McNeese wide receivers show progress in week one of summer progress

Published: Aug. 4, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Day three of summer practice for the McNeese Cowboys had clear match-ups stick out as the defensive backs went after the wide receivers all morning. To the credit of the Cowboys receivers’ room, they proved to be up for the challenge as multiple pass catchers made contested catches on the day.

Over the first few days, junior Jalen Johnson has taken it upon himself to help his fellow receivers as he has been standing out since the beginning of the spring for McNeese. Outside of Johnson, a name that has been stepping up at wideout is sophomore Jon McCall, who has been making splash plays throughout the last few practices.

“He’s a big-bodied receiver, he’s got strong hands and really good speed, so you know it’s time for him to be that guy that can lead the offense rather than being a redshirt freshman, so I’m putting a lot of pressure on him day in and day out to see how he responds because he’s had a couple of good days, that’s for sure,” said head coach of the Cowboys Gary Goff. “I want them (receivers) to have the mindset that we’re going to go out there and make every play and on top of that, I want to be physical on the outside and I need those guys to step up and be very very physical, that’s two things we missed last year and we’ve worked hard to improve in those two areas.”

Johnson has also raved about his receiver room as he made it clear that he has seen a new level of focus within the group as they get closer to the new season.

“I think we’re making strides in the right direction, we’re a young group, but we’re dangerous, so I feel like once we put everything together completely, we’re going to be a very explosive offense,” said Johnson. “We’ve worked hard, and we put in the preparation, we have to now get even better with the playbook, and with that, I think it’s going to be a big year for us.”

It’s still early but as we head through more practices one thing seems to be clear, the receiver room seems to have taken a step up and they will have their chance to prove themselves in just under a month when the Cowboys open their season at home against Tarleton State.