Kansas’ Justin McCay looks to bring talent and firepower to the Jayhawk offense in the upcoming season
By: Brennan Keller
Perhaps one of the most shocking statistics from last year’s 1-11 season was the fact that the wide receivers accounted for zero combined receiving touchdowns. Yup, you heard it right. Zero touchdowns. With the lack of talent at the receiver position last season, head coach Charlie Weis knew that he needed to hit the recruiting trail hard in pursuit of some players that could bring excitement and talent to the offensive side of the ball.
One of those players is wide receiver Justin McCay. McCay, who had to sit out last season due to NCAA transfer rules, brings that competitive edge the Kansas receivers lacked last season. McCay finished off the 2013 annual spring scrimmage with 8 receptions for 99 yards and a touchdown. McCay did much more than catch some passes though. When he was not running routes, he was out blocking the cornerbacks and cheering on his team. McCay also had the highlight of the afternoon when he caught a 47 yard pass from quarterback Jake Heaps. McCay streaked down the sideline and snagged the long pass with one hand in a play that got all the fans in attendance pumped up. This is the kind of playmaker the Jayhawks have greatly missed since Dezmon Briscoe donned a Kansas uniform along with Todd Reesing back in 2008.
Junior quarterback Jake Heaps left the scrimmaged impressed with what he saw from McCay. Heaps asserted, “as a quarterback, when you have a guy who can make plays like that, it makes you have more confidence in him. We had to keep running plays, but when I got to the sideline, I said, ‘Hey, making plays like that, that’s gonna make me come your way even more.’” There is no question that McCay and the rest of the receivers look much improved from last season. They run crisper routes, seem a half step quicker, and they also appear motivated to prove that their lack of success last season will not carry over to 2013. Along with a much-improved group of wide receivers, running backs Tony Pierson and James Sims (last season’s leading rusher in conference play) also return for the Jayhawks. With all this in place, the Kansas football team appears eager to prove their doubters wrong and earn an invitation to a bowl game for the first time since a 42-21 victory against Minnesota in the 2008 Insight Bowl.