This is the fourth in a series of position group previews throughout Sacramento State training camp. To view all stories about the Hornets, select the "News" button at the top of the page.
SACRAMENTO STATE'S COLLEGE FOOTBALL KICKOFF IS COMING SOON
Get your 2019 college football season started the right way at Sacramento State's College Football Kickoff on Saturday, Aug. 24, at Hornet Stadium from 6-9 p.m.. The free, family-friendly event, will feature tailgate games, football drills, opportunities for pictures and autographs with Sacramento State coaches and players, and performances from the marching band, cheer and dance teams.
WIDE RECEIVERS PREVIEW
The biggest hole to fill for the offense will be at wide receiver where the team lost three starters from a year ago who combined for over 1,000 yards and four touchdowns. Andre Lindsey and Jaelin Ratliff both graduated and will leave the team searching for another deep-ball threat. The pair ranked 1-2 in the FCS in 2017 in yards per reception and each have been atop the Big Sky standings the last two seasons. Along with their graduation, the team was dealt an additional blow when Johnnie Rucker suffered a knee injury during spring practice and will be forced to redshirt in 2019. Rucker was the leading returning receiver on the team with 734 career yards and seven touchdowns.
After leading the team in nearly every receiving category last season, sophomore Pierre Williams will likely be the primary focus of the team's passing attack. Williams caught 31 passes for 535 and five touchdowns for the best Hornet numbers in each category. He was the only player on the team to catch a pass in all 10 games and ended the season with 17 grabs over the final four games.
Tao McClinton worked his way into the rotation over the final few games of last season and should see increased productivity in 2019. The sophomore finished last year with four receptions for 46 yards — all in the last two contests — and ranks second among active returners on the team.
Isaiah Gable, who was a running back for the team during his first two seasons, moved to wide receiver during the spring. The junior rushed for 427 yards over the past two seasons and scored a touchdown. He also caught a pair of passes in that span.
Dewey Cotton and Jeremiah Foster complete the returners. Cotton caught one pass during his redshirt freshman seasons in 2018 while Foster missed most of the season due to injury. The pair will give Hornet quarterbacks two vastly different targets as Cotton stands at 5-foot-5 and Foster is listed as 6-foot-5.
Twelve newcomers are currently slated to compete at the position during the year. The group includes Alabama A&M transfer Isaiah Bailey, four junior college transfers and six freshmen. Bailey is a local product who attended Jesuit HS and American River JC before playing at Alabama A&M. While with the Bulldogs he caught 34 passes for 514 yards and six touchdowns in 2017.
Marqui Johnson and Xavier Mason were both part of the team's initial recruiting class under Troy Taylor's staff. Johnson was a three-star recruit who showed his versatility as a senior with 341 rushing yards, 505 receiving yards and a combined 13 touchdowns. Mason had 172 career receptions for 2,473 yards and 24 touchdowns in three seasons at Stadium HS in Tacoma, Wash. As a senior, he caught 82 passes for 958 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Two freshmen from the Sac-Joaquin Section have also made an impact during the first week of camp. Parker Clayton brings his knowledge of the offense from Folsom HS and has made several highlight reel grabs in practice. During his high school career, Clayton had 1,160 total yards and also recorded 134 tackles as a safety. Andrew Hem comes from McNair HS in Stockton, Calif., where he accumulated 3,113 career yards of total offense. His biggest season came during his junior year where he had 1,350 receiving yards and scored 17 touchdowns in 11 games. Johnny Guzman, who played at Del Oro HS, is also part of the incoming class. Guzman was named first team all-metro by the Sacramento Bee as an all-purpose player. During his senior season, he had four non-offensive touchdowns with two on punt returns, one on a kickoff and one on an interception.
Pierre Williams (7 career starts, 31 rec., 553 yards, 5 TDs)
Andre Lindsey (14 career starts)
Jaelin Ratliff (28 career starts)
Dewey Cotton (5-5, 150, So., Stockton, Calif./St. Mary's HS)
Jeremiah Foster (6-4, 175, So., Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS)
Isaiah Gable (5-4, 150, Jr., Sylmar, Calif./Arleta HS)
DJ Lacy (5-9, 160, RSr., San Diego, Calif./Butte JC)
Tao McClinton (6-4, 210, So., Seattle, Wash./Sammamish HS)
Johnnie Rucker (6-3, 200, Sr., Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS)
Pierre Williams (6-1, 210, So., Gustine, Calif./Patterson HS)
Isaiah Bailey (6-2, 205, Sr., Sacramento, Calif./Alabama A&M)
Parker Clayton (6-0, 185, Fr., Folsom, Calif./Folsom HS)
Dylan Davis (5-9, 160, Fr., Lakewood, Calif./Millikan HS)
Johnny Guzman (6-2, 180, Fr., Loomis, Calif./Del Oro HS)
Andrew Hem (5-8, 140, Fr., Stockton, Calif./McNair HS)
Marqui Johnson (5-8, 170, Fr., Philadelphia, Pa./Saguaro HS)
Xavier Mason (6-0, 195, Fr., Tacoma, Wash./Stadium HS)
PJ Reichert (6-3, 185, Jr., Gilroy, Calif./Gavilan JC)
Paul Thie (6-0, 180, Fr., Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto HS)
Jacob Torrez (5-10, 170, So., Fresno, Calif./Fresno City JC)
Lucas Triplett (6-2, 210, Jr., Fort Bragg, Calif./Santa Rosa JC)