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SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As kickoff approaches to the 2018 Sacramento State football season, Hornetsports.com will feature a preview on each position group between Aug. 20-27.


The two most explosive receivers in the FCS both return for the Hornets. Andre Lindsey and Jaelin Ratliff finished first and second in the nation last year in yards per catch. Lindsey was the FCS leader and set the school record with 30.24 ypc while Ratliff posted the second best mark in program history at 26.52 ypc.

The pair also combined for seven 100-yard games during the season with Lindsey crossing the century mark four times and Ratliff three. Both receivers finished with 25 receptions and Lindsey led the duo with a team-high 756 yards and seven touchdowns. Ratliff finished with 663 yards and scored four times.

Lindsey enters 2018 as the career leader in yards per catch at Sacramento State. He has 934 yards on 33 receptions in his two years for an average of 28.30 per reception. That mark would shatter the existing school record of 21.28 which has stood since 1982. Lindsey is also one of the fastest men in the Big Sky Conference as the Stockton, Calif., native is a two-time Big Sky hurdles champion and advanced to the second round of the NCAA West Preliminary in the 110-hurdles this past spring.

Ratliff has been steady throughout his career. After catching 18 passes as a freshman, he's added 26 in 2016 and 25 last year. He needs just 16 grabs this season to move into the top 20 at Sacramento State. Ratliff also owns 10 career TDs and needs three more to crack the top 10. His production could skyrocket this season as he's a candidate to replace Isiah Hennie in the slot. Last year, Hennie led the team with 40 receptions.

Junior Johnnie Rucker and seniors Alexis Robinson, Nolan Merker and Damon Jackson all return to the receiving corps. All four had catches last season with Rucker pacing the group with 15 grabs for 139 yards and three TDs.

Pierre Williams, Dewey Cotton and Jeremiah Foster all redshirted in 2017 and will look to work their way into the rotation. Williams tortured the defense last season as a member of the scout team with his combination of size, speed and excellent hands.

The Hornets will also add three newcomers to group in Tao McClinton, Bryson Allen and Cory Payne. McClinton was a two-star recruit at Sammamish HS in Washington where he caught 56 passes for 939 yards in just eight games as a senior. Allen and Payne were also highly touted signees from California. Allen led Tulare Union HS to a berth in the NorCal Championships and Payne was a two-star recruit from Cathedral HS.


No. Name Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown/Previous School
4 Nolan Merker 5-10 185 Sr. Elk Grove, Calif. / Sheldon HS
7 Andre Lindsey 6-3 200 Sr. Stockton, Calif./Delta JC
11 DJ Lacy 5-8 165 Sr. San Diego, Calif./Butte JC
12 Damon Jackson 5-10 170 Sr. Tracy, Calif./Kimball HS
13 Jaelin Ratliff 5-11 175 Sr. Stockton, Calif./St. Mary's HS
17 Dewey Cotton 5-5 150 Fr. Stockton, Calif./St. Mary's HS
24 Isaiah Capoocia 5-11 200 So. Lakeside, Calif./El Capitan HS
80 Bryson Allen 6-2 170 Fr. Tulare, Calif/Tulare Union HS
81 Tao McClinton 6-2 210 Fr. /Sammamish HS
82 Alexis Robinson 6-2 210 Sr. Eureka, Calif./Baylor
83 Cory Payne 5-10 165 Fr. Los Angeles, Calif./Cathedral HS
84 Pierre Williams 6-1 200 Fr. Gustine, Calif./Patterson HS
85 Johnnie Rucker 6-4 200 Jr. Long Beach, Calif./Long Beach Poly HS
87 Jeremiah Foster 6-5 185 Fr. Bakersfield, Calif./Bakersfield Christian HS