TAMPA – Hillsborough senior receiver Charles Lovett led Hillsborough County in receiving yards last season with 1,078 in the regular season. He averaged nearly 120 yards a game, but more important to the 5-foot-8, 175-pound senior this season is bringing the Terriers back among Hillsborough County’s elite after back-to-back 6-4 seasons. Heading into the Big Red’s regular-season opener against cross-city rival Jefferson, Lovett talked to Times staff writer Eduardo A. Encina about Hillsborough’s new look, going both ways and regaining the swagger.
Do you feel like Hillsborough has lost some of its swagger?
Yeah man. They always talk about how good Hillsborough was back in the day, but ever since we’ve been here, we haven’t seen that. We’re having okay seasons, but nothing off the charts. The one thing is we’ve got to win. We’ve got to start gaining respect back. I think that’s the main thing. We’ve got to beat teams.
Offensively, are you guys going to look different than last year?
Last year you saw a lot big plays. This year, I think you’re going to see a lot of short plays. We’re going to have to rely on our D, kind of like Alabama. Alabama’s quarterback, he wasn’t an all-star, he just got the job done. His stats weren’t off the charts. He just got the job done. That’s what we tell our quarterbacks to do.
How do you think that will affect your game?
Yeah it does. I’m going to have to catch a lot of balls from five yards and take them 80 this year. When we had Tarean, I caught it at the 50 and ran the rest of the way. This year I’m going to have a lot of YAC (yards after the catch). I’m all about the YAC this year.
You’re playing a little defensive back this season. Is that new for you?
I’ve never done it in high school. They needed me there. This year we need our best players on the field, both sides of the ball. We’re not good enough to have our best players on just one side of the ball, so we’ve got to go both ways.
Anything new recruiting-wise with you?
Right now, I would choose East Carolina. I want to take a visit and I’m waiting, see what opens up for me, if there are any doors. I’m not going to commit until signing day though.