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Will Hastings

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What do you guys think of Will Hastings being one of our top targets? He does not seem to be as athletic, fast, or as big as our other receivers. Does him showing up as a top 2 or 3 target say a whole lot about him or more about the receivers around him? Just Curious.

Edited by GordoAU

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Actually is very athletic and the key to WH is something I have been seeing more and more of.  Soccer players make great WR!  Soccer players learn great footwork and cutting ability.  WH is one of those WR that Belichick loves.  He runs great routes and has good hands.  Yes he dropped a screen the other day, but even Rice dropped 1 or 2 in his day.  He doesn't have the height that the others do, but if QB is throwing to where is going to be and not where he is then he could have a lot of potential.

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He looked very good and even more important Stidham looked to very confident in him at A-Day.

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My only concern for Hastings is strength and how that will stand up against harder hitting DBs in the SEC. Very talented, just hope he can hold on to the ball and most importantly not get hurt. 

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39 minutes ago, WarEagleHunter1221 said:

My only concern for Hastings is strength and how that will stand up against harder hitting DBs in the SEC. Very talented, just hope he can hold on to the ball and most importantly not get hurt. 

http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2017/04/auburn_walk-on_receiver_will_h.html

"Big receivers, you can put your hands on them, you can bump, you can get a re-route, but with Will, he'll give you a little wiggle and squeeze past you," Tray Matthews said. "He's just got a little sneaky speed."  Not bad coming from one of our hardest hitting defensive players we have.

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Under our old offensive brain trust pulling the strings I would not have felt as comfortable with him out there due to the other guys on the WR unit that we have. But we now have a guy who uses a more complicated passing scheme and knows how to get play makers the ball in space (did anyone see the new WR screens? there wasn't one guy trying to block 2 DBs out there!). If CCL thinks he can be a weapon I feel comfortable knowing that CCL knows how to get him the ball in a position to succeed. I don't think our old OC(s) would've been up to the task considering their roster management history. WH could excel in the role he was given on A-Day and the fact that we will actually be attacking every portion of the field through the air FINALLY (slants?? crossing routes?? oh my..) could mean WH gets a lot of looks underneath. IMO the more the other WRs step up the more attention will be placed on them, opening things up even more for WH.

In the past, the way to beat Gus is to make him get a small amount of yards at a time. Usually long drives meant Gus pulls some cutesy BS that kills a drive once we are humming along. I suspect teams will let our QB dump off to WH in an attempt to make us methodically drive down the field.

Edited by Tiger
typo
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15 minutes ago, abw0004 said:

http://www.al.com/auburnfootball/index.ssf/2017/04/auburn_walk-on_receiver_will_h.html

"Big receivers, you can put your hands on them, you can bump, you can get a re-route, but with Will, he'll give you a little wiggle and squeeze past you," Tray Matthews said. "He's just got a little sneaky speed."  Not bad coming from one of our hardest hitting defensive players we have.

Nice compliment, but Tray Matthews has some of the worst technique of any defensive back I have ever seen. His assessment makes sense though. It is seen constantly with smaller receivers.

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As long as Will doesn't fumble, I like him. Like someone mentioned weeks ago. Not on jump balls or corner fades. 

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He fumbled.  Probably not a great blocker because of size and strength mismatch with DB's (I haven't watched that specifically so just a guess based what it takes to block).  Those are scarlet letters for GM.  I wonder how much cognitive dissonance GM is experiencing over this.  It will be interesting to see the receiver rotation next year with TE's, Cox, KJ out of the backfield and Stove, Davis, Slayton, NCM, McClain, and KD if he returns.  If Hastings breaks that lineup for significant playing time, I'll be shocked.  But, I'll also be interested to see how much we substitute overall at the position too.

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23 minutes ago, gr82b4au said:

I have rarely seen as much disdain for a WR as I have for Hastings by a fan base. People on other AU boards are so mad that Gus is playing him. If the guy can get open, catch the ball (and hold on the the ball), is trusted by the starting QB, and continuously moves the sticks then he should play. Pretty simple really. If he has issues then he will sit the bench. 

I just want to win football games. I don't care if we have circus clowns and midgets on the field as long as we win. 

I have not heard of this.  I thought everyone loved him after his performance against Clemson last year.  I know he fumbled on A-Day, but so did Kam Martin at the goal line.  I hope that isn't true.  I have high hopes for this guy as I have heard Stidham made Hastings his go-to guy.

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4 minutes ago, gr82b4au said:

I have rarely seen as much disdain for a WR as I have for Hastings by a fan base. People on other AU boards are so mad that Gus is playing him. If the guy can get open, catch the ball (and hold on the the ball), is trusted by the starting QB, and continuously moves the sticks then he should play. Pretty simple really. If he has issues then he will sit the bench. 

I just want to win football games. I don't care if we have circus clowns and midgets on the field as long as we win. 

Isn't it funny that people aren't more upset with their NSD heroes they think should be playing more instead? Also, why aren't people equally preoccupied with NCM's monster day? I mean, he looked exactly like what we hoped he would look like. Or McClain with that sick catch and run. I mean, there was a lot to be happy about. But we should probably just piss and moan because a guy who doesn't fit our preconceived notions of what a football player should look like went out and played really well. It happens every season with Auburn fans. Tre Mason wasn't big enough, either, according to many.

By the way, I don't think this thread is bashing Hastings at all. It's not unfair to wonder if he's big enough to safely play ball. I just think a slightly deeper look into the variables of the sport reveal that it's not that important. (Saying he's not athletic enough is somewhat ignorant, though. No need to discuss why people just assume that about him. Folks can get touchy.)

Btw, ASU had 7 guys with double digit catches last season. 2 were RBs and none were TEs. If we were to replicate 5 WRs with double digit catches, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Hastings be on the low end of that list.

 

 

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7 minutes ago, McLoofus said:

Isn't it funny that people aren't more upset with their NSD heroes they think should be playing more instead? Also, why aren't people equally preoccupied with NCM's monster day? I mean, he looked exactly like what we hoped he would look like. Or McClain with that sick catch and run. I mean, there was a lot to be happy about. But we should probably just piss and moan because a guy who doesn't fit our preconceived notions of what a football player should look like went out and played really well. It happens every season with Auburn fans. Tre Mason wasn't big enough, either, according to many.

By the way, I don't think this thread is bashing Hastings at all. It's not unfair to wonder if he's big enough to safely play ball. I just think a slightly deeper look into the variables of the sport reveal that it's not that important. (Saying he's not athletic enough is somewhat ignorant, though. No need to discuss why people just assume that about him. Folks can get touchy.)

Btw, ASU had 7 guys with double digit catches last season. 2 were RBs and none were TEs. If we were to replicate 5 WRs with double digit catches, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Hastings be on the low end of that list.

 

 

Good post, young sir.

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I like Hastings as much as any other guy if he's being productive. 

IIRC, Hastings role diminished somewhat heavily after the first few games of last season. Not sure if it was durability, different competition or what but I figured it was due to his size/strength not making him an effective enough blocker. 

That may be less relevant now or Hastings may have improved or who knows but I would be surprised to see him finish the season in our team's top 5 for receiving yards. NCM, KD (please), RD, Stove, McClain, Slayton, etc. I think we have too many weapons. 

I would like to see him on the field if he's up there in talent. He's always seemed to have great separation and good hands. 

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The question does go back to blocking ability. Will defenses automatically know that it is a pass play when WH is in the game and more chance of a run when he is not in the game? Or at least the run is not coming to his side? That can be a great disadvantage.

Edited by 80Tiger
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As far as an athlete dudes a weight room legend. I love him on the field as long as it's in the slot. High football IQ and finds ways to get open. Last season they got too pretty and had him outside way too many times trying to pass to him down the field

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I didn't feel good about him until I saw him last Saturday.  He is quick as lightning and not afraid to go across the middle.  Reminds me of those guys the Patriots have.  

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4 hours ago, oracle79 said:

He fumbled.  Probably not a great blocker because of size and strength mismatch with DB's (I haven't watched that specifically so just a guess based what it takes to block).  Those are scarlet letters for GM.  I wonder how much cognitive dissonance GM is experiencing over this.  It will be interesting to see the receiver rotation next year with TE's, Cox, KJ out of the backfield and Stove, Davis, Slayton, NCM, McClain, and KD if he returns.  If Hastings breaks that lineup for significant playing time, I'll be shocked.  But, I'll also be interested to see how much we substitute overall at the position too.

This..Also will Jason Smith even be involved much? We got plenty options and feel even more confident with Stidham on the team

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3 hours ago, 80Tiger said:

The question does go back to blocking ability. Will defenses automatically know that it is a pass play when WH is in the game and more chance of a run when he is not in the game? Or at least the run is not coming to his side? That can be a great disadvantage.

^^This^^

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Will is a VERY reliable pass catcher and route runner. Definitely a place for him on this TEAM. Glad he is a Tiger !!!

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6 hours ago, WarEagleHunter1221 said:

My only concern for Hastings is strength and how that will stand up against harder hitting DBs in the SEC. Very talented, just hope he can hold on to the ball and most importantly not get hurt. 

This. He fumbled the ball twice in the A-Day game, and lost one of them. 

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The most clutch receiver Clemson has had the last two years has been a guy listed at 5'10", 180. People universally scoff at those numbers. More like 5'9", 175....maybe. He was a walk on that was awarded a scholarship two years ago. You might remember he's the guy who caught the winning TD in the title game. Auburn has recruited "Blue chip" receivers for a number of years and has had very little ROI. We have needed a steady, possession type receiver for years now. Someone more interested in moving the chains than worrying about how many TD catches he has. Holding on to the ball is obviously going to need to be corrected. All you have to do is look at the Renfrows, Amandolas, Edelmans, etc. to see the value in a fearless, sure handed receiver that will put in the work to overcome physical shortcomings. Just one man's opinion. 

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9 hours ago, McLoofus said:

Isn't it funny that people aren't more upset with their NSD heroes they think should be playing more instead? Also, why aren't people equally preoccupied with NCM's monster day? I mean, he looked exactly like what we hoped he would look like. Or McClain with that sick catch and run. I mean, there was a lot to be happy about. But we should probably just piss and moan because a guy who doesn't fit our preconceived notions of what a football player should look like went out and played really well. It happens every season with Auburn fans. Tre Mason wasn't big enough, either, according to many.

By the way, I don't think this thread is bashing Hastings at all. It's not unfair to wonder if he's big enough to safely play ball. I just think a slightly deeper look into the variables of the sport reveal that it's not that important. (Saying he's not athletic enough is somewhat ignorant, though. No need to discuss why people just assume that about him. Folks can get touchy.)

Btw, ASU had 7 guys with double digit catches last season. 2 were RBs and none were TEs. If we were to replicate 5 WRs with double digit catches, I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Hastings be on the low end of that list.

 

 

Definitely not trying to bash Hastings at all. Just looking at him stand by other receivers he doesn't look like he's in the same league.  Nothing to do with skin color! haha I thought it was a just question. 

Edited by GordoAU

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