VIDEO: Dino Waites interview
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. – This is the fifth in a series that will break down what Carson-Newman football brings to the table for the 2016 season position by position. Today's preview features the Eagles' wide receivers with help from Dino Waites.
Carson-Newman loses two of its most productive receivers from 2015 in TraShaun Ward and Steven Isom; however, the Eagles return every other pass-catcher from the previous year.
"Our returners have stepped up to the plate and haven't missed a beat," Waites said. "Seward, Lonnie and Darvia have taken that thing by the horns and have done a great job leading a bunch of new guys who bring tons of athleticism. They also bring so much maturity to the table, and that's what it takes as upperclassmen."
DuBose appeared in all 12 games for the Eagles with five catches for 105 yards and a score last year after converting from quarterback. DuBose's five catches were speared over five different games. However, he snagged a 66-yard touchdown catch against the University of the Cumberlands (9/3) in the Eagles' opener. The 66-yard catch was the third longest reception of the season for the Eagles.
Williams was C-N's third-leading receiver last year. His best day receiving came against Brevard when he caught four passes for 97 yards. He also hauled in three receptions for 25 yards against North Greenville (11/7).
Seward was C-N's fourth-leading receiver with 12 catches for 161 yards and a score. Seward averaged 13.4 yards per catch and per game. He had a long reception of 45 yards on the year. His best performance came in the NCAA playoffs against Valdosta State. He matched his career high for catches with three, but topped his career high for yards with 73. That game he had his lone score of the season on his longest reception of 45 yards.
Of course, with the split-back veer option attack, it's more than just pass catching for C-N's wideouts.
"These guys are up for a blocking challenge and have the tools in the toolbox to be physical," Waites said. "They've given that from the effort from the practices that we've had. I'll take them to go into battle over anyone else."
Waites also expects returner Kevin Snead (Richmond, Va.) to factor in the mix. Snead is the fastest man in all of college football. The C-N track star set the Carson-Newman school records for the 100 and 200-meter dashes, earning All-America honors in both events, as well as the 60-meters during indoor season.
Mix those four with newcomers Quinton Phillips (Augusta, Ga.), Dorren (pronounced Dorian) Miller (Roswell, Ga.) and Sevier Country-product Devante Matthews (Sevierville, Tenn.), plus returner Matthew Melton (Knoxville, Tenn.) and Waites thinks the Eagles have the key for success at wideout.
"The great thing about the new guys is their attitude," Waites said. "Devante, Dorren, they take coaching from you and from other players. They want to get to work and do everything that you want them to do absolutely right. That's true of Quinton too. Q has been here since the spring and he'll add in on special teams and give us tremendous depth."
Carson-Newman football's position previews resume Saturday with C-N's defensive backs and assistant coach Aaron Hutsell.