Wide receiver talent starts with ‘Jackie Moon’
Published 11:12 am Thursday, August 22, 2019
Jack Reynolds parlayed nine of his 41 catches in 2017-18 into touchdowns. Last year as a sophomore, he led Davie in catches, receiving yards and TD receptions. That’s a heck of a start to a four-year varsity career.
Offensive coordinator Matt Gould said: “He’s making our DBs mad because sometimes they’re in perfect coverage – I mean they do everything perfect – and he still finds a way to make the catch. He’s also so good at getting open and creating separation as well.”
As a freshman, Reynolds cut his varsity teeth with eight catches and three TDs. As a sophomore, he had 33 catches for 498 yards and accounted for six of the team’s 11 TD receptions. The younger brother of Charlotte 49ers quarterback Chris Reynolds, he’s already had several how-did-he-do-that moments. Among them was last year’s three-TD performance in a 21-14 win over North Davidson, including the game-winner with two minutes left.
Reynolds, who is known as “Jackie Moon,” is always capable of something big on punt returns with his video game-like moves in the open field.
Defensive coordinator Blaine Nicholson: “Jack’s an absolute dog out there. He makes plays on our guys that are just unbelievable. We’re in great position and he has no regard for his body. He reminds me of Steve Smith (who at 5-foot-9 became the greatest receiver in Charlotte Panthers’ history). He’s not the biggest guy, but he’s got great body control in the air and he’s a savvy route runner. He’s going to move around. Defenses are not going to be able to key on where he’s at.”
Senior Evan Little has the look of a breakout player. He was good enough to make varsity as a sophomore, and he was in the end zone 32 minutes into the 2017 season. Last year he delivered 126 receiving yards in a 40-33 win over Carson, but his junior season was by spoiled by an injury that cost him five games.
Nicholson: “Evan’s a speedster. He’s smart and can play every receiver position.”
Gould: “We’ve seen Evan step up. He’s not a vocal guy, but he’s a great leader by example for the receiver group. We expect a lot out of him. He’s learned every position.”
Head coach Tim Devericks: “Evan has really improved, so I’m looking forward to him having a big senior season.”
Davie lost the No. 2 receiver from 2018 when Ben Crenshaw, who had 30 grabs as a sophomore, moved to Florida in July. Look for sophomore Zymere Hudson to step right into the void. Although he doesn’t have varsity experience, he has major upside.
Nicholson: “Zymere does really good in jump-ball situations. He’s really good with contested catches. I’m excited about him making some plays.”
Gould: “Zymere has made a lot of growth. He’s going to help us out on Friday nights for sure. He’s very smooth. He makes everything look easy. He does the same in basketball. He’s just a smooth athlete.”
Devericks: “He’s had a great spring and summer.”
Expect to find sophomore Tate Carney at running back and receiver. He can do everything. Besides rushing for 645 yards on 112 carries as a freshman, he threw a TD pass out of the wildcat formation and made 26 catches for 445 yards, an explosive 17.1 average. He had five snags for 119 yards against Reagan.
Gould: “Tate will also split out wide. He can get open against anybody.”
Senior Josh Robinson, the top rusher the past two years, is a multidimensional threat. A safety valve out of the backfield, he made 22 catches in 2018. And when he gets a head of steam, he has game-breaking skills.
Gould: “(Playing Robinson at RB and WR) will help keep our best athletes on the field.”
Adrian Cranfill is athletically gifted and has tons of experience as a fourth-year varsity player. For his career, he has 28 catches, 200 rushing attempts and eight receiving/rushing TDs.
Devericks: “We look to utilize him in the (kick) return game as well.”
Za’Haree Maddox is an intriguing sophomore. His entire freshman year was wiped out by a knee injury. Finally back to 100 percent, he’s an awesome raw talent.
Nicholson: “I hate to lose him on defense, but it’s better for the team and I think it might be a better fit for him. He was timid at the beginning of spring ball and summer workouts. But you’ve seen him take a step forward and willing to throw his body in there to make a catch. Za’Haree is going to turn the corner at some point in time. Being off the field for a full year is tough, but he’s made some big splash plays. His ball skills in the air are really good. Once he gets a couple of those licks out of his way, he’ll be able to really help the offense and catch a bunch of balls.”
Gould: “He’s been a good weapon for us.”
Devericks: “Having his athletic ability out there is tremendous for us.”
Juniors MJ Holleman and Chase Robertson are backup receivers. Another junior, Hunter Rose, is an option at receiver or tight end.
Devericks: “There will be multiple tight end formations (with Rose involved). There will be some different formations than we’ve had in the past.”