- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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K.D. Cannon has Baylor speed. That much is certain.
The nation’s fourth-ranked wide receiver out of Mount Pleasant, Texas, ran the 100-yard dash in 10.37 seconds last weekend, making him one of the fastest seniors in Texas. By the end of May, he’ll be in Waco to begin his career as a Bear and start fighting his way toward a starting job.
This summer, we’re running a series of weekly Q&As with incoming freshmen for every Big 12 school. We'll discuss their recruitment, their game and their goals for 2014. First up is Cannon, the No. 30 recruit in the 2014 ESPN 300.
Are you ready to make the big move away from your small town of Mount Pleasant?
Cannon: I’m really excited to start a new chapter of my life. I think my family is ready to let me go, but then again, I don’t think they are. I mean, they watched me grow so fast.
Where do you see yourself fitting in with Baylor’s loaded group of receivers?
Cannon: Right now they’ve got me in the slot, so it’s just me and Corey Coleman. We’re in line for that position right now. Levi Norwood is the guy on the other slot, on the same side as Antwan Goodley. I’m expecting to gain some weight and prove to the coaches, show them my talent. I’m just trying to get to that starting position.
Do you see yourself taking over that deep threat role that Tevin Reese had?
Cannon: Definitely. Right now they don’t really have that guy that can go do what T-Reese did. I think I can be that guy coming in, basically be another T-Reese. That’s what I want.
How excited are you to get to work with Bryce Petty?
Cannon: Ah, you know, he’s a future Heisman. He might win the Heisman this year. It’s real exciting. I just thought it was incredible that he thought I was real good, just coming from him, a real good quarterback that throws to a lot of good receivers like T-Reese and Antwuan.
What was it about Kendal Briles, your lead recruiter, that sold you on playing for him?
Cannon: He really treats everybody like you his son. I like that a lot. It’s like a father. He’s a real cool coach who understands what you’re going through and he’s trying to teach you to be a man, too, not just a receiver.
Art Briles liked to give nicknames to all his players. Do you already have one?
Cannon: He calls me "Lucky Man." He’s been calling me that since my sophomore year. "Lucky Man." I don’t know why, but he’s been calling me it out of nowhere. When I went to state track, me and Coach Briles had a bet: If Robbie Rhodes beat me in the 200, I’d commit one day. He beat me. So he’s just called me "Lucky Man" ever since then. I don’t know why.
After you committed, you still took official visits elsewhere. What did you learn?
Cannon: Really just to make sure I made the right decision. I went to Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Oklahoma and I went to Baylor. I just left my last one open, didn’t go anywhere. At those other schools, the coaching staffs really didn’t connect with their players like I thought they would, like Baylor does. Most of those coaching staffs probably know half their players’ names. I really didn’t like that.
Back when your recruiting process started, your favorites were Oklahoma and Texas. In hindsight, are you surprised you ended up with Baylor?
Cannon: Yeah, it kind of is funny. You know Oklahoma was my first offer; I was really stuck on them. Baylor really changed the perception a lot. I really wasn’t feeling Baylor at first because they weren’t all that good, they were just OK. All the sudden they came out of nowhere to be one of the best teams in the country. It changed a lot and I just fell in love with the place.
Back in December, there was a lot of speculation that you and Davion Hall would flip to Texas A&M. Did that come close to happening? Are you excited to play with him?
Cannon: It’s real good playing with Davion, because you know all my high school career I’ve been playing against him, so it’s good to be with him now. And yeah, we talked about (A&M) for a second. If Briles were to leave, we were going to A&M. I’m glad it didn’t happen.
You get to be part of the group that opens up McLane Stadium. What does that mean to you?
Cannon: Oh it’s going to be crazy, that first game of the year. I’m really excited for that. Looking at it, it’s going to be a nice stadium. I’m excited about playing there. (Floyd Casey Stadium) wasn’t a nice stadium, but you know, the crowd kept it going. The crowd made the stadium.
Any predictions for 2014? What do you think this Baylor team can achieve?
Cannon: There’s no telling what we can do. It’s going to be something. It’s going to be something nice. I think right now our goal should be the playoff and showing people we’re here to play.