Go-To Guy?

Ole Miss Wide Receiver Ja-Mes Logan has been working toward one goal since the end of last season - to be the "go-to" guy in the Rebel receiving corps.

Ole Miss sophomore Wideout Ja-Mes Logan made a realistic evaluation of himself after the last game of the 2010 season.

Based on his skill set, he said, he will not be a consistent deep threat. While his speed is "good," he understands he's no Mike Wallace.

But what he can be, he feels, is like former Rebel standout Shay Hodge, a guy who catches the ball in a crowd, isn't shy to go in the middle and runs precise routes.

In short, the go-to guy.

To that end, and under the advice and direction of Strength & Conditioning Coach Don Decker, Ja-Mes has packed on some solid weight and is now almost 200 pounds.

Ja-Mes Logan
File Photo
"I've gained about 15 good pounds. I'm pretty excited about how I feel with the extra weight," said Logan, who was third on the team last year with 29 catches for 387 yards and two touchdowns. "Coach Decker seems excited too. My upper body has filled out and I am stronger than before.

"I'm not going to be a consistent deep threat. I have to be a more physical receiver who can go over the middle and take some hits."

With that in mind, Ja-Mes is trying to pattern his game after two players, current Dallas Cowboy WR Dez Bryant and former Rebel standout Shay Hodge, who he is still in close contact with.

"I'd like to be like those guys. I want to be that guy, the man. I want to be the guy who when the quarterback throws me the ball, he has no doubts I am going to catch it, like Dez and Shay," he said. "You have to win the trust of the quarterbacks. They have to know that you are going to go get the ball no matter what.

"When Shay was here, he just went and got it. He knew he was going to get hit, but it didn't matter. He just went and got the ball. I want to be like that. You are going to get hit anyway, so just go ahead and make the catch."

During spring ball, the Rebel wideouts were introduced to two new coaches - Offensive Coordinator David Lee and Wide Receivers Coach Gunter Brewer, who coincidentally coached Bryant at Oklahoma State.

"They introduced a whole lot of new stuff to us and they both expect a whole lot out of this young group," noted Logan. "Coach Brewer stays on top of us 24/7. Even now, he's on vacation and he it seems like he's here. He calls me what seems like every five minutes. I like it."

The Rebel wide receivers will be relatively young. Derrick Herman, who missed spring, is the only senior.

"We have a lot to prove," said Logan. "We're mostly young. Our goal is to stay humble, work hard and prepare ourselves as hard as we can. I know what I have to do and I intend to do it.

"I've been working hard on conditioning and being stronger. I have a lot to prove."

Ja-Mes is a fan of the wideouts who are younger than him.

"I like Vincent (Sanders) a lot. He's always working and always asking questions. He wants to be better," noted Logan. "I've also been impressed with guys like Donte (Moncrief), T.J. (Worthy) and Collins (Moore). Those guys will help us a lot, I think. We need everyone - young and old - to contribute.

Ja-Mes Logan
File Photo
"I also like the way Melvin (Harris) is competing this summer. We are battling each other every day and I like that. We are still friends in the locker room, but we both want to play. That's healthy for both of us."

Certainly, the success of the wideouts will be tied to the success of the quarterback. Logan likes what is happening at that position.

"It's all about competition, man. They are competing hard and I like them all," Logan noted, not trying to dodge the question of his favorite. "I give the edge right now to (Barry) Brunetti. He's got a lot of energy and is constantly calling me and other wideouts. 'Let's go throw some.' He hates sitting still.

"I like his attitude because he's hungry. He feels Randall (Mackey) is ahead of him right now, so he's going to do everything he can to pass him. I like that because I'm competitive like that too."

On most teams, a go-to receiver surfaces.

Will Ja-Mes Logan be that guy in 2011?

With a good head on his shoulders and a lot of physical progress in the past six months, it seems he's headed in that direction.

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