Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room No.221: WR Devin Duvernay (Texas) And the Mechanics of An Acrobatic Catch

Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room examines a diving touchdown reception of Texas WR Devin Duvernay and reveals the mechanics behind the acrobatic catch. 

Football captured my imagination at an early age. One of the first types of plays that left me spellbound was the diving catch—especially those where the receiver had to fully extend his frame parallel with the ground to make the grab.

Ken Burrough, Wallace Francis, John Jefferson, Roy Green, and Ozzie Newsome were players who I remember pulling off these spectacular acrobatic feats. I practiced these catches as a child the way my friends who liked baseball tried to make diving grabs like Hall of Fame Cardinals shortstop Ozzie Smith.

Fast-forward roughly four decades later and it hits me as I’m watching Texas receiver Devin Duvernay make one of these acrobatic receptions against Maryland: I’ve never broken down the mechanics behind this type of catch.

And there are techniques for making this type of play:

  • Tracking the ball and understanding how to time the phases of the target’s arrival path.
  • “Running through the target.”
  • Planting, leaning, extending, and launching.
  • Turning the body to dissipate the force of the landing.

Duvernay displays all four of these to perfection.

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