McGaha Bouncing Back

Chris McGaha said that ever since his son Hurley was born ten months ago, he hasn't been able to stop smiling. On the field a 2008 season hampered by injury naturally wasn't a cause for happiness and spring saw the wide receiver sidelined until last week. With his hamstring almost healed, the senior turned in a solid showing in Saturday's scrimmage and looks to build on this performance.

In 2007, Chris McGaha was the lading Arizona State receiver with 830 yards. Many of his catches were featured in highlight films of that year and as a returning starter last season he was poised to reach newer heights in 2008.

However, a toe injury suffered in the 2008 spring practice, never fully healed come fall. The receiver missed several practices that year and in some he was limited in the amount of contact he could engage in.

Even though he started all 12 games that season, McGaha was able to collect just 501 yards and was never at full strength.

The receiver's bad luck continued this spring with his first ever hamstring injury (suffered in the first session), which shelved him for all but a few practices. In his first spring scrimmage this season, McGaha was back to his old self scoring on 32-yard touchdown and exhibiting his receiving prowess from years past.

"It was good to be back here" McGaha said after Saturday's scrimmage. "This was the first spring scrimmage for me and offensively we did do well. That was a plus."

According to McGaha, being an upperclassman helps come back from an injury and perform at a high level quickly, despite the relatively large number of practice sessions he had to limit his participation or all together sit out.

"It seems like I've been here forever," McGaha said laughing, "So that's an advantage for sure. You can pick everything up really quick after missing practice."

McGaha's reappearance on Saturday is symbolic of the entire offense. This unit has felt the brunt of an improved Sun Devil defense for most of the spring, and some were openly concerned that an offense that often stumbled in 2008 was destined to repeat that performance this year.

339 yards receiving yards on Saturday and big days from its top four wide receivers, definitely provide hope that the ASU aerial attack could once again be an asset for the maroon and gold.

We have a really good defense, and I guess today was just our day," McGaha acknowledged. "It's good to have a defense as good as this because it makes (the offense) work harder. Our defense has been well, and we just got the best of them today."

Some of the apprehension concerning the ASU offense stems from the relative inexperience in the ranks of the quarterback group. Nonetheless, a veteran wide receiver unit, according to McGaha, should negate those worries.

"I feel that we (the wide receivers) are good enough to just go out and play well no matter who the quarterback is," McGaha explained. "As wide receivers we know our job and we just need to get open so we can make a play."

Hurley's smile is infectious, just ask his father. On the same token, a solid performance this upcoming season by the senior wide receiver can certainly ignite the entire unit.


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