It’s pick your poison right now when it comes to Wylie (Texas) East. Opponents aren’t enjoying the ride, but juniors Marcell Ateman and Quan Jones are showing why they’re two of the most coveted wide receivers in the country.
Sophomore quarterback Garrett McCain has his choice between Jones on one side and Ateman on the other. Regardless of where the ball goes, a 6-foot-4 target will be waiting for it.
“Every game is a new experience for us,” Ateman said. “We’re just trying to capitalize on our matchups and do what we can.”
It’s fitting that Ateman and Jones each have offers from Baylor, Arizona and Tennessee because right now wherever you see one, you see the other.
It wasn’t always that way. Jones and Ateman went against each other in middle school. But now as teammates, they have helped the Raiders to a 5-1 start and have put themselves on the national map, being recruited by such powerhouse schools as Texas and Oklahoma.
“It was a little overwhelming at first, but we’re getting used to it,” Ateman said. “We’re not letting it get to our heads.”
Ateman and Jones became names to watch for the Sooners following their performances at the summer camp.
And now the two have hit the road together. It started two weeks ago when they made an unofficial visit to OU to watch the Sooners beat Missouri. They were back at it again last weekend at TCU.
But this Saturday is the big one as both plan to be in attendance for the Red River Rivalry between No. 3 OU and No. 11 Texas.
“I’m not looking for anything specific on these visits,” Ateman said. “It’s just a good chance to build the relationship with the coaches. There’s a lot of great tradition at OU, and I’m looking forward to the atmosphere this weekend.”
They’ve talked about being a package deal, but right now they’re more concentrated on the present than the future.
The receivers showed maturity in a 40-21 win at Richardson (Texas) Pearce on Thursday. Ateman had 11 catches for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Jones had eight grabs for 42 yards.
“You have to take what the defenses give you,” Jones said. “You can’t force things. We’re learning with each game.”
Despite their busy schedule, both said they hope to continue to make more trips this season. They said they’ll have to look at their schedule and see what works best.
Jones’ speed has helped him stand out, while Ateman’s hands and his willingness to come across the middle have made him a top target.
“We’re having a lot of fun right now,” Jones said. “We both have faith in our abilities, but we have to keep working.”