In the opening weeks of a college football season, familiar and friendly faces are a welcome sight. Returning impact players from the year prior are about as friendly as it gets.
Wide receiver Kyle Sheets established himself as a playmaker last year by leading The Rock in receptions, receiving touchdowns and receiving yards.
The now-senior went off against Clarion University last October 29 when he hauled in nine receptions for a stunning 206 yards and two touchdowns. This game came immediately after a string of three straight consistently fantastic games. Over the four-game stretch, he totaled a whopping 526 yards and five touchdowns.
These electric performances were a large part of his overall season numbers of 887 yards and 12 touchdowns on 54 receptions and helped contribute to his resume for the D2Football.com Elite 100 Watch List. Sheets was named to the second team and one of four receivers on either the first or second team.
The list has its fair share of NFL success stories as well. Sheets put himself in good company with names such as Tyson Bagent and Caleb Murphy recently on the list.
Bagent and Murphy both found themselves on NFL rosters after the cutdown to 53-man rosters which is one of the most important roster cutdown days in professional football.
Bagent, a former Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) player himself, is currently battling with Nathan Peterman to be QB2 on the Chicago Bears. Murphy is listed as a third-string outside linebacker for the Tennessee Titans.
Brent Grimes is a great example of a wildly successful football player from the PSAC. A Shippensburg University alum, Grimes played twelve NFL seasons and was selected to four pro bowls. The future for Sheets is uncertain, but professional success at some level from his position is not unprecedented.
Either way, it will take another successful year for Sheets to continue putting himself on the radar for professional scouts, which he has the talent to do.
Sheets built up a good repertoire with last year’s signal caller Noah Grover. The type of connection he will build up with a new quarterback is yet to be seen now that Grover is gone.
Winning football games is always a cumulative effort, but there is no denying the effect an elite receiver can have on a team and their season.
Every year, explosive offenses go far in college football. Sheets may be the key to explosive plays for The Rock. His placement on the Elite 100 Watch List is an accurate assessment of his impact.