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Thursday, May 31, 2012
The Big 12's 1,000-yard receivers in 2012

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

We already broke down the Big 12's 3,000-yard quarterbacks earlier this month, and it's time to tackle the guys catching those balls.

Who'll hit the benchmark for a truly outstanding season in 2012? Well, I'm glad you asked.

Forty receivers cracked the 1,000-yard mark in 2011, with four from the Big 12.

How many will do it in 2012? Here are the most likely candidates, and my official predictions for the Big 12's 1,000-yard receivers.

1. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia: Austin is the most likely candidate on this list because of his high volume of touches. WVU finds ways to get him the ball and it pays off in his reception totals. He caught 101 passes last season, and no other returning receiver in the Big 12 had more than 84. Expect big numbers for Austin this year.

2. Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia: Bailey actually led WVU in receiving last year, and he's a near certainty to crack 1,000 yards, but freshman Jordan Thompson may cut into his reception totals. Bailey caught 72 passes last year for 1,279 yards, the most of any returning receiver in the Big 12. He also has the most TD catches, with 12.

3. Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor: Williams is the first player on this list without a 1,000-yard season, but he had 957 yards last year, even with a 1,600-yard receiver on his team. There will be lots of touches up for grabs without Kendall Wright, and Nick Florence is capable of getting Williams the touches necessary to top 1,000 yards. He may just do it easily.

4. Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma: Stills has never topped 1,000 yards, but without Ryan Broyles, he figures to be the beneficiary of lots of touches as a junior in 2012. He caught 61 balls for 849 yards as a sophomore in 2011. He'll have to fix a little case of the drops he came down with late in the season, and learn how to become a No. 1 receiver without Broyles to attract attention from defenses.

5. Josh Boyce, WR, TCU: Boyce nearly topped 1,000 yards last year, reaching 998 yards. He'll be better this year, and in the Big 12, TCU will have to play from behind some and get stuck in a few shootouts. Boyce should clear 1,000 yards easily, and his teammates, Brandon Carter and Skye Dawson, may flirt with 800-900 yards, too.

My apologies to Josh Stewart and the OSU offense. He and Tracy Moore may come close to 1,000 yards, but I think the touches will be too widely distributed for any individual receiver to crack 1,000 yards. The same with Texas Tech, though Darrin Moore is the most likely candidate to crack 1,000 yards. Trey Metoyer may come close, but I think he'll be too inconsistent as a freshman to hit quadruple digits.