Wide receiver proves size doesn’t matter


FOOTBALL. Profile: Ario Winston.

Dons’ sophomore receiver Ario Winston is at least 15 pounds lighter than every other receiver on the team, but he uses his slim build to his advantage.

“I like to prove people wrong. To me, my size doesn’t matter,” said Winston, who is 6 feet tall and 155 pounds. “My speed is all I got. I’m a little to skinny to do all the stuff football players usually do, so I just use my quickness to get past people.”

Winston attended Mater Dei as part of the class of 2009. Playing for a storied football program that produces NFL talent fostered the opportunity to feel the experience of a high profile school while remaining close to home.

“Mater Dei helped me grow up faster, and it was crazy fun.”

To improve and evolve Winston talks with his fellow teammates, specifically the receivers and defensive backs.

“I do a lot of bump and run at the corner,” freshman defensive back Davion Orphey said. “He said he wants to do that more in practice, so that in the game it won’t be something new to him.”

In high school, Winston also played basketball and ran track. The two sports played pivotal roles in developing Winston’s gridiron game.

“I attribute my quickness, lateral movements and my ability to go up for the ball from my time on the basketball court,” Winston said.

“He wants the ball and wants to win,” Webb said. “Watching him play makes me want to achieve more.”

Focus is vital in running crisp routes and making great catches. As a freshman, Winston did not carry the mentality of an elite receiver. Winston’s hard work, dedication and commitment to show up during spring earned the trust of the coaching staff.
“He has taken things more seriously and accepts coaching well,” Head Coach Geoff Jones said. “Maturity is the biggest part in his success.”

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By the numbers:

  • 48 – Team leading catches, 20 more than the next guy.
  • 688 – yards caught through eight games.
  • 7 – Touchdown receptions, tied for first in the team.

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