Pre-Spring Q&A - Jimmie Daugherty

As we gear up toward spring football, Dawgman.com took some time to talk to Washington Receivers Coach Jimmie Daugherty, who gave us a quick rundown on all his returning guys, as well as a thought or two on incoming Parade Magazine Player of the Year Kasen Williams.

Jermaine Kearse – "Is really working hard. Is at that point in his career where he's playing at a high level for two seasons and he's poised to have a great senior season and I think he's ready to take a leadership role on this football team and I think he's really embraced that. I think he's still hungry. I don't think he's resting on what he's done the last couple years. I think he's motivated and he's the type of kid that sees what might have been, maybe he missed some opportunities last year, and he's looking forward to correcting those and stepping his game up even further."

Devin Aguilar – "Also working very hard. In the same mold as Jermaine – he's played a lot of games – and he's seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and seeing that it's his senior year and he's stepping up to a leadership role. I think he's disappointed that he hasn't played a full season, that he's had injuries that have troubled him his whole career, and I think that's one reason the offseason has been so big for him. He's really focused right now in getting his body as healthy and strong as it can be."

Kevin Smith – "Really excited about this guy. He's got all the physical tools and I think now, mentally, he knows what we've got going on; he's learned how we do things and he's learning the offense and I think he's ready to go out this spring and play instead of thinking so about things so much like he did in the fall. A ton of potential."

On Kasen Williams and Smith together – "Those two guys are going to be scary in the future. Big, physical guys that have uncanny timing to go up and ‘high-point' balls and catch it when it's up in the air. Both have excellent hands, they're basketball kids. Yeah, there's a lot of similarities between those two kids."

James Johnson – "James is a guy that's battled a bunch of adversity. He started out hot catching a bunch of balls and having a big freshman year and then went through some different struggles. Towards the end of that year he had the drop problem and then after that he battled back and had a great spring and then in fall camp he gets hurt and he tried to battle back from that he never got out of that funk last year. But when you look at him and having 39 catches as a freshman, there's something there, so it's just a matter of him getting back to finding his game, finding his confidence and playing at a high level, but he's got the talent, so it's just a matter of him staying healthy and playing with a high confidence level."

Luther Leonard – "I'll tell you this, from talking to the defensive coaches, he did a great job on the scout team last year and that's a role that he's embraced. I don't know if he'll ever factor into playing time on offense, but he's a great kid that does everything we ask of him and if that's his role, he's totally embraced that."

Cody Bruns – "I was pleased with what he brought to the table last year. It was a matter of having a lot of depth at the position and once we got the top three there – Aguilar, Kearse and (DeAndre Goodwin) – last year it was hard for him to break the rotation very often, but we still found a way to get him on the field and he made a couple big catches for us. He brought something to the table with the special teams stuff he did for us and I think Brunsy is in the same mold as Jermaine and Devin – a senior who has been through a lot, but is an exception kid, great in the locker room, works his butt off and is coming back from that injury he had against Washington State. If there is one thing you can say about that kid it's you can count on him and he'll show up with a great attitude and he can play ball."

DiAndre Campbell – "A guy that has some talent and he's further down the depth-chart mainly because of where we have him, at the ‘X', behind Jermaine and James and Cody and Kasen will eventually be, so it's going to be a stacked position, but DiAndre is a guy who has some talent, works hard, is rangy and he's got good hands and he's a smart kid too. He's put on a little bit of weight. He's starting to fill out through his upper-body definitely. He's always going to be a leaner guy, but he's filling out and as long as he stays explosive, he's got a chance to play."

William Chandler – "He's a student of the game. He takes his job seriously. He can fill a lot of roles for us. His best thing that he has going for him is his brain – he's a really smart guy and he's someone who we could throw in at almost any position and he'd do some good things for us."

On speed versus size at the wide receiver position – "I think in a perfect world you'd like a little bit of everything. A guy who is a speed guy for you, a guy that's a bigger guy and you'd like to have guys that combine all that for you, but I think, in this conference and in the bowl games we're going to be playing in in the future, you've got to have guys that are big, physical receivers. Little guys who are fast, they have a hard time getting off the press, they get knocked around by linebackers, even though they're fast, they can't use that speed because they can't sustain the contact. So I think what you've seen from us lately – bigger guys – are something we're looking for, guys who can get off the press, not get jammed up at the line, who can break tackles down the field, guys like Kasen are what we're looking for."

On Kasen Williams – "I'm excited. I'm thinking about it every day (laughs). I'm definitely excited for him to get here, to put the pads on and to put that purple jersey on, it's going to be great. We're all excited, but me especially. He is a tough guy so to speak. He loves the physicality of the position. You watch his film and it takes five, six guys to bring him down and he plays with his head, but also his heart. He's going to come in from day one with an attitude that is pretty unique."


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