the depth chart. | Savannah Canales

For football fans who were concerned about the wide receiver core for the 2015-2016 season, junior wide receiver Demarcus Ayers said there is no reason to worry.

Although Ayers said being second on the depth chart was difficult at times last year, he patiently waited to showcase what he could bring to the team, understanding that it just wasn’t his time yet.

Ayers is looking to make his own mark. His moment is here, and he’s grabbing onto it and running full-speed ahead.

The Cougar: Talk about the first two games and how it feels getting back on the field and seeing how you’ve performed.

Demarcus Ayers: It feels great just to get out there and see how good I’ve gotten over the course of the summer and spring. I finally go out there with my teammates and just put it all out on the field and really just go out and compete against high-level teams. It has been really fun.

TC: Did you ever imagine finally becoming the ‘go-to’ guy?

DA: Yes, I actually did, I knew my time was going to come sooner than later. It was kind of hard playing a backseat to (Deontay) Greenberry, but I learned a lot and it was a real challenge for me mentally. Now, it’s my time and I’m really having fun, understanding my role of helping this team out and putting them in the position to win games.

TC: After the game against Tennessee Tech, you said jokingly that it was the most you’ve had your hands on the ball since high school. Had you been itching for that workload?

DA: That was the fun part. With the things that I did over the course of the summer and spring, as far as getting in conditioning, knowing what I need to do to help this team win and finally going out there and touching the ball that many times and not being as tired, it was really cool.

TC: How have you benefited from having coach Tom Herman, as well as the new staff of coaches? Has he pushed you?

DA: I have benefited a lot. I’ve put on 15 to 20 pounds and I made the Dean’s List last spring, so I’m becoming a better student-athlete and a better man. The culture has changed around here and he’s doing a great thing with all these guys on the team. I’ve really embraced being around him, learning from him as a person and as a football player. Even when my career is over, I’m just learning a lot of stuff that I can do when I want to coach. So, he has had a big influence on what I’ve grown to be these last nine months.

TC: From a personal standpoint, is there anything you’d like to accomplish this season?

DA: One thousand yards receiving is my biggest goal, and it has been my goal since I got on campus. But being undefeated with a conference championship is my first goal. The numbers will fall in place. Like I said, I’ve put myself in the position this summer to put up those numbers and I know what I expect for myself. As a team we’d like to win a conference championship and go to a big bowl game.

TC: How is the relationship between you and quarterback Greg Ward, Jr.?

DA: Greg and I have the greatest chemistry on this team. We came in together, played against each other in high school and my team beat his. Ever since we came in there has kind of been a little rivalry between me, him and Tyus (Bowser). Greg helped me come here. I knew once I played against him that I wanted to play with him. We clicked from my official visit, we were roommates my first two years here. When we first got here, I told him he was going to be a great football player, and I tell him all the time he’s going to make a lot of money, because I feel like he has the ability to play in the NFL just as I do. We really feed off of each other, and we’re the best of friends. I love him, and I love everything that he brings to the table. What he has done since he has been here has been unbelievable, and I really have a lot of respect for him.

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