Wednesday, April 3, 2013

KU receiver Justin McCay has focus on football again

Kansas receiver Justin McCay makes a catch during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.

Kansas receiver Justin McCay makes a catch during a spring practice on Tuesday, April 2, 2013 at Memorial Stadium.


Last year at this time, Kansas University wide receiver Justin McCay was battling the NCAA about his eligibility.

This year, he’s focused on playing football again.

“I love spring,” said McCay, a 6-foot-2, 213-pound junior wide receiver from nearby Bishop Miege High. “The scrimmages are like full-go, 40-some-odd plays. It’s a lot of fun.”

McCay, who transferred to KU from Oklahoma in December of 2011, sat out the 2012 season after his request for a hardship waiver and subsequent appeal were denied by the NCAA. The ruling was a harsh blow to McCay and impacted the way he performed during his first spring under KU coach Charlie Weis.

Now that he’s eligible again, McCay is fixated on doing everything he can to make sure the coaches feel they have to put him on the field.

“I don’t have a chip on my shoulder, personally,” he said. “But I have something to prove. People have expectations of me and I have expectations of myself. So it’s every day: come motivated, don’t be tired, be positive. I’m trying to do that every day.”

So far, it appears to be working. During a recent meeting with the media, KU coach Charlie Weis said McCay had worked his way onto the first team and would start if the Jayhawks had to play that day.

But McCay, who said being listed second on the depth chart at the beginning of spring ball served as motivation, sounds like a player who has more work to do

“I feel like I gotta learn the offense and be a complete receiver on and off the field,” he said. “(Spring) is kind of like a season within a season. You don’t have games every week, but we still have practice.

“Sitting out a year and being older, I’ve matured. Once you become a coach and a player, you see the game a lot differently.”

The Jayhawks were off Wednesday but will return to the field today for the 10th of 15 spring practices leading up to the April 13 spring game, which is slated for 1 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.


Jonathan Briles 9 years, 1 month ago

I think McCay can be a great player. One of the best things about him is his incredible physicality. Hopefully he can use that to become a great downfield blocker to boost our already great running game. I will be interested to see how he plays during the season. I'm also interested to see who plays along side him. I thought Turzili would be great, but I watched a video of the last practice with him during one on ones and it looked like he could not catch anything. It seemed like he dropped everything that hit his hands. Hopefully Coleman and Thomas are as good as advertised and will round out a solid group. From the clips I saw it looked like Heaps was pretty sharp so getting it to the receivers should not be the problem that it was last year.

If anyone is interested in seeing those videos of the Receivers and also offensive and defensive line battles they are over on Jayhawk Slant and are available for members and non members alike.

kellerman411 9 years, 1 month ago

Wow, did you see # 88? He was F-ing TORCHING dudes! His name is Billy Owens... I think he sees some playing time.

April13 9 years, 1 month ago

Downfield blocking is rarely given its due. Usually, it's the difference between a 21-yard gain and a long touchdown.

Most running backs earn their bacon between the backfield and about 15 yards beyond the line of scrimmage - after that, downfield blocking is what opens up the field.

kellerman411 9 years, 1 month ago

Overall, the videos on Jayhawk Slant are depressing. I realize it's April and no one looks good in April but defensive lineman seem to lack explosiveness and receivers just can't catch the football. Those are things that you would think they have been working on all off-season. My optimism is definitely tempered. Hopefully, I'm making something out of nothing and we're much improved.

Jonathan Briles 9 years, 1 month ago

I was thinking the same thing as I watched them, but then I watched again looking at the number and the guys who are supposed to be starters do look a lot better than the bench. Its also a very small sample size. Overall I do kind of agree that what was seen left a little to be desired though.

Reuben_J_Cogburn 9 years, 1 month ago

McCay's an enigma. I have nothing but hope for this kid, but as you point out, kellerman, the initial reports of his play are nothing to really write home about.

Tait said the guy caught everything the other day in practice, but I haven't heard of explosiveness, speed, agility, vertical etc.

Also, it's concerning to me that he still "gotta learn the offense." Sorry, kid, but you sat out a year and had nothing to do but learn the offense.

I think he SHOULD have a chip on his shoulder. We need someone with a little fire.

I can't make any inferences until I see him play a game, but the initial reports are mediocre at best.

Robert Brock 9 years, 1 month ago

Yo, McCay: Get open. Catch the ball. Get open. Catch the ball. Get open. Catch the ball.

vd 9 years, 1 month ago

He was to be the greatest receiver in KU history, but the NCAA wouldn't let him play. WE would have been bowl eligible last year, with him receiving TD passes from our 5 star QB.

spenc1324 9 years, 1 month ago

Even with McKay bein as good as he is I still don't expect much from our receivers again this year plus we lost our best tight end. But I do expect is to have more touchdowns by our receiving crew we need that to open up the running lanes for Sims and Pierson. As long as we can be consistsnt in the passing game and get solid TE play we will be a better team this year. Here to hoping!!! Rock chalk

John Randall 9 years, 1 month ago

Is the defense not participating this spring? Which punt returners have good enough hands? I hear of a boomer/kickoff guy who puts it out of sight, but does anyone hit 90% inside the 30, or do we settle for 80% xpts?

Offense may sell tickets, but it doesn't win enough games to sniff out a bowl game very so often.

CrystalJones 9 years, 1 month ago

I'm not too worried about the defense. Yes, we gave up a ton of points again last year, but we do have a great D-coordinator and maybe the best influx of juco recruits in the country. We should be solid.

machinegun 9 years, 1 month ago

I looked at all of the receivers for the three or four minute workout on Jayhawk Slant. The only number that I circled was 83. Chris Omigie has good size, speed, and good hands. Why is he not playing?

BillSelf4Prez 9 years, 1 month ago

You didn't watch many games last year did you? Omegie probably led the team in dropped passes last year. I think against TCU, he dropped two deep balls along the sideline late in the game on third downs.

Micky Baker 9 years, 1 month ago

He missed almost every pass that hit him in the hands last year.

spenc1324 9 years, 1 month ago

I don't think size and speed are necessarily or problems its the hands, route running and the ability to get separation that we lacked in the last few years definitely too many dropped balls

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