HERO Sports is counting down the days until the kickoff of the 2018 college football season on Saturday, Aug. 25, by featuring the best player in the FBS at each jersey number, from 99-1. Each day, from May 18 through Aug. 24, we'll publish one article showcasing the best player whose jersey number matches the number of days remaining.
Troy receiver Deondre Douglas wasn't bad as a true freshman in 2015 but he didn't have many big plays and was rarely a factor in the passing game.
Then he started breathing. Literally.
“I was running a lot different last year,” Douglas said after registering 138 yards and two touchdowns in Troy's first two games in 2016. “I never breathed in my route. I would just strain and hold my breath the whole time. Then this year, I breathe even when I run."
One of those games included a closer-than-expected loss at Clemson in which he led all receivers with 93 yards and had two fourth-quarter touchdowns that made things interesting. He led all FBS players with most catches without a drop (54) two years ago and ranked in the Sun Belt's top four in receptions, yards and touchdowns.
Douglas also improved his yards-per-catch averaged more than four yards and had at least one 30-yard catch in seven games.
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound native of Madison, Ala., had fewer catches, yards and touchdowns as a junior last year (48, 628 and four, respectively) but once again improved his YPC average (12.3 to 13.1) and delivered some huge plays, like this 23-yard game-winning touchdown vs. Akron in the final minutes.
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