October 26, 2008

Receiver hopes to help Tulane's struggles

As Tulane's 2008 football season continues its plummet to lower depths, members of the heralded 2009 recruiting class look on and contemplate how their presence could aid things this season and in the future.

One of those players is Montgomery, Ala., native Wilson Van Hooser, who was the first prospect to pull the trigger for the Green Wave.

As Tulane quarterback Kevin Moore and Co. continue to struggle with the passing attack, Van Hooser has looked on sympathetically.

"Watching and listening to these games, I can't express how bad I want to be on the field," said the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Van Hooser.

"It kills them that Jeremy Williams is out. Everybody can see how big of plays he was making. He is a playmaker. It kills a team when you don't have your playmaker. You have to have your best players able to play."

Van Hooser claims he intended from the beginning to make a run at playing time during his freshman campaign, but the stagnant passing game of late has made those goals seem all the more realistic.

"If that is the case, so be it," said the receiver, who has been on hand to see Tulane play Alabama, ECU and Rice. "I am going to be working my tail off. Even if they don't expect me to play right away, I am going to work my tail off so I can get some playing time. That is just something I have always planned on doing is just to see if I can compete for a starting job."

But for now, Van Hooser is focusing on his senior season at Montgomery Trinity, which has been a stark contrast from his junior year.

Last year, Van Hooser hauled in 43 receptions for 749 yards and 10 touchdowns. But this season, the team experienced a change in offensive philosophy due to personnel at the quarterback position.

"I'm basically just used as an extended running back," Van Hooser said. "I don't mind as long as we are winning. It's not my style at all though. Last year, I had 12 or 13 plays for over 20 yards, but that was because we had a quarterback that could throw it about 50 yards, which is good for high school. That's basically all I did last year was go deep because that is my strength."

Van Hooser and his team have clinched second place in their region and will host a playoff game when postseason action gets underway in a few weeks.

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