Leaping ahead

Andrew Harner and Andrew Harner

For someone who was having problems catching the ball all through spring camp, Ray Hutson seemed to have hands like glue in last Saturday’s Spring Game. Hutson, a redshirt sophomore receiver, caught four balls for 65 yards and two touchdowns in the Orange’s 66-47 victory over the White (Orange was offense and White was defense), and that was enough for coach Dave Clawson to take note. ‘Ray has been, throughout spring, one of the more inconsistent guys catching it, and today he was on,’ Clawson said. ‘He caught everything thrown his way.’ Senior starting quarterback Tyler Sheehan also said he was impressed by what he saw from Hutson. ‘He’s getting more aggressive, going after the ball a little bit,’ Sheehan said. ‘With Ray’s size and speed and jumping ability, he needs to be a guy who can go up and get it.’ And Hutson showed he was not afraid to ‘go up and get it’ during the game. With a 6’2′ frame, he stands, along with senior Freddie Barnes, as the second tallest receiver on the team behind the 6’3′ DeMark Jenkins, and he used all 74 inches to make some acrobatic catches Saturday. After the offense was held to three-and-outs on their first five possessions, the second team finally got the ball moving during the sixth drive of the game. The drive started with Hutson making an eight yard grab, but four plays later was when he started his first half highlight reel. Facing a third and four, senior backup quarterback Andrew Beam put his faith in Hutson’s leaping ability, firing a pass up high where only Hutson could grab it. And he did, jumping against a defender to haul it in for a first down. The duo tried a similar play on first and 10, but Beam’s pass flew too high. However, the pair wasn’t discouraged. On the third to last drive in the first half, Hutson found himself wide open on the right sideline at the end zone, but Beam’s 38-yard pass was a bit underthrown. However, Hutson was able to shift his feet and spin his body around at the goal line to recover the errant pass and give the Orange a touchdown. And while Hutson said he ‘was just doing his job’ in the game, he is still hopeful he caught the coaches’ eyes with his play. ‘Hopefully it does,’ Hutson said. ‘I’m going to work hard in the summer, and I’m going to challenge everybody that’s in front of me.’