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'They're only going to get better' - Auburn receivers, young and old, impress in win
Kyle Davis' one-handed grab grabbed the attention of college football fans.
Sept. 11, 2016

By Jeff Shearer

AUBURN, Ala. - Kyle Davis represents Auburn's rookie receivers. Flashy freshmen.

Marcus Davis represents Auburn's veteran pass catchers. Steady seniors.

In Auburn's offense, with Sean White completing nearly 74 percent to 10 targets in Saturday's 51-14 win over Arkansas State, there was more than enough room for both.

"It's really not competition," said senior Tony Stevens, Auburn's leading receiver with four catches for 75 yards and two touchdowns. "Because, if I make a catch, that's going to motivate somebody else to go out there and make a catch. That's just building everybody's confidence at the end of the day."

The newcomers impressed Stevens.

"They looked pretty good," he said. "Kyle (Davis), Nate (Craig-Myers), Eli (Stove). They looked natural out there. It's good to get freshmen in there early because we have a long season ahead of us. They got their feet wet tonight."

Davis delivered the most replayed reception, a dazzling one-hander between two defenders that gained 42 yards and left his fellow receivers in awe.

"I was next to Darius (Slayton)," said sophomore Will Hastings. "He went up, and I said, `Did he just catch that?' Darius said, `He just caught that.' And I said, `Oh my gosh,' I couldn't believe it. It was unbelievable. Great catch."

Hastings is quite a story himself. He walked on as a kicker before switching to receiver, the position at which he starred in high school in Arkansas.

In Auburn's first two games, Hastings' five receptions have all resulted in first downs or a touchdown, including a 29-yarder that gave the Tigers a 35-7 lead against Arkansas State.



"I just go in and try to do my job," Hastings said. "I obviously recognize it's third down or fourth down. I look at the sticks and make sure I get my depth, and make sure I catch the ball."

The newcomers earned high marks from their quarterback.

"I think it shows that the moment is not too big for them," White said. "And I knew that. You can just tell. Those guys are players. They're dogs. They're ready to go up and make plays.

"Kyle, with that catch, was unbelievable. Nate had a big third down, about a half a yard short, but that's a big catch. Nate and Kyle both, and Eli. I think the more weeks that go by, the more practice reps they get, they're only going to get better."

<em> Tony Stevens scored two touchdowns against Arkansas State.</em>
Tony Stevens scored two touchdowns against Arkansas State.

Jeff Shearer is a Senior Writer at Follow him on Twitter:

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