Wide receiving core growing more confident by the week
Going into the season, the Spartan fan base wasn’t sure how the aerial attack would look with sophomore quarterback Brian Lewerke under center.
However, with Lewerke’s growth, there’s been a group who’s also been growing with him, and that’s his wide receiver core.
Specifically, Felton Davis III, Darrell Stewart Jr. and Cody White, all of whom have over 300 receiving yards on the season, with all three of them combining for 358 of Lewerke’s 445 passing yards against Northwestern. White and Davis III also each accumulated two touchdowns.
“It’s three guys out there that can destroy you,” Davis III said. “It doesn’t allow nobody to sit down and put a key on one person.”
Davis III however, said he didn’t even realize how good of a game the three had against the Wildcats until after they lost against in Evanston, 39-21 in triple overtime.
“In the game, we just like to see each other make plays because we come out here in practice and compete against the DB’s and we’re having fun,” Davis III said. “We just like to see each other do the best that we can, the best of our abilities, because we know what we can do.”
For Davis III being an elder of the wide receivers, you would think he would be tutoring the young wide receivers. But according to him, that’s not the case. Especially with White, who's father, Sheldon White, has an NFL background that spans 25 years with six seasons as a player and 19 as a front office member of the Detroit Lions.
With his father's NFL background, White has come on to the scene in the last two weeks, bringing in 265 of his 314 receiving yards against Indiana and Northwestern, breaking the MSU single game record for receiving yards by a freshman with 165 yards against the Wildcats.
“He’s a big learner, he’s got a good skill-set, he’s made the 50-50 catches and that’s what he’s really done, he’s made catches with guys hanging on in the big plays,” Mark Dantonio said during his weekly press conference on Tuesday afternoon. “So when you see that, you tend to give guys more opportunities.”
White said things have been “slowing down” for him “week-to-week” and getting more use to the preparation of a game, have allowed him to have success in recent weeks.
“Being able to read defenses and run the routes the way the defense is set up and just relaxing a bit more, have let my game speak for itself,” White said.
White isn’t the only one of the three to be working on the little things, as Davis III said him and Stewart Jr. also pay very close attention to the fine details of being a wide receiver, just like the White, the “silent assassin.”
Davis III said with all three of them working on the details of being a receiver, has led to an increase in confidence since week one against Bowling Green.
“When you first come in, you have confidence in your abilities but when you step on certain stages it gets to a point you’re like ‘Alright, I’m here,’” Davis III said. “That’s what separates good players from great players, the confidence level.”
The increase in confidence among the three receivers has also translated to an increase in chemistry with t Lewerke in games and in practice.
”He’s kind of leaving more balls in the air for us to just make plays ... not necessarily trying to find the open guy sometimes,” Davis III said. “He’s just letting us do what we do.”