Cain Lowe and Austin Givens gave opponents fits last season.
The Decatur senior receivers combined for more than 2,500 yards on 150 receptions – including 24 touchdowns – to help the Eagles to the third round of the playoffs.
With the exit of those two big playmakers, along with fellow senior Christian Carrillo, who added 16 catches for 148 yards, Decatur brings back no one with more than running back Eddie Martinez’ 11 receptions.
As the Eagles head into the 2014 season under new head coach Mike Fuller, they will be turning to a large cast of receivers, who know they have something to prove.
“We’ll do well. It’ll be hard for us to do what [Austin and Cain] did last year,” said Ryan Durdon, one of the receivers looking to break through for the Eagles. “We have a lot of sophomores that can help us.”
In the first week of watching the receivers work in the offense, Fuller advised they are still learning along with the entire offense.
“The defense is a little ahead of the offense right now, but that’s the way its been throughout my career,” he explained. “Learning defense comes more natural. Learning a new offense takes a lot of reps and practice.
“[The receivers] are coming along. We’ll be a receiver by committee. We’ll have six or seven players helping.”
Fuller expects the ball to be spread around to a variety of receivers, which has been the staple of his offenses at Colleyville Heritage and Coppell. Last year in Heritage’s offense, seven players finished with more than 200 yards receiving and nine recorded double digits in receptions.
In 2012, when Heritage went 11-2 and threw for 4,300 yards, it had two 1,000-yard receivers and four with more than 500 yards.
“In my career, I’ve had two guys catch for over 1,000 yards and it happened the same year,” Fuller said. “It doesn’t have to be one or two guys.”
Decatur quarterback Justin Myers, who is taking over for Grayson Muehlstein under center, expects the new group of receivers to fill the void left by the graduation of last year’s prolific group.
“We have good guys playing receiver,” Myers said, identifying Durdon, Jacob Kevetter, Payton McAlister and Carsen Medlin.
Kevetter, who will be starting at outside linebacker on defense, is also planning to see some time at receiver.
“I haven’t played much on offense. I’m going to try to enjoy it,” Kevetter said. “I think we’ll have a strong group.”
And Durdon points out, as a group they will give the Eagles a chance to put up numbers like last year’s.
“I don’t see anyone putting up Cain Lowe numbers,” he said. “But we can be just as effective.”