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October 15, 2010
Receivers starting strong
By now Warhawk fans and followers of the Sun Belt Conference are more than aware of the great start for redshirt freshman quarterback Kolton Browning. Browning has already thrown for the second most yards in ULM history with his 1,075 through the first five games. Browning has also had over 200 yards in four straight games.
Although Browning is the one receiving the attention, the Warhawk receivers are doing their part to ensure not only the success of their young quarterback, but also of the 2010 season.
"Those guys have been doing a good job, being in the right spots on the field, and making plays when the opportunities present themselves," receivers coach Jason Nichols said. "It's something that I talk with them about everyday, when the opportunity shows up make the most of it. We've got a pretty competitive group, so it keeps them sharp and they've all built a good chemistry with Kolton, and we just want to keep that up."
One receiver that has taken these talks to heart is junior Luther Ambrose. Ambrose leads the team in receptions and yards with 23 catches for 279 yards and has also found the end zone twice.
"I get on the field fresher now," Ambrose said of no loner having to return kick, and focus on just playing receiver. "I don't have to run returns back so I can play more quarters."
Another factor for the solid start by Ambrose is the coaching by seasoned position coach Nicholls. Nicholls' strength has been getting Ambrose to use his football speed instead of track speed.
"He has good hands, not great, but good, he just has to make sure that he's playing as fast as he can," Nicholls said.
Another receiving stand out seemed to come out of nowhere. Redshirt freshman Tavarese Maye has darted onto the scene this season with 16 catches for 150 yards and one score. Maye's playtime has come as a result of seasoned veteran Tim Taylor being sidelined with an injury.
"His performance has come as no surprise to us," Nichols said. "He just had to learn the offense, but when Tim went down with an injury, Maye stepped in and grabbed more of a role and has been making great plays."
Coach Nicholls has made the most of the young receiving corps that he had at the open of spring drills. Overall he's been pleased with the play of them in his first year.
"I've been fortunate to get the most of all of the guys; I don't think any of them have been under achieving. A guy that is probably has over achieved is Zarrell Sander, who may not do much in the stats, but I don't believe has a drop all season."