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Georgia Southern receivers may just be ready for FBS

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Georgia Southern receivers may just be ready for FBS

Georgia Southern wide receiver Kentrellis Showers, left, grabs a pass in front of cornerback Darius Jones during practice Wednesday.

    On November 23 when Georgia Southern beat Florida, people weren't just talking about the fact that the Gators lost. The story was about how they lost —the Eagles didn’t complete a pass.
    Kevin Ellison attempted only three in the game, and two went to Jerick McKinnon, who’s now a Minnesota Viking.
    So you couldn’t really blame first-year head coach Willie Fritz for assuming he was going to have a bare cupboard of receivers.
    But then Fritz saw Kentrellis Showers. And Zack Walker. And B.J. Johnson, Montay Crockett and Tray Butler.
Turns out Fritz had what the Eagles knew all along, a pretty talented group of receivers.
    “I know everyone sits in the stands and they might question our ability to play, but we’re Georgia Southern Eagles, just like the hawgs up front,” Showers said. “We perform too. We’re going to come out every day, run the same routes we’ve been running, play as hard as we’ve been playing, and maybe we’ll catch a few balls here and there.”
Those guys are better pass catchers and route runners than Fritz could have hoped.
    “Ten times better. Not even close,” he said. “It’s going to be interesting to see. They’ll make a lot of plays, man, I think we’ve got a lot of Division-I receivers. There’s a lot of longer guys than what I’ve had. They’re a good group.”
    Mix that with the recent performance of quarterbacks Ellison and Favian Upshaw, and Georgia Southern might have a passing game to Fritz’s spread-option rushing attack.
    “It’s like they never even ran the triple. It’s amazing to me,” Showers said about the QBs. “We’ll run a route and turn around, and the ball’s there with some velocity on it and some accuracy. I’m excited we’ve got quarterbacks who can get the job done.”
    The feeling is mutual.
    “It’s great as a quarterback to sit back there and be comfortable knowing there’s a group of receivers out there you can throw the ball to,” Ellison said.
    Now, the group is excited to show what it can do when the season begins on August 30 at N.C. State.
    “We’ve put it on paper,” Showers said. “Now it’s time to put it on the field.”

    Matt Yogus may be reached at (912) 489-9408.

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