Hair, Johnson lead returnees in Norse receiving corps

NEO Athletics
Monty Franks

MIAMI — When the Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College Golden Norsemen
open the July football workout session on the first of the month,
wide receivers coach Deandre Jennings will focus on replacing five
starters from last year’s team.

Last year under former head coach Clay Patterson, the Golden Norse
offensive unit averaged 518.5 total yards per game to finish second in
the nation. Snow, Utah led the nation with an average of 524.3 yards
per game.

NEO’s passing game trailed Trinity Valley in the Southwest Junior
College Football Conference. The Golden Norsemen generated 274.3 yards
per game while scoring 34 touchdowns via the pass.

“It’s open season this summer at the receiver positions,” first year
offensive coordinator Andrew Rice said. “Coach Jennings has done a
good job pushing our guys.

“The key focus here is their route discipline and making sure that
they are working little things like their routes, how they stack guys
in formation, how good are their hands and what they do when they
don’t have the ball,” Rice said. “I think it’s an open room with who
is going to step up consistently and make plays when they’re
available.”

Since the summer session requires players to be in shorts, tee shirts
and helmets, they will have ample opportunity to work on their various
techniques.

Redshirt sophomore Marcheenan Hair and redshirt freshman Juwan Johnson
both appeared in 12 games at wide receiver last season.
Hair, from Lawton, ranked sixth on the team with 24 receptions for 320
yards. He averaged 13.3 yards per catch.
Johnson, from Tulsa Memorial, made four catches for 53 yards and one
touchdown. He also averaged 13.3 yards per touch.
Sixteen, transfers, redshirts and freshmen are battling for three
starting wide receiver spots.
Transfer Tariq Bitson, from Tulsa Washington brings experience at a
wide out spot. Bitson, a redshirt sophomore, was at Oklahoma State
University as a freshman.

Redshirt sophomores Jarviear Christon, from Lawton MacArthur and
Demario Jones, from Cleveland Heights, Ohio return at wide receivers.
Eight redshirt freshmen battling at wide receivers are Ethan Helms,
from McKinney (Texas) North; England Honeybuss, from Cushing; Dominick
Hudson, from Katy, Texas; Chris Potts, from Putnam City West; Tony
Reeves, from Knoxville, Tennessee; JJ Sanders, from Madill; Matt
Stemm, from Stillwater and Jordan Wells, from Enid.
True freshmen wide receiver recruits include Matthew Ray, from
Deerfield Beach, Florida; Brandon Smith, from Powder Springs, Georgia,
and Pervis Turnbow, from Thompson, Alabama.

Redshirt sophomore Lonell Burris is the only experienced returning
tight end. As a freshman, Burris caught two passes for 22 yards.
Injuries limited Burris during spring workouts.
Jarron Holbert, a redshirt freshman from Davis, Oklahoma along with
true freshmen Jordan Ealy, from Putnam City West, and Treyland Walker,
from Lawton, are battling in the tight end chase.

“Our tight ends are key to our offense because, first of all, we want
to use them to seal up some run-game situations,” Rice said. “Then,
anytime you can leak them out and get them in routes is a plus.”