ROCKINGHAM — The Richmond football team’s talent and depth at the wide receiver position were on full display throughout Thursday morning’s 7-on-7 session with South Carolina opponents Cheraw and Marlboro County.
Preston Coker, Justin Morman and Jordyn Wall led the charge by hauling in four passes each and scoring at least one touchdown on the day. Both Morman and Wall found the end zone twice — all four scores against Cheraw’s defense — and Coker caught a deep ball from rising sophomore quarterback Caleb Hood when the Raiders went up against Marlboro.
Those three were only a fraction of the 11 Raiders who finished Thursday’s competition with at least one reception.
Rising senior Jahan Jones caught three and scored once, rising sophomores Tremel Jones and Dalton Stroman each pulled in two, and both rising sophomore Jakolbe Baldwin and rising senior Bobby Terry ended up in the end zone on their only catch of the day. Rising junior Armond Martin grabbed one from the arm of rising junior quarterback Noah Altman.
Richmond’s offensive unit ran a total of 50 plays on the day and finished with 28 receptions.
“You don’t realize how many guys are catching touchdown passes or getting in the action until you go back, look at the film and really start breaking things down,” said Greg Williams, associate head coach and wide receivers coach. “We’ve had seven or eight guys who have been tremendous assets to the team during the 7-on-7s this summer.”
Wall, a rising senior, didn’t waste any time getting his day started, as he scored a touchdown on the first play of the day — beating the Cheraw defense with a slant route — and then caught another one from Hood moments later on an out route.
Morman, a rising junior, would also record two of his four receptions during the first 10-play drive against the Braves. He subbed in once Altman took over at quarterback and, after three consecutive no-yardage plays, hauled in back-to-back passes to end the drive. Morman’s second catch went for a touchdown.
The following possesion, which was against Marlboro, Jahan Jones was able to break back to the ball in the midst of the Bulldogs’ defense and secure his only touchdown reception. Five plays later, Baldwin outran his defender and snagged one right inside the pylon. Terry’s score, which came against Marlboro, was the last score of the day.
Jaheim Covington — a rising junior who will more than likely start at running back — also proved that he’s a reliable weapon in the passing game, catching a couple passes in the flat and showing his ability to make a move in the open field.
“We’re not the 6’3 or 6’4 guys like a lot of people, but the one thing we’ve got is speed. And we’ve got to use that speed to help us out, and I think we will,” Williams said. “If we keep improving and doing those things little by little, like making sure we’re running good routes and looking the ball into our hands, we’re going to be pretty good by the end of the season.”
Rising senior Malik Stanback, an all-conference selection from a season ago, is one of two receivers (the other being Stroman) on the roster who stands over six-feet tall. He was able to make two early catches on Thursday before tweaking his knee after hauling in a pass near the sideline, which resulted in him being pulled from the session for the rest of the day.
Stanback, the team’s No. 1 outside receiver, has picked up scholarship offers from The Citadel (S.C.), Old Dominion University (Va.) and Wofford College (S.C.) in recent months and expects to receive more by the end of the year.
“We hope he’s going to be OK. He’s definitely an important part of this offense,” Williams said. “We saw what he could do last year and I think he’s improved a lot, so I feel like he’s really going to help us out even more this season.”
The coaching staff is hopeful that the upcoming dead week — meaning there will be no coach-led team activities — is enough time for Stanback to get the proper treatment for his injury.
Head coach Bryan Till says the Raiders will focus more on running and getting in shape when they get back from the off week. He didn’t want players to lose the weight they had gained from the lifting workouts this early in the summer.
“The message during these dead weeks is to take care of their bodies, stay on a regular sleep schedule and eat,” he said, “so when we come back that one week before we go off again, their bodies will be refreshed.”
Reach sports editor Leon Hargrove Jr. by phone at 910-817-2673 or by email at [email protected] For stories, scores and updates, follow the Daily Journal’s sports section on Twitter @RCDailySports.