"I'm adjusting pretty well," the 6-5, 255 pound Rader said after the third and final practice session on Saturday. "I'm just trying to learn the offense and kind of sitting back, watching."
"I'm getting a lot of mental reps."
Even though Rader won't be eligible to play until the 2001 season, still he is satisfied he made the right decision to leave Georgia and transfer to Marshall. Seeing somewhat limited action at tight end and playing on special teams, Rader did grab a couple passes for 35 yards, but was primarily used in third-and-short situations as a blocker. All that is behind him, now.
"That's why I like the looks of Marshall," Rader added. "They throw the ball to the tight end a lot. The tight end is utilized a whole lot in our offense."
Jason Rader concentrates on a Byron Leftwich pass in practice Saturday
Still, Rader admitted he has much work to do in the coming year, despite not being able to suit up on game day with his teammates. Grasping the offense is one major task, but he does have teammates willing to help in fellow tight ends Gregg Kellett and Joe Deifel. "If I've got a question, I know I can ask them," Rader said.
This time next year, Marshall fans can expect to see Rader vying for a starting tight end spot for the Thundering Herd. Then, Rader's mission will be accomplished, his world back in order. Don't be surprised if Rader has quite an impact on the Herd, v. 2002.
The best part for Jason Rader? He's now only 40 miles from home -and parents- and is noticing the advantages of being close to home already.
"Mom got excited the other day," Rader quipped. "She brought something down to me for my dorm room. The drive back is 40 miles. Georgia was 7 hours, each way."
"She got all excited about that."