ORONO, Maine —- Senior quarterback Dan Collins lofted a 40-yard pass in the direction of a streaking Micah Wright in the end zone during Saturday’s football scrimmage at the University of Maine.
It was going to be a difficult catch for Wright because he was going to have to contort his body to adjust to the flight of the ball and maintain his concentration because a defensive back was right on him.
That is exactly what Wright did as he made a terrific acrobatic play.
Collins and junior quarterback Drew Belcher will have an impressive stable of receivers to throw to this year led by All-Colonial Athletic Association selections Wright and Jordan Dunn.
Wright, a redshirt freshman last fall, was a second-team choice after snaring 61 balls for 818 yards and five touchdowns. Dunn, who was a junior, caught 56 passes for 595 yards and three TDs.
Wright and Dunn were third and fourth in the CAA in catches per game at 5.55 and 5.09, respectively, and they were fourth and sixth in total receptions.
Wright was third in receiving yards per game (74.4), and Dunn was seventh (54.1).
Jaleel Reed and Jared Osumah each caught 14 passes a year ago, and they each made some nice catches Saturday. They were two of the notable standouts in the scrimmage along with Wright and running back Zaire Williams, who broke several tackles en route to a 17-yard touchdown run. He also had a 40-yard dash.
Reed and Osumah served notice that they intend to improve on last year’s statistics. Both are now juniors.
Dunn was sidelined by a nagging injury but he is expected to play in next Saturday’s scrimmage, according to first-year head coach Joe Harasymiak.
“They’re all going to make some huge plays this year,” Collins predicted. “I can’t wait to throw the ball to them.”
“We’re going to have great depth in that position,” junior quarterback Drew Belcher said.
“Everybody knows about Micah and Jordan and if we can complement those guys with Jared Osumah and Jaleel Reed, that will open up a lot more things especially in the slot with Jaleel,” Harasymiak said.
Harasymiak said having a quality and deep receiving corps is “huge, especially for [offensive coordinator Liam Coen], who will have those weapons to use.”
The Black Bears will have a more diversified offense this year under Harasymiak and Coen.
Wright said they are looking to build on last year’s accomplishments.
“We all realize we need to make more plays when the ball is thrown our way,” Wright said. “This team definitely needs more plays made, especially big plays. We think we can provide that. We also want to improve our blocking.”
Dunn said he wants to elevate his “deep game.
“I’m more used to short passes but I want to get down the field more. I want to attack the field,” Dunn said.
“We have a very explosive group,” Reed said. “At times you’ll see four receivers on the field, and we’re all capable of making big plays. Coach Coen is doing a good job getting us the ball, and the quarterbacks are working really hard. We’re ready to take the next step and be great.”
“We want to take the energy we put on last year and get better this year,” Dunn said. “We want to improve every single day.”
The receivers are a close-knit group who work together as a unit and learn from each other.
“We have meetings at night and we watch film together. We all sit next to each other. When we see something someone did that we like, we’ll point it out and try to utilize it ourselves,” Wright said. “We like the way each other plays.”
“We’re brothers. We’re hard on each other. We hold each other accountable,” Reed said.