FAU wide receivers not short on talent

By Ted Hutton
Staff Writer
Posted August 29 2005

 

A couple of small players are ready to fill some big holes in Florida Atlantic's lineup.

Freshman Frantz Simeon and junior Casey McGahee, both 5 feet 9, will start at wide receiver when the Owls open the season at Kansas on Saturday, and neither player has caught a pass in a game.

They will be replacing the trio of Roosevelt Bynes, Larry Taylor and Brittney Tellis, who combined for 178 catches and 3,076 yards over the past two seasons.

"We just want to get this first game under our belt," said Simeon, who will be playing in his first college game.

McGahee, of Fort Myers, will be making his first start at wide receiver, but has appeared in 25 games on special teams and as a reserve defensive back.

"They have developed pretty quickly," coach Howard Schnellenberger said. "We debated whether to play Simeon last year, but decided to redshirt him, so he is not a surprise."

McGahee, who came to FAU as a wide receiver before being converted to defensive back, also has caught on quick.

"He still had some things to learn, but he got past that pretty fast," receivers coach John Vandervere said.

After two seasons as a backup, McGahee is looking forward to a starting job.

"They told me they needed me at receiver, and it's worked out pretty well," McGahee said.

For Simeon, having the chance to step into a starting job after a redshirt year was one of the reasons he came to FAU.

"I wanted to come to a rising program and have the opportunity to play early," Simeon said. "This is every player's dream, getting a chance to start for four years."

McGahee and Simeon will be expected to do some freelancing, since quarterback Danny Embick is a scrambler.

After FAU's final scrimmage, Schnellenberger said the receivers would be working on scramble routes to take better advantage of Embick's elusiveness.

That suits Simeon fine.

"It makes things interesting," said Simeon, who played at Palm Beach Gardens. "By the end of the game you might be tired, but you have to a chance to break a big play."

Vandevere said the backups are true freshman Jason Harmon (6-3) and redshirt freshmen Chad Wilkes (6-0). Joining the receiver corps as a walk-on is senior Kahleaf Watson (6-2).

Watson started at point guard for the Owls' basketball team for two seasons.

"He's lightning quick but far behind on the learning curve," Vandevere said.