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Antonio Gandy-Golden thinks this catch against a Big Ten school proves the kind of WR he can be

Antonio Gandy-Golden thinks this catch against a Big Ten school proves the kind of WR he can be

Over the past few years, there have been few receivers in college football more productive than Antonio Golden-Gandy. 

But part of the reason the Redskins were able to nab the highly-effective pass-catcher in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft was due to the fact that he played his college ball at Liberty University, a non-Power Five school that just made the jump to the FBS level two seasons ago. 

As a junior during the Flames' first FBS season, Gandy-Golden turned in an incredible 71-catch, 1,037-yard campaign during 2018. That season was when the wideout realized he had the potential to play in the NFL. But there was one catch he made during his senior season that proved to himself the type of wide receiver he truly could become.

Liberty was facing Rutgers, one of three Power Five schools the team would face all season. With the game tied at 14 in the second quarter, Gandy-Golden pulled in a miraculous grab along the left sideline for a touchdown despite the defensive back draped all over him.

"I caught the one-handed ball with my left hand, something I usually don't ever do," Gandy-Golden said to local reporters on a Zoom conference Wednesday. "The DB was tugging and pulling on me, I felt like it should have gotten a flag beforehand. I just feel like [that catch] shows my focus, my determination, and it is my ability to fight through contact to catch the ball."

The Scarlet Nights edged out Gandy-Golden's Flames, but the wideout proved during that contest he could play with the talent from a major conference.

In the three games Gandy-Golden played against Power Five opponents in 2019, he finished with a total of 17 catches for 237 yards and two touchdowns.

"I definitely feel like I have a chip on my shoulder," he said. "The small school thing comes up a lot with me for some reason even though I have produced. I plan on coming into the league and playing right away, at least getting in the game and showing what I can do."

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At 6-foot-4, Gandy-Golden is the second-tallest wide receiver on the roster, trailing only Cam Sims. With Sims likely on the roster bubble entering training camp, Gandy-Golden could certainly enter the 2020 season as the team's biggest pass-catcher.

Dating back to high school, one of Gandy-Golden's biggest strengths as a receiver has been using his tall frame to haul in those contested, 50-50 throws. It's something he focused on every day in college and prided himself on getting better at.

"We definitely practiced it every day in practice, just those contested catches and things like that," he said. "During the game, not every ball I'm going to be wide open. Just for the quarterback to be confident enough to throw it to me, I feel like I have to come down with it."

While many coaches and scouts were impressed by his ability to make those contested grabs, one of the knocks on the Liberty product coming out of college was his inability to create separation. His 4.60 40-yard dash time at the Combine in February also raised concerns about his speed.

The 22-year-old was asked about those concerns, and he understands everyone is entitled to their own opinion. But for himself, he's not worried about those concerns as he enters his first NFL season.

"I feel like you can watch my film, I do get past people. Of course, no one gets past everyone all the time," he said. "That's something I'll definitely be working on. I'll be out here working, so I don't feel like that will be a problem."

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These well-known Redskins fans would be very interesting minority stakeholders

These well-known Redskins fans would be very interesting minority stakeholders

The Redskins' three minority owners, who reportedly make up about 40-percent of the team's ownership group, are actively trying to sell their stakes in the club.

Now, if those three do in fact move on — which may prove difficult — there are plenty of well-known Washington fans who could prove to be interesting replacements, even if they purchase just a small slice of what the trio is looking to pass on. 

Check out the list below for a handful of the more eye-catching names that would absolutely draw headlines. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr.

One of NASCAR's most popular drivers of all time is now working as an analyst for NBC. He's been a fan since he was nine years old and has a positive relationship with Dan Snyder. Plus, he's already used to pressure-packed Sundays.

Matthew McConaughey

Here's another mega-celebrity and lifelong fan of the Burgundy and Gold who's also a personal friend of Snyder's. Perhaps he'd like to add some football hardware to his already crowded trophy case.

Kevin Durant

Durant is one of the best ballers in the world, and with how enormous NBA contracts are as well as all the endorsements he's picked up along the way, you have to figure he has some spare cash to put toward the Redskins if he wanted to.

Plus, becoming a part owner of an NFL team would be something he could hold over his enemies like Draymond Green and Kendrick Perkins.

RELATED: A NAME CHANGE SEEMS IMMINENENT

Wale

The famous rapper just hosted some of the Redskins' virtual programming during the 2020 Draft, and he's tight with QB Dwayne Haskins. He could be next in the long line of artists/musicians who've dabbled in sports ownership.

Taraji P. Henson

The Hidden Figures and Empire actress' father once worked as a janitor for Washington, and she's been a supporter of the squad for quite a while. Buying into them could be a nice thing to add to her real-life empire.

Joe Gibbs

Gibbs isn't exactly a current pop culture icon like any of the names above, but he is a DC icon and it'd be foolish to exclude him from a list like this. Snyder has understandably revered Gibbs for essentially his whole life and confided in him often in the past.

If Gibbs wanted to become involved with the Redskins again, you have to believe Snyder would be thrilled.  

Alexis Ohanian

Ohanian, who co-founded Reddit and sold it back in 2006, has been devoted to the Redskins since the late '80s. He's attended plenty of contests in his fan career. So, why not make the transition from the stadium seats to the owner's box?

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Reports: Redskins' three minority owners attempting to sell their stakes in the franchise

Reports: Redskins' three minority owners attempting to sell their stakes in the franchise

The three minority owners of the Washington Redskins -- Frederick Smith, Robert Rothman, and Dwight Schar -- are trying to sell their stake in the team, according to a report from the Washington Post on Sunday night. Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio first reported Sunday afternoon that Smith and Schar wanted to sell.

The three men have reportedly hired a banking firm to help the search for potential buyers, but according to Florio they have not had much luck. The trio is "not happy being a partner" to Redskins majority owner Dan Snyder, according to the Post.

Smith, Rothman and Schar are Washington's lone minority partners and make up about 40-percent of the franchise's ownership group, according to the Post. The three minority owners are the only members of Washington's ownership group outside of Snyder, along with his sister and his mother.

Smith is the CEO and founder of FedEx, one of Washington's largest corporate sponsors. FedEx currently holds the naming rights to Washington's home stadium, FedEx Field, through 2025. The stadium lease expires in 2027.  

This past Thursday, FedEx became one of the first major corporate sponsors of the Redskins to publicly place pressure on the franchise to change its name. Other companies such as Nike, which removed all Redskins' products from its website, along with Bank of America and PepsiCo followed shortly after.

In response, the Redskins released a statement on Friday that the team is undergoing a "thorough review" of the team's name. All signs point toward an inevitable change. New head coach Ron Rivera has said that he hopes the name is changed prior to the 2020 season, which begins in September.

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