With the move from Mike Sherman’s pro style offense to the spread attack of Kliff Kingsbury and Kevin Sumlin, there’s been much made of the impact on the quarterbacks. However, the wide receivers are also making a major adjustment this spring.
Kenric McNeal said after Wednesday’s practice that the group has come a long way since the start of spring football.
“From the first practice we didn’t know what to expect. Now we’re just kind of taking it day by day and getting ready for the spring game,” he said.
Last season, an injury kept McNeal out of the lineup for an extended amount of time. He said it gave him a chance to look at the game from a new angle.
“I learned a lot actually,” he said. “I didn’t redshirt my first year so being hurt last year I looked at the game from a different perspective. I learned a lot last year. Now I’m ready to get back on the field and do what I do.”
Now, back on the field, one thing that every receiver has talked about this spring is accountability. McNeal said that the emphasis applies to more than just drops, and that he likes the change.
“Everything has a penalty. If you drop a pass, you have to do pushups. It’s everything,” he said. “They hold us accountable for everything. That kind of builds team bonding and I think it’s just a better atmosphere now.”
He added, “Now we just focus on catching everything no matter. Bad passes, everything. It’s all about making the most out of every pass.”
McNeal also talked about his new position coach.
“David Beaty is pretty intense. He’s a great coach though, he’ll get on us, but he loves us and he just wants to see us improve,” he said.
Tonight, McNeal will gather with his teammates to watch Ryan Tannehill get drafted by the NFL, but the issue on the practice fields has been finding Tannehill’s replacement. The senior receiver said that he’s made good connections with two of the quarterbacks this spring.
“Jameill (Showers) and Johnny Manziel,” he said. “I have a good connection with both of them. I’m looking forward to getting out there on the field with them and making things happen.”
Like many others this spring, when asked which player of his unit has impressed him the most this spring, McNeal pointed to a redshirt freshman.
“The biggest one to me, I think it was Mike Evans. He’s come from redshirting last year and he’s taken the leading role. I think that’s the best one for me so far,” he said.
Saturday, the Aggies hold their annual Maroon and White game at Kyle Field. McNeal said he’s excited to get out on the field in front of the fans for the last time until the fall.
“I’m looking forward to it a lot. There’s been a lot of talking going on and we just want to get out and prove to everybody that we’re ready for the SEC.”