Stepping up

Published 11:12 pm Saturday, October 31, 2009

In Troy’s version of the spread offense, a point of emphasis is getting the ball into the hands of a variety of different players.

For example, 12 different players had carried the ball for Troy coming into Saturday’s game against Louisiana-Monroe, while 14 different Trojans had caught passes.

Despite the diversity in the Trojan offense, there is one player who has separated himself as the season has gone along.

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In previous years, that player would have been Jerrel Jernigan, who led Troy in every major receiving category in 2008.

However, Jernigan’s totals this season have been met and even surpassed by junior wide out Tebiarus Gill.

Gill came into Saturday’s game with 28 receptions for 368 yards and four touchdowns, which were good enough numbers to lead Troy in each of those categories.

2009 is the first season that Gill has seen action, as he red shirted in 2008 after transferring from Jones County Junior College.

While many fans may have been surprised by Gill’s production this season, it has not caught his teammates and coaches by surprise.

“Tebiarus is a receiver that makes play,” Troy head coach Larry Blakeney said.

“We try and spread the ball around on offense and he is a big reason why we have had a lot of success doing that this season.”

Gill received rave reviews in preseason practices for his ability to go up and catch the ball in traffic, and has continued to show that ability throughout the first half of the season.

He continued to demonstrate that during Troy’s game against Louisiana-Monroe yesterday.

Gill finished the game with five receptions for 55 yards during the Trojans’ 42-21 victory.

“I started off slow [on Saturday] but finished off pretty strong, I think,” Gill said.

“This was a big game for us and prepared like it was,” the wide receiver said.

Overall, Gill said he believes this team is right where it needs to be in terms of winning another Sun Belt championship.

“I think this team is pretty close to where we want to be.

“We are getting better each week and I think we are showing teams just how good we can be,” he added.