Catching on: Lee wants to lean more on wideouts

Published on Wednesday, 7 November 2012 17:19 - Written by Chris Parry

 

Robert E. Lee junior Bryce Wilkerson is averaging 15.4 yards per catch, is the lone receiver with a touchdown and is responsible for REL’s biggest receiving play this season. Through four non-district games, Wilkerson had 10 catches for 181 yards and two touchdowns.

Thus far in district, Raleigh Poster and most recently Christian Diosdado have combined to connect with Wilkerson four times for 35 yards.

He wants that to change.

“I really don’t care which quarterback is playing,” Wilkerson said. “I just want them to get me the ball.”

Lee coach Darrell Piske agrees and plans on utilizing the speedy junior receiver all over the field on Friday against Rockwall-Heath.

“He’s the one guy we’ve got who has the speed to be successful at this level,” Piske said. “He’s got great hands and runs good routes, so it’s just a matter of getting him the ball enough.”

For the past three games, Wilkerson hasn’t been on the field much to catch passes as he recovered from a concussion. He missed REL’s trip to Mesquite and was limited last Friday in his first game back against Longview.

He’s now back to 100 percent.

Jay Roberson has been picking up the slack in Wilkerson’s absence as the senior has eight catches, many of those going for first downs.

“Jay just does everything that you ask him too,” Piske said. “He’s not the fastest, or the biggest or the strongest, but he runs good routes, blocks when he doesn’t have the football and is going to be where you want him to be and catch the football.”

Roberson said he’s been able to fill in at receiver and now start based on his knowledge of the offense. His father is Lee offensive coordinator Dan Roberson, who like Jay, was at Fairfield last year.

The Eagles finished 10-1 last year, so entering his final game at 1-8 with Lee is not something Jay was expecting.

“I’ve had to learn how to lose, which is something I’ve never done in my high school career,” Jay said.

The Red Raiders (1-8, 0-5) will play their final game of the season Friday at Rockwall-Heath.

Piske said he understands Jay Roberson’s frustration has his own son dealt with a similar outcome in his first year at Fairfield after leaving Valley Mills, which had been a state semifinalist and quarterfinalist the previous two seasons.

“He’s been an example for the kids on attitude and effort and work ethic,” Piske said about his receiver. “He’s up here every morning before school in the weight room doing stuff and the other guys see that. He’ll have his future. He’s got some scholarship offers already in track, which is his specialty.”

When Piske looks to this Friday against Rockwall-Heath and next season, he sees a lot of plays with Wilkerson at the center.

“We’re just going to continue to find as many ways as we can to get him the ball and get it to him in much space as we can, so he can use his speed and do something with it,” Piske said. “A lot of that is going to be the quick screens off the edge and stuff, which means our receivers (are going to have to improve their blocking too).

“We are going to have him tired Friday night and we are going to have him really tired next season.”

Raider Rap: Friday’s radio broadcast for Lee vs. Rockwall-Heath will be on KTBB NewsTalk 600-AM, Tyler.