April 12, 2007

Gonzalez proving himself in practice

Daniel Gonzalez hasn't taken the opportunity to make a statement off the field so far. But the 6-foot-3, 216-pound senior hasn't hesitated in grabbing nearly every ball thrown his way during Thursday night practices. With an influx of talent at wide receiver arriving in the summer, Gonzalez looks to take hold of a prominent spot in the rotation.

Ron Prince said he learned as much in late March.

"He came up to be in the first practice and said, 'I am going to be a really big force this year. Watch out for me,'" Prince said of Gonzalez. "He has lived up to his word and I've been really pleased with that."

Gonzalez, who had 15 catches for 199 yards and one touchdown in 11 games last season, including four starts, was overshadowed during the March 29 open practice. Seemed Cedric Wilson was all over the place, leaving defenders to eat flying rubber granules from the field turf. Meanwhile, Jordy Nelson has been, well, Jordy Nelson, demonstrating his reliable hands, deft speed and playmaking ability that could translate into a stellar senior season.

But Gonzalez had a few good catches over the middle March 29. Then he put on a show April 5 in the indoor practice facility, making no fewer than six receptions during scrimmage situations.

"Gonzo has come a long way in two years," safety Marcus Watts said.

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