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Football journal: Huntley wide receiver Josh Esikiel

Published: Sunday, Aug. 24, 2014 2:50 p.m. CDT
(Don Lansu)
Shaw Media file photo Huntley receiver Josh Esikiel runs for extra yardage as he slips past Bartlett linebacker Jeff Mitchell after catching a pass last season at Huntley.

Being able to play the game of football is a blessing.

Not everybody has the opportunity to play. And I feel like I play the best position in the game, wide receiver.

Being a wideout isn’t easy. If you’re not mentally tough as a wide receiver, being able to show off your talents every game can be hard. There are times when you are tired and in your mind you think you can’t run another route, but you’ve got to fight through it. You must be able to run your routes hard every play to be able to get open and help your team.

Being a wideout, you must have a certain swagger. You have to find your game. Whether it’s your speed, height or strength, you have to know what your strengths are and use those to your advantage.

It might be route-running, play-making ability, being able to turn a 5-yard hitch into a 20-yard gain.

Then, you have to have quick feet and strength to be able to get off the line, especially going against a physical cornerback. You have to use technique. Assistant coach Mike Naymola always tells us to take care of the little things and big plays will come.

Another thing receivers must know is the situation of the game. If your team needs 7 yards on third down, you got to push that route to 8 yards to get the first down. Watching film is also a very important step in being a receiver, so you can see the things you did that were both good or bad.

Another thing coach Naymola taught me is that everything you do as a wideout you have to do it with purpose, because what would be the point of doing it if you’re not giving it your all?

Another thing we take pride in is how we look on the field. Like what kind of gloves and cleats you have this year. Some wear arm sleeves and all different kinds of stuff, because if you look good, you feel good. Some guys don’t care as much about their appearance and just focus on getting the job done. I personally like to look good, but try not to overdo it, as long as it doesn’t affect my play.

That stuff doesn’t matter if you don’t work your tail off in the offseason. It takes commitment. You have to learn how to get past your comfort zone and keep pushing. When you’re tired, you have to keep running your route as hard as possible or you’re not going to get the ball.

Friday nights are right around the corner and I feel like I’m ready.

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