Exciting future: Douglas embraces bright future with Trojans
Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Sophomore wide receiver Deondre Douglas’ performance against Clemson last Saturday has the Troy coaching staff excited for the future.
The Trojans knew they would have to contend with high-powered offense, and they also knew it would be a tall task gaining yards and putting points on the board against a stingy Tiger defense. Douglas helped with both.
Douglas finished the game with 11 catches for 93 yards and two touchdowns.
One of Douglas’ catches came late in the first quarter as he leaped above Clemson defender Jadar Johnson to haul in a Brandon Silvers pass.
“That was the highest I’ve ever jumped,” Douglas said. “I didn’t think I was going to get to it, but something in me gave me a little bit more and I got up there.”
Silvers’ throw came at the same time he was getting hit by a Tiger defender.
“That was one of the greatest throws I’ve ever been a part of, and he was getting hit – had three or four people in his face,” Douglas said. “It was just right there on the money.”
Plays like that have head coach Neal Brown excited for what this young receiver can bring to the program.
So far this season, Douglas has 18 catches for 138 yards and two touchdowns.
“He can be one of the best receivers that has played here,” Brown said. “He came on last year late in the season. He is a kid that has good size and has long arms. He is strong, well over 200 pounds; he is a good blocker; he is explosive. He has been really productive.”
As quarterback, Silvers also sees potential in the sophomore.
“He has big potential,” Silvers said. “He has really worked hard since fall camp. We have a connection going. It is going to continue.”
The quarterback and receiver continue to develop their communication, both on the field and off.
“Our connection comes from not just only on the field but off the field,” Douglas said. “(We) do a lot of things outside of football or outside of class. We hang out a good bit, a lot more than we did last year, and it’s obviously made a difference in how we connect.”
Douglas is on track to surpass his 21 receptions last year. He credits that in part to his off-season work and conditioning.
“I had to work a lot on conditioning because the speed of the game coming from high school to college sped up a lot. It was a lot quicker, so it’s a lot less time to catch your breath. I worked a lot on conditioning and the way I breathe – like when I’m supposed to catch my breath and when I’m supposed to drive and do what I need to.”
Douglas and the Trojans will close out the first portion of non-conference play on Saturday when they travel to take on Southern Mississippi at 6 p.m.
Follow Mike Hensley on Twitter @MessengerMikeH