Editor’s note: This is part of a series previewing the 2012 Bryant Hornets football team heading into their season-opening game at home against the rival Conway Wampus Cats on Friday, Aug. 31.
By Rob Patrick
Photo by Rick Nation
The receiving corps of the 2012 Bryant Hornets undoubtedly has the least high school varsity[more] experience of any facet of the team. But it also may have the greatest potential.
As a group, they have a grand total of four varsity receptions and all of those belong to senior Austin Powell (5-11, 150).
“We’ve got a younger group,” acknowledged Hornets receiver coach Jason Hay. “We lost a bunch of guys from last year but we’ve got a good returning core. (Powell) was injured a lot of the year with a hamstring pull, but he got some varsity time.”
Powell has a knack for getting open, Hay mentioned, and has good hands.
Senior Devon Sears (6-3, 170) has dealt with injury as well and gives the Bryant quarterbacks a big target. Hay also mentioned juniors Greyson Giles (6-2, 185), Dylan Vail (5-10, 145) and Daniel Richards (6-0, 170) as guys that could contribute this year.
Davonte Howard, a 5-8, 160 junior, played quarterback last year but has been moved to receiver.
“Just trying to get him out on the field,” Hay mentioned. “He’s done a good job for us.
“Then we’ve got some sophomores that we think are going to be able to get it done,” he added referring to Brushawn Hunter (5-8, 155) and K.J. Hill (6-0, 170).
That duo starred for the Bryant freshman team, which went 10-0 last season. Hunter led the team in rushing with 557 yards on 34 carries with seven touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 469 yards and nine scores. He also returned a kickoff and a punt for touchdowns, leading the team in scoring with 112 points.
Hill led the team in receiving with 26 catches for 472 yards and six touchdowns. He also rushed eight times for 127 yards and three scores. He had a punt return for a touchdown as well.
Obviously, they each have big-play potential and that was noted Sunday when the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette named both to the pre-season All-Arkansas sophomore team.
“They’re not battle-tested yet as far as high school goes,” Hay said of his group of receivers. “But they’ve all got good speed. They’ve been working really hard and I think they’ve got a lot of character. I think they’re going to get it done.”