Early in fall camp, freshman WR Wesley Leftwich 6'1" 198 has made a positive impression. After coming in early and participating in spring football, Leftwich is ready to compete for playing time this year.
"It's a little bit easier being in here in the spring," said Leftwich. "I'm not just getting used to the playbook."
Leftwich is a remarkable athlete, and has taken advantage of having T.J. Moe as a mentor. Leftwich is like a sponge, receives coaching very well, and is a tireless worker. He's already made tremendous improvements as a receiver, and he has a very high ceiling, which he seems almost certain to reach.
After a recent practice, Leftwich took time to speak with ShowMeMizzou.com, and he talked about heading into his first season at Missouri.
"I'm still not fully familiar, but I know a little bit of the playbook," said Leftwich. "I'm still not 100% comfortable in the playbook yet, and with all of my routes. But, I'm still trying to compete, and I expect to play. There's a whole bunch of good WRs at my position..................... I'm just trying to get up to speed by the end of two-a-days."
Leftwich talked about what he needs to do to get better.
"Reading the coverage a little better, and knowing when to drop out, or keep going on the fade." explained Leftwich. "Stuff like that, on the choice routes. And, being more crisp on my routes........................... I just need to know the game better, and just understand it better."
Leftwich underwent testing with the team this spring, and reports the following results: 4.36 seconds in the forty-yard dash, 42" standing vertical jump, 3.81 seconds in the 5-10-5 shuttle, 335 pounds maximum bench press, 335 pounds maximum hang clean, 455 pounds maximum in the squat.
Leftwich talked about his mentor, T.J. Moe, and what learning from Moe has meant to him.
"They assigned him, but he kind of just came to me," explained Leftwich, talking about Moe as his mentor. "He's been helping me out with my routes, and the tricks to the playbook, and how to beat defenders. And after practice, he's out here trying to get my ball skills up. I'm trying to learn to catch the ball with my fingertips, and stuff like that."
Leftwich possesses the ability to run by defenders, track and adjust to the football in the air, accelerate to the football, and run under it for the catch. He's learning how to run routes, and he's rapidly becoming more consistent catching the short and intermediate passes, due to his work ethic, and the quality of his practice habits. But, at this time, it's his ability to stretch the field that makes him especially valuable to this team this year.
"I love the deep ball," said Leftwich, smiling broadly.
And, Tiger fans are going to love watching Leftwich catch the deep ball!