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Friday, June 6, 2008

Prechae Rodriguez: TiCats like his big hands

he Tiger-Cats have some gifted receivers with big grab bags. Chris Bauman has a large set of mitts, while Ernest Jackson has nice-sized pocket pals, as does Willie Ponder.

But rookie receiver and former Auburn basketball star Prechae Rodriguez has a set of lacrosse pockets.

"Prechae has big hands," Goldman said, though he has seen bigger. "I coached a guy at Syracuse named Johnnie Morant who played with the Oakland Raiders for a few years. He had absolutely huge hands. (Former NFL receiver) Qadry Ismail had huge hands."

While hand size matters so does softness, Goldman said.

"I think some guys catch the ball more naturally than others. And, with soft hands, you can see as they catch it there's just a little bit of a give in their hands ... You'll never hear the catch with a guy with soft hands," Goldman said.

Rodriguez, whose first name is pronounced Pree-shay, said there is no question big hands are advantageous for receivers.

"I try to catch the ball away from my body. I try to catch the ball with my hands."

Rodriguez said he doesn't just have big hands. He has baby-bottom-soft ones, as well. He even has a name for them.

"Most definitely. Pillow soft hands. I can catch egg shells, man."

Big soft paws are important, but so is concentration and focus.

"Look the ball in with your eyes and catch it with your hands," he said.

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