Take Two: Next breakthrough Baylor WR
June, 24, 2014
Tom Hauck for Student Sports, Getty ImagesWith players like newcomer K.D. Cannon (left) and sophomore Corey Coleman the Bears are stacked at wide receiver.It's Take Two Tuesday, when we give our opinions on a topic related to the Big 12.
With the news of promising sophomore receiver Robbie Rhodes' dismissal at Baylor, we're taking a closer look today at which player we'd bet on to follow in the footsteps of the many elite wideouts the Bears have produced recently. Who's the next great Baylor wide receiver?
Take 1: Brandon Chatmon -- K.D. Cannon
Cannon is a special talent. His speed and playmaking ability should allow him to make an immediate impact during his first season in Waco, Texas. The Bears beat out some of college football's elite to land Cannon, who turned down fellow Big 12 schools Texas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State to sign with Baylor.
The former Mount Pleasant (Texas) star will be the breakout receiver for Art Briles' squad because he's too talented to keep off the field. His acceleration, terrific hands and competitive nature will help him overcome his lack of size and inability to physically overwhelm opponents like Antwan Goodley.
Cannon's ability to create mismatches and consistently win one-on-one battles will make him one of Bryce Petty's favorite targets this fall. As opponents focus on Goodley, Levi Norwood and the rest of the Bears' talented returning pass-catchers, the unproven Cannon will make defenses pay for leaving him in one-on-one situations.
Briles, who has seen receivers Josh Gordon, Kendall Wright and Terrance Williams have plenty of NFL success after leaving his program, had high praise for Cannon on signing day.
“KD's the smoothest and purest receiver at the high school the level I've ever seen,” Briles said in February. “When the ball's in his hands, he is as instinctive as anybody I've ever been around.”
At 6-foot, 163 pounds, Cannon's body isn't ready made for Big 12 football. But I'm confident his unique playmaking skills will make his smaller frame a non-issue.
Take 2: Max Olson - Corey Coleman
Known affectionately by his teammates and coaches as "CoCo," Coleman is only a sophomore and did a lot more last year than you probably remember.
While Goodley and Reese got all the buzz, Coleman quietly put up 527 receiving yards on 35 receptions, with touchdowns from 49 and 70 yards out. Just for fun, he took a kickoff return back 97 yards for another score at the end of the Bears' blowout win over Iowa State.
The guy makes big plays. The guy runs a 4.38-second 40 time. He just needs the ball.
With Reese, Rhodes and tight end Jordan Najvar gone, that's close to 60 receptions from 2013, all right there for the taking. Coleman caught seven balls in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl against UCF and is setting himself up to be the go-to target in the not-too-distant future.
With defenders devoting so much attention to Goodley this fall, Coleman is going to get a lot of advantageous looks. Goodley and Norwood will still get theirs, and Petty is going to spread the ball around all over. Still, you look at Coleman's production and raw talent and see a receiver primed to break out in a big way.
The young guys behind him -- Cannon, Davion Hall, Ishmael Zamora -- are all promising. They're the stars of tomorrow. But they all might have the luxury of redshirting this fall simply because Baylor has so many experienced wideouts like Coleman who have already proven they can get the job done. And that's a scary thing for everybody else in the Big 12.