Football Camp Report: The Receivers

Nick Talbert

Aug. 17, 2011

Bronx, N.Y. - Photo Gallery: WR/TE

Our first positional look at the 2011 Fordham University football camp involved the quarterbacks. Today we'll take a look at the player they will be throwing to: the wide receivers and tight ends.

The Ram receiving corps lost a plethora of experience with the graduation of the top three receivers from last fall: Jason Caldwell, Stephen Skelton and David Moore, who combined to make 140 catches for 1,674 yards and eight touchdowns.

But that's not to say that the Rams don't have some talented receivers returning for 2011. The Fordham receiving unit will be led by junior Nick Talbert, the top returning pass catcher from 2010 when he caught 19 passes for 175 yards, fourth best on the team. His top game was a six-catch, 79-yard game at Yale, where he also hauled in a season-long 22-yard pass. Talbert will most likely line up at tight end in 2011.

Other receivers back from 2011 include senior Aaron Mays, who gained experience last year with four receptions for 53 yards in four games as well as grabbing two passes in the 2011 Spring Game, and red-shirt senior Brandon Anderson, who caught a pair of passes in the 2011 Spring Game and had a 16-yard reception in the 2010 season opener at Bryant.

Also playing wide out in 2011 will be junior Blake Wayne, the starting signal caller from 2010. Head coach Tom Masella decided to move Wayne out to receiver to take advantage of his athleticism. Last year, Wayne completed 145 of 241 passes (60.2%) for 1,614 yards and six touchdowns and he also rushed 109 times for 458 yards (4.2 yards/carry) with four scores. He became the first quarterback in school history to rush for more than 100 yards in a game when he gained 108 yards on 20 carries with one touchdown (11 yards) at Holy Cross.

Blake will be joined at receiver by a junior college teammate, Greg Wilson, who joins the Fordham roster after two years at Diablo Valley Community College, where he was a First Team All-State and All-Conference wide receiver.

Also looking for time at receiver will be senior Mark Harvey, who moved from running back and capped his spring season with four receptions in the 2011 Spring Game, sophomore Andrew Spanarkel, who made two catches for 82 yards, including a 55-yard touchdown reception, in the 2011 Spring Game, and junior James Avedesian, a converted quarterback.

Lourenzo Smith

Fordham also has a talented group of rookie receivers, including Samuel Ajala, Marc DeSisto, Stephen Hodge, Alex Leo, Adam Malkiewicz, Lourenzo Smith, Brian Wetzel and David Lulgjuraj.

Ajala, a graduate of DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Texas, was a Second Team All-District 11-5A selection last fall when he caught 67 passes for 924 yards (13.8 average) and six touchdowns, all team highs. DeSisto, who attended Worcester Academy in 2010 after graduating from Barrington High School in 2010, was a two-time All-State wide receiver at Barrington, scoring 16 all-purpose touchdowns in 2009. Hodge, attended Valley Forge Military Academy in 2010-11 where he led the team to a national prep school championship, registering 37 receptions for 689 yards and eight touchdowns in 2010. Leo, a graduate of Immaculata High School, was named Second Team All-Conference and Honorable Mention All-Area in 2010. Malkiewicz, a graduate of The Bishop's School, was named First Team All-Coastal League last fall, averaging 18.1 yards/reception. Smith, a product of North Richland High School, was a two-time All-District selection at wide receiver. Wetzel, a graduate of Jesuit College Prep in Dallas, Texas, received First Team 5A All-District honors in both football and basketball (point guard) both as a junior and senior.

Anthony Lubischer

Joining Talbert at tight end will be seniors Brad Pierre and Dan Parker and junior Eli Tenuta, who will look to replace the departed Skelton. Pierre appeared in ten games as a junior, starting three, and caught four passes for 42 yards (10.5 yards/reception). Tenuta did not see varsity action for the Rams in 2010 after transferring in from Brown University.

Others who are fighting for playing time at tight end include junior Daniel Avedesian, a converted linebacker, junior Anthony Lubischer, who also played linebacker last year, senior Isaiah Leake, another former linebacker who missed all of the 2010 season with an injury, and Kevin Scanlon, who played on the defensive line with the junior varsity last fall.

New to the roster at tight end are freshman Dan Light and Kevin Soares. Light, a graduate of St. John's High School in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, was named 2010 Central Massachusetts Player of the Year as well as Offensive MVP in Central Massachusetts, taking over at quarterback at St. John's for current Fordham quarterback Griffin Murphy. Soares, a graduate of Croton-Harmon High School, was an All-Section and two-time All-League selection in football.