Davie Football: Receiver Coleman ready to step up

Published 1:17 pm Tuesday, August 15, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Sports Editor

Last fall, Brodie Smith was responsible for 35 percent of Davie’s receptions, 43 percent of the receiving yards and 50 percent of the touchdown catches as he compiled 65 catches for 946 yards and 12 TDs.

While Smith is now preparing for his freshman season at Emory & Henry, there’s a good group of receivers ready to take over in 2023.

“I feel like we have a lot more depth this year,” offensive coordinator Matt Gould said. “Last year Brodie had almost 1,000 yards and nobody else had more than (332). We’ve got a lot of guys stepping up. We’ve got two for every spot. Whoever’s open, I think (QB Ty Miller is) comfortable getting them the ball, and we can rotate more and feel comfortable with seven or eight guys at those four spots.”

The receiving corps is led by the furiously competitive Braddock Coleman, who is ready to shine after making 12 catches as a varsity sophomore. He turned heads in a 35-34 loss to West Rowan, making five grabs for 97 yards.

“I think he’s the one really primed to step up and be the primary guy,” Gould said. “It doesn’t make sense sometimes, but it seems like he’s always open. He’s real savvy. He gets in that slot, he knows what the coverages are and he can find openings. He has a great feel for the game, and nobody on our team is more of a competitor than him. That’s his greatest trait. He gets fired up. He tries to make sure everybody is up to his level, so his competitiveness kind of rubs off on the whole offense.”

“He’s a super team player as well,” head coach Tim Devericks said. “He talks to the offensive line a bunch. He just wants to win.”

Evan York, who has the most varsity experience at the position, has shown flashes of greatness the past two seasons. He had 10 catches as a varsity sophomore and 20 as a junior, including five catches for 102 yards in a 34-31 loss to West Forsyth and five snags in the playoff game against the eventual state runner-up, Grimsley. There’s no question the 6-1, 225-pound senior is capable of lighting up opposing defenses as coaches try to corral his immense talent.

“When he puts the whole package together, he can really blow up like he did in the West Forsyth game,” Devericks said.

Ethan Driver is a name to watch. Coaches are high on the sophomore’s potential.

“I think Ethan has had a great summer,” Devericks said. “He’s done three of the four positions all summer, and he’s grown and his athleticism is off the charts.”

“We’re expecting a lot of good things from him,” Gould said. “He’s only a sophomore, but he’ll be a big-time player for us this year.”

On the JV level, junior Leon Bradshaw had a penchant for making defenders hug air. He got a taste of varsity at Grimsley and responded with two receptions.

“He can do what Zaharee Maddox did for us a few years ago: We can throw him a screen and he can make people miss,” Gould said.

There’s talent everywhere out wide. Senior Grey Deal had 53 yards on two catches in a loss to CPC champion East Forsyth. Junior David Patton can fly. Senior Carter Helton is back on the field after not playing last year. Senior Kez Stockton, a track athlete, is playing Davie football for the first time.

“David’s one of our fastest receivers for sure,” Gould said. “He continues to work on his catching skills and route-running. He’s always had the speed.

“Carter was a big-time player for us a couple of years ago on JV. He’s getting back into the flow and he’s another guy who can make some catches for us.

“Kez has never played for (Davie), but he’s been at almost every spring and summer practice and he’ll also get in the rotation. David and Kez are the faster guys who can get deep.”