US Lawns Football Camp Preseason Preview: Wide Receivers and Tight Ends


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Seth Montgomery | GoSycamores.com






TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – It’s week one of US Lawns Fall Football Camp and Indiana State football is back at Memorial Stadium as the Sycamores prepare for the Sept. 1 kickoff against North America. ‘Alabama.

The Sycamores will break down the squad throughout fall camp through to the opener in Terre Haute with position-by-position group previews, as well as opponent previews. In today’s edition, we take a look at wide receivers and tight ends.

From the coordinator

Talented and deep. Potential to be really good. Great work ethic. Excited about their future. – Offensive coordinator Mike Bain on wide receivers and tight ends.

Positional distribution
Projected Beginners (Based on Pre-Season Two-Deep): Dante Hendrix, Harry Van Dyne, daijon collins, Dakota Catton, Lance Rees, Henri Bécasse
Returners: Tanner Klein, michelle vazquez, James Mallory, Jared Kistler, Ethan Rooms, Kevin Barnett, DeAndre Rhodes, Qualls of Malachi, Matae Thomas, Tyce Ferrell
Additions/Newcomers: Zavion Taylor, Harrison Stomps, Kai Rios, Rocco Ciocca

Things to watch
Hendrix Escape Season

Happy to have you back Dante Hendrix! The Sycamores wide receiver is back for his sixth year at Indiana State Blue & White after an injury-shortened campaign in the fall of 2021. The Florence, Ky., native battled an injury in the mid -season before finishing with a team-best 42 catches for 447 yards, while adding three touchdowns in six games. Hendrix would have finished the 2021 season among the MVFC leaders in receiving yards per game (74.5), while his 10.6 receiving yards would also have placed him among the best in the Valley.

Hendrix was a 2019 All-MVFC First Team receiver in his final full season finishing among the league leaders in yards (653) and receptions (51). He leads a strong receiving corps and posted an Indiana State record of posting at least one catch in 26 straight games. He will likely be targeted early and often throughout the 2022 season as the Sycamores will lack a new key quarterback at the helm for the eighth straight season.

The return of Cato
Dakota Catton suffered a pre-season injury last year that took the redshirt junior out of the Sycamores equation in 2021. Sullivan, Ind. is ready to finally build a strong 2019 campaign. Caton’s ability and speed on the open field earned first-team All-MVFC recognition in his final season on the field as the wide receiver led the conference with 25, 5 yards per return, while finishing 20th nationally in return yards average. He was third on the team in catches (21) and added 221 receiving yards in 2019 and was expected to play a big part in ISU’s offense in 2021 before getting injured.

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Caton’s ability to be dangerous on the peripherals continues to make him dangerous as the Sycamores have proven their willingness to move players on the field. His point guard ability will make him key in the short passing game as the Sycamores continue to develop under the freshman offensive coordinator. Mike Bain.

The close battle

Gone is do-everything tight end Zach Larkin. The former Sycamore finished among the team leaders in receptions (29) and receiving yards (312), while finishing tied for the team lead with three receiving touchdowns. The 6-5 Athlete leaves a big gap in midfield in the Sycamore passing game, but Indiana State is bringing back several players with experience this year, including Henri Bécasse, Tyce Ferrelland Lance Rees.

Woodcock and Ferrell are the more established options, with both players seeing action in all 11 games of the 2021 season, with the duo combining for 11 catches and 74 yards. Rees wasn’t on the court last season, but the Marshall, Illinois native is a former all-conference and all-region first-team selection from his high school days and brings a 6-4 frame, 250 pounds in the field. In addition to the trio, the Platanes also welcome first-year students Kai Rios and Rocco Ciocca to mix with the two should get additional reps as fall camp progresses towards the start of the regular season.

The entirety of the tight end group brings size to the field, which will be key in the game of Missouri Valley football. The five active players listed in the position group are at least 6-3 and averaging 238 pounds as the Sycamores will use sets that could feature multiple tight ends this year.

numbers watch

  • 26Dante Hendrix seeks to build on an already strong legacy here in the state of Indiana. The Florence, Ky. native will look to continue his record streak of 26 games with one reception. He broke the previous mark set by Robert Tonyan Jr. (21, 2015-16) last season.
  • 75 – Indiana State’s receiving corps is experienced, but ISU took a hit after Departure Home Morgan (39), Phazione McClurge (36), and Zach Larkin (29) as the Sycamores returned just 75 of 206 receptions last season. With a new offensive system in place and a multitude of players expected on the field, the new offensive coordinator Mike Bain will look for new weapons to fill the gaps heading into the 2022 season.
  • 177.5 – Indiana State’s passing count is up a tick from the 2019 season, with the Sycamores recording 1,952 receiving yards in the 2021 campaign. ISU posted at least 200 yards passing in four different games last season, including a season-high 243 yards in the season-final victory over Illinois State.
  • 140 & 1,781Dante Hendrix enters the 2022 season with 56 catches and 604 receiving yards Indiana State’s all-time career receiving mark set by Sam Logan (196 catches, 2,385 yards, 2003-06). In his three active seasons with the Sycamores, Hendrix averaged 593.7 receiving yards and 47 catches per season, but those numbers include rostering in just six games in 2021 due to injury (42 catches , 447 yards). With another typical season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Hendrix atop the all-time list this year.

Job group interviews

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