Aug. 12, 2002
Berkeley, Ca. - This fall, wide receiver Geoff McArthur gets to take a second shot at his sophomore year.
After making four receptions for 32 yards in last season's opener vs. Illinois, McArthur appeared to be on the brink of a breakout campaign. But a season-ending non-football related accident later the same day forced him the sidelines for the remainder of the year due to a torn triceps.
For many players, having to sit and watch their teammates from the bench is one of the hardest things to do. However, McArthur took the positive approach. Instead, he looks back on last year's lost season as a much-needed learning experience rather than a dismal failure.
Now, McArthur sees a new season ahead with fresh new optimism in 2002. He remains confident that he'll be able to return to the form that earned him a team-high 336 receiving yards as a freshman in 2000, especially with the offensive-minded Jeff Tedford at the helm.
"Last year was a huge learning experience for me," said McArthur, a 6-1, 200-pounder out of Los Angeles. "I sat on the sideline and had to watch my team go through a lot of difficult times, but I think it gave me an opportunity to grow and learn. I got a chance to mature a little bit, and now I'm ready to take on the job as a leader on the field."
To secure that spot, McArthur still has a lot to prove with a dozen players in the mix at wide receiver. Although he emerged with a No. 1 spot on the depth chart coming out of spring practice, the receiving corps has doubled in size in the last six months. During the spring workouts, only six wideouts were on the roster; now, the number has grown to 12.
"No one is really set in a permanent spot right now," said wide receiver coach Eric Kiesau. "I think that the competition is healthy for us because no one guy can get lackadaisical in assuming a starting spot. Geoff (McArthur) has the tools to be a great receiver and he's working hard in practice. He's the kind of guy we need to light the fire and get the rest of the guys going."
McArthur has the edge on most of the newcomers because he played well in the spring and has collegiate experience with the Bears. But he knows that there are 11 other guys looking to battle him for playing time.
Senior LaShaun Ward, junior Chase Lyman and sophomore Burl Toler lead the list of returning players vying for the position, with several newcomers, including David Gray, Jonathan Makonnen and Junior Brignac, also in the hunt.
McArthur said he welcomes the increased competition, knowing that the end result will be a better set of receivers.
"My goal is to win games," McArthur said. "If it means catching three balls and having a minimal amount of yards while somebody else makes the plays ... if that helps us get a W, I'm all for it. I won't be happy unless we're winning. One man can't make a team, so you have to have the team attitude."
Chase Lyman injury update: Junior wide receiver Chase Lyman, who broke a finger in practice Saturday morning, will undergo surgery for the injury Tuesday afternoon. Head coach Jeff Tedford said he won't know how soon Lyman will be able to return until after the doctors perform the procedure.