McGaha Makes his Mark on Offense

Wide receiver Chris McGaha is only in his sophomore season for the Sun Devils but he is already making his presence known with acrobatic catches and clutch play. McGaha paced ASU receivers last Saturday against Washington with 5 catches for 73 yards. There is no doubt that he is becoming integral in the new Sun Devil offense but he still doesn't think that he is playing to his full potential.

"I don't think I'm there yet," he said after practice Wednesday night. "But I'm definitely making strides to that." He doesn't worry about getting passes more during games, as long as the people getting the passes are converting on opportunity, he said.

"I don't necessarily have to be the one making plays," he claimed. "But if everybody else around me is, I'm happy with that." Being a team player is something that all Sun Devils have stressed this year, and McGaha is no exception. Now that Torain is out for the season, some of the younger guys, like McGaha are going to have to step up their games a few notches as well.

It doesn't seem like McGaha has made one easy catch all season. The passes he has hauled down have been high, low, behind or in front of him, yet he always seems to find a way to get his gloves around the pigskin. It almost seems like there is some sort of superglue on his gloves. "I just focus on getting the ball when it is thrown to me," McGaha laughed.

Quarterback Rudy Carpenter has a tendency to throw the ball a little high which works well for Jones, but there is no way for McGaha, who stands at (only) 6-1, to practice those types of catches. "All you can do in practice to catch those (throws) is to just look the ball in," McGaha said about those plays. "I don't really think about it all the time but I just have to keep it up," he smiled.

Since becoming the receivers coach this season, Eric Yarber has made quite an impression on McGaha. "I have learned so much in these last couple of months; more than I have in my entire time at college," he said about Coach Yarber. Yarber played with the Redskins for two seasons, as well as coached All-Pro wide receivers such as Chad Johnson and Terrell Owens.

"That is nothing to take away from my previous coaches," McGaha said. "But he just has so much more experience. Also that he has done what we are doing right now." Because of all the experience Yarber brings to the table McGaha takes what he teaches seriously. And that practice attitude has certainly transpired to the playing field.

During the bye week McGaha plans to celebrate a birthday as well take in some serious R &R. But during this whole time off, the upcoming game against Cal will definitely be on his mind. "It means to go undefeated," McGaha said about ASU's next contest. "It's the biggest game of the year right now, so we have to just forget about our wins and think like we are in the hole and have to get out to a good start."

Staying humble is going to be an important factor in the weeks to come McGaha noted, and the Sun Devils are going to make sure to exhibit that attitude. "We cannot be coming into the game like we are on top and riding on cloud nine," he explained. "We have to still be humble and know that we can get beat at any time. Cal is a really good team and we are going to have to come out and make plays and try to stop their offense and try to defeat their defense," he added.

So what does sitting atop of the Pac-10 mean now for Chris McGaha and the Sun Devils? "We have to take one week at a time and give Cal our best, then Oregon our best, then USC our best and everybody we play," he said. "Just give them our best and hopefully we come out on top."

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