There are plenty of opportunities for Marshall wide receivers this spring as the position has been beset with injuries. The Thundering Herd’s top two pass catchers from a year ago are not fully participating in spring drills due to injury. Aaron Dobson and Antavious Wilson have been practicing in blue shirts; which means limited action.
One player hoping to capitalize on their absence is Wayne Bonner. The junior college transfer was expected to be an impact player a year ago after catching eight passes for 89 yards in 2009, but was academically ineligible for the whole season. He’s since straightened out his grades and is looking to be a playmaker in his final season with Marshall.
“I just put in more effort than I ever did [before] and just tried to do my best in the classroom and get more tutoring,” said Bonner of his academic problems. “[I worked] hard in the offseason on the field and getting my grades right, that’s what [held] me out last year. Grades always have to come first. It was a real hard challenge because being an athlete and then trying to work in the classroom. Trying to be the best on the field and the best in the classroom is not as easy as everybody thinks.”
Now that Bonner is cleared to play, he’s hoping to do this season what many expected him to do last season.
“When I first got here I came in as a playmaker, but I’ve never had the chance to show it,” said the Milledgeville, Ga. native. “Hopefully during my last year I can prove to everybody that I’m a playmaker.”
Bonner was highly recruited out of high school, but because of poor grades he ended up at East Mississippi Community College where he caught 23 passes for 457 yards and seven touchdowns.
So far this spring, Bonner has been proving that he can be a playmaker and with his size (6-foot-4, 199-pounds) he could provide Marshall with another outside threat.
“I want to be that playmaker and show my fans and make up for the years I left out there.”