Teknipp proves to be valuable receiver for Troy

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 24, 2013

By Danielle Percival

On Saturday against Mississippi State, Troy’s leading receiver wasn’t Eric Thomas, Bryan Holmes, or even a receiver at all.

It was tight end Jim Teknipp.

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Teknipp, a senior from Painsville, Ohio, now has four receptions in his career.

“It’s probably not good for the team if I’m the leading receiver,” Teknipp said with a laugh.

His reception against Mississippi State was his first grab since November 19, 2011.

“I thought he caught one against Savannah State or in the UAB game,” wide receiver Eric Thomas said. “I didn’t realize it’s been that long.”

Despite not having many grabs in his career, Teknipp said his reaction was just like any other play.

“I don’t get too overly excited during the games,” Teknipp said. “I’d say some of my teammates probably were more excited than me. I was just kind of trying to get the next play and we were trying to score.”

His reception on Saturday went for 29 yards, which was the longest play of his career, and it wasn’t an easy grab.

“Deon [Anthony] really put it on the money. I’d say it was probably a better throw than it was a catch,” Teknipp said. “Half a second later, I probably would’ve gotten killed by the safety. Half a second earlier, I probably wouldn’t have made the catch.”

“The protection was phenomenal. Deon had all the time in the world, threw a really phenomenal ball and then Jim made a spectacular catch,” offensive coordinator Kenny Edenfield said. “With all three of those things working together, they all three really panned out for him and he made a good play.”

Though having a quarterback drop it where only you can make the grab is ideal, Teknipp’s teammates know he’s capable of making plays.

“Jim’s got great hands,” quarterback Corey Robinson said. “We drew it up all week. We told Jim if he just would turn around it should be there and he did a good job catching it.”

The offense has been incorporating more routes for tight ends this season; however, Teknipp isn’t worried about the number of receptions he accumulates.

“In high school I caught a lot of balls but since I got to college I really have taken more pride in blocking than anything else,” Teknipp said.

For Troy, the tight ends add another element to an already powerful offense.

“It’s just a bigger guy, a bigger body. It gives you a wider range to hit or miss,” Robinson said. “It’s definitely a lot easier to see being back there being short. You can at least see his head running across the line.”

So what’s the secret for being big enough to block, but agile enough to run routes?

“During the off-season, I always joke I try to lift with the big guys and then run with the little guys,” Teknipp said. “I try to get the best of both worlds.”

At this rate, Teknipp is on pace for his next grab in 2015.

“Let’s hope sooner than that but I know the pace,” Teknipp said.