April 5, 2006

Spring Storylines: Nelson worth watching

The West Coast offense might be a savior for Kansas State, which saw its air attack behind a Big 12-low 318 pass attempts head south in 2005. Although it wasn't enough to keep Jordy Nelson down, spreading the field in 2006 means the Wildcats might finally get the most out of their wide receivers. Redemption certainly will be on Yamon Figurs' mind for his senior year. Next up: WIDE RECEIVER.


SPRING STORY LINE: For only the third time in eight years, K-State failed to have a 700-yard receiver. That will change if Jordy Nelson has anything to say about it. The 6-foot-3, 210-pounder was one of the biggest surprises in the Big 12 Conference, finishing 11th in the league in receptions per game (4.09) and seventh in receiving yards (60.9) as a sophomore.


While Nelson will find difficulty in replicating his blazing start - his streak of one TD in each of the first seven games was a school record - he certainly should improve upon his team-leading numbers (45 catches, 669 yards, eight TDs) in the West Coast Offense installed by first-year coach Ron Prince.


"I was really pleased with Jordy Nelson," Prince said following spring practice April 1. "I think the first two practices he was really trying to feel his way through it and find his place in the offense. In the last two practices I think he's done a terrific job."


Nelson has plenty of help. That starts with Jermaine Moreira, who has more career receptions (91) as Nelson and Yamon Figurs combined (90).


Moreira caught about everything thrown to him in the Big 12 season, leading the team with a reception efficiency rating of 67.6 percent (he caught the ball on 23 of 34 times it was thrown his way). The shifty go-to guy was utilized nearly evenly on first down (nine catches), second down (nine) and third down (five).


POSITION GROUP: WIDE RECEIVER

Antonio Brown, 5-10, 165, Fr., Mesquite, Texas (Mesquite)

Toney Coleman, 6-2, 190, Jr., *, Arlington, Texas (Mansfield)

Yamon Figurs, 6-0, 185, Sr., **, Lakeland, Fla. (Garden City (Kan. CC)

Daniel Gonzalez, 6-5, 210, R-Jr., Augusta, Kan. (Independence (Kan.) CC)

Ro Grigsby, 6-4, 185, So., Dayton, Ohio (Northmont)

Garron Horne, 5-10, 170, R-Fr., Belfast, Maine (Belfast)

Jesse Martinez, 6-4, 205, Sr., *, Napa, Calif. (Santa Rosa JC)

Jermaine Moreira, 5-11, 190, Sr., ***, Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. (Dwyer)

Jordy Nelson, 6-3, 210, Jr., *, Riley, Kan. (Riley County)

Donald Raymer, 6-2, 235, Sr., Goodland, Kan. (Goodland)

Andrew Richards, 6-3, 200, R-Fr., L, Keller, Texas (Keller)

Preston Taylor, 6-0, 180, Jr., Gatesville, Texas (McPherson College)

Val Taylor, 6-1, 180, R-Fr., Dallas, Texas (South Oak Cliff)

Cedric Wilson, 6-1, 190, Jr.-TR, Fort Pierce, Fla. (Garden City (Kan.) CC)

Micah Wyatt, 5-10, 175, R-Fr., Crossett, Ark. (Crossett)




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