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Keydets in good hands with talented receivers

Jakob Herres and Leroy Thomas lead a receivers room that is poised to shine this fall

ROANOKE, Va. – In their season opening 45-24 victory over Davidson, VMI had a balanced run-pass attack that was highlighted by multiple receivers that make the Keydets offense dangerous and hard to defend.

“Jakob Herres reminds me of Chris Cooley in that he’s probably the most competitive route runner that I’ve coached other than Chris or they might be equal,” said head coach Scott Wachenheim. “Jake just wants to win his one-on-one’s.”

Herres did just so on Saturday. He hauled in 7 catches for 79 yards and scored two touchdowns.

“Just one-on-one matchups each time and they left their defender out there with me and that’s a bad idea sometimes,” said Herres. “I’m just going to take advantage of that. Seth knows where to put the ball and I’m going to go get it.”

Leading the team with 10 receptions on Saturday was former Patrick Henry Patriot Leroy Thomas. The talented receiver has been hampered with injuries, most recently a high ankle sprain that limited him to just 3 games in the spring.

“It feels real good to step back on the field healthy and be able to flow without pain or injuries. It was a wonderful feeling and I haven’t felt that way in a while,” Thomas said.

As the season progresses, it’s almost a guarantee to see Herres be double-teamed by defenses. But the rest of the receiving core is ready to step up make a difference.

“Not only me but Mike Jackson, Chance Knox as well when he’s back ready to go. I believe all our freshmen can step up and play as well,” Thomas said. “But we all play a big part in that. We just have to step in and get the job done.”

“Our offense is designed to go to whoever is open and it’s like the wishbone, like the option, that Davidson implies,” Wachenheim said. “We’re the same way, we’re going to have a 4 or 5 man progression on every route we call. So if they double cover Jake we’ll go to somebody else and constantly move him to avoid double coverage.”

About the Author:

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.