HARRISONBURG – He’s likely to be James Madison’s No. 1 wide receiver to begin the season.
But after practice on Monday, Kyndel Dean said he knows to fill that role properly he’ll have to do more than catch passes.
“I want to be the guy,” Dean said. “But sometimes it’s not just about me.”
Dean, who hauled in 47 grabs for 614 yards and five touchdowns as a freshman last season, said he’s learned through the installation of new system first-year coach Curt Cignetti and offensive coordinator Shane Montgomery have implemented, the scheme works better when wide receivers are involved in all areas of the game.
“You’ve got to make sure you do your job to get other people open,” Dean said. “I feel like there’s a lot of diversity in the offense and everyone touches the ball, so sometimes it’s what you do without the ball. You have to make sure you block for your friends, make sure they don’t get hurt and do your job the way it’s supposed to be done.”
Dean said more responsibility as a receiver should come naturally since he’s entering his second year as a full-time starter and has a more developed relationship with quarterback Ben DiNucci since the two played together last year.
DiNucci and Dean have spent time this summer trying to perfect some of the new pass concepts and routes Montgomery utilizes, according to the wide receiver, who said there's one route in particular which could aid his game.
“I really, truly like the lightning route,” Dean said. “It’s like an 8-yard hitch, but you break it off real smooth. I can get the [defensive back] running like I’m about to run a go-route or a comeback and then I break it off real fast. It’s real quick.”
- James Madison is now in its second full week of training camp, and Cignetti said, “it’s a week where the guys have to push through it mentally because we’re still installing.”
- Cignetti said he thought the offensive line played well in this past Saturday’s scrimmage and that the unit is meshing well together.
- One player to watch on the offensive line is redshirt junior Truvell Wilson. Wilson has taken the majority of first-team reps at left guard throughout training camp. “He’s a guy that made a lot of progress in the spring,” Cignetti said. “And he’s picked right up and taken it to another level here in the fall.”
- Safety Adam Smith, who missed all of spring recovering from injury, said he’s picked up the defense quickly. He said safeties coach Ryan Smith, “is a pro and the way he handles things in the film room and during the walkthrough on the field, he makes it easy to learn.”
- A scout from the New York Jets attended Monday’s practice. That makes seven NFL clubs – Baltimore, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New York Jets, Philadelphia and Seattle – that have stopped by Bridgeforth Stadium since the start of training camp.