By ANDY WOLF
America’s Finest Receivers on Saturdays.
Yes, it’s pronounced like the hairstyle.
It’s a lifestyle that helps the wideouts on the University of Findlay football team attack every day.
“It just doesn’t come on Saturday,” senior Jacob Allton said.
The acronym originated a few years ago from the minds of now-graduated receivers Airion Kosak and Findlay High grad Dylan Blunk.
It’s stuck as a high standard for the Oilers’ receiving corps.
Each member has a white, rubber wristband with the letters “AFROS” to remember the family they are part of.
“It’s kind of like a sense of pride, something to live up to every time we step on the field,” senior Jason Moore said.
Kosak (25 catches, 455 yards, 6 TDs), a deep threat in his own respect, is the only departed member of the group from last season with 10 or more catches.
Back is an eclectic mix of playmakers of all sizes and skill sets.
All are for the choosing of fourth-year starter Rhys Gervais who keeps opposing defenses guessing by evenly distributing the football.
Look no further than Moore, a 6-foot-3, 215-pound do-it-all threat.
The master of the end-zone jump ball, the fourth-year senior will all but likely conclude his UF career with every major receiving record.
He’s tallied 2,722 yards and 36 career touchdown passes. His touchdown totals were 15 and 14 in the last two seasons while totaling 2,095 yards on 136 grabs in appearing on a few All-American teams.
Moore needs four receptions to pass Lloyd Henry (177 from 2011 to 2014) for first all-time.
Opposite Moore is another physical mismatch in the 6-foot-5 Drew Ogletree.
Last season, Gervais began lofting up similar jump balls to let him go get.
In turn, Ogletree turned in five touchdowns on 23 catches for 328 yards in a breakout sophomore campaign.
Having a teammate like Moore ahead of him has helped the now junior mature.
“Coming in as a freshman, I had the greatest mentor ever in Jason Moore, one of the best ever here,” Ogletree said. “Once I started playing more, me and him got to talking a lot more, just seeing him progress as an athlete led me to follow down the same path as him.”
Olgtree’s height alone made him unguardable in UF’s postseason opener against Shepherd. In that game, he turned in career highs of 81 yards on six catches and picked up several pass interference calls to help UF get the win.
“I had a really good season last year, especially that Shepherd game, to build my confidence even more. I’m excited for my junior year,” he said.
Jacob Hill (5-7, 180) won’t go over you. But blink twice, and he’ll scoot by you.
Or as he prefers it — shift.
Hill is the self-proclaimed lone member of the “shift team”, adopting the term years ago in high school.
“I’d rather go around you than through you,” said Hill, a Syracuse transfer. “I’m not the biggest guy, and also I like my body. I want to stay healthy, so the little shift team carried into it.”
In his first year at UF, Hill finished second on the team with 1,198 all-purpose yards and 35 receptions (397 yards, 3 TDs).
Last, but not least, is Allton (25 catches, 292 yards).
When he’s not filling in as UF’s emergency kicker, he can found making a tough catch in traffic over the middle or just beyond the sticks for a first down.
The overall diversity pays dividends.
“There’s always a mismatch on the field somewhere,” Moore said. “Whatever the defense gives us, we find a way to exploit it. That’s the thing about our receiving corps. No two receivers are the same.”
Findlay head coach Rob Keys said he set out to recruit certain body types and skill sets.
He also noted sophomore Kijana Caldwell (6-1, 173) has moved into the mix to see more time.
Senior H-back Jacob Boucher (25, 291) also provides some pop as a receiving threat — putting up nearly identical numbers to Allton last season.
He’s just another Jacob to account for.
“(Before) it (was) nice to be the only Jacob,” Hill said with a laugh. “Now everybody is Jacob.”
“I called him ‘Hill’ all the time and I’ll call Boucher ‘Boucher,’” Allton said in follow up.
As cliche as it often is, Allton gets the moniker of “Jake the Snake.”
But for that, there can be only one.
“I used to be ‘Jake the Snake’ when I was younger but it just kind of faded away; now this is the snake,” Hill said, pointing to Allton.
Football: Receiving corp is a dangerous bunch
By ANDY WOLF