Aggie receiving corps getting thin

With the team's top two senior receivers on the shelf nursing injuries, it looks like Harris and DuBois will be relied on far more than they expected in next Thursday's season opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

A.J. Harris and Derek DuBois knew coming into the 2006 football season they would catch their fair share of passes in Hal Mumme's offense.

With the team's top two senior receivers on the shelf nursing injuries, it looks like Harris and DuBois will be relied on far more than they expected in next Thursday's season opener against Southeastern Louisiana.

Miami transfer Akieem Jolla is out after a minor knee surgery Aug. 14 which will keep him sidelined at least another two weeks. Former Mayfield high graduate Tim Tolbert hurt his foot on the first day of the team's training camp in Gallup on Aug. 15 and hasn't practiced since. Mumme said he does not yet know if Tolbert will be able to play in the opener, but Harris and DuBois are preparing as if they will be getting the lion's share of quarterback Chase Holbrook's attention.

"I'll probably get some more thrown my way, but I think everyone is going to catch a lot of balls this season anyway," said the sophomore Harris, the team's leading returning receiver with 39 catches in 2005. "We'll have a lot of guys on the team this year with 30 to 40 catches."

DuBois, a junior who also handles plenty of kick return duties, said Jolla's and Tolbert's absence has allowed others to step up in the offense.

"I need to lead a little more by example to these younger guys getting their chances out there," DuBois said. "... I think a lot of guys are going to step up into bigger roles and take advantage."

One player in particular DuBois said has had a big offseason and strong camp is sophomore Chris Williams. The former New Mexico prep rushing champion has been held out of practice the last couple days as a precaution by Mumme because of the other injured players. Williams has had a strong offseason and has been more involved in the offense throughout fall camp, when practicing.

The NMSU offense practiced in Aggie Memorial Stadium Thursday with the stadium speakers blaring rock music in an effort to get players accustomed to the noise they will play in during Thursday's season opener.

The team has today off before their final six days of preparation for SLU.


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