Thursday, August 16, 2012
Ranking the Big 12's top 25 players: No. 12
By David Ubben
Our official list of the Big 12's top 25 players entering the 2012 season marches on. Here's more on my criteria for who makes it, who doesn't and who lands where.
The official list is locked away in a vault in an undisclosed location, but we'll be revealing one player a day leading up to the season.
Next up on the list:
No. 12: Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
2011 numbers: Caught 72 passes for 1,279 yards and 12 touchdowns. Returned four kicks for 67 yards.
Most recent ranking: Bailey was (obviously) unranked in our postseason list of the Big 12's top 25 players.
Making the case for Bailey: Bailey's a game changer in Morgantown, and proved it in the first year under Dana Holgorsen. He set the school record for receiving yards and returns for 2012 with more receiving yards than any player in the Big 12, even his teammate, Tavon Austin.
Bailey plays much bigger than 5-foot-10 and 195 pounds, often showcasing the ability to go get jump balls over defenders. His knack for the ball in the air is as good as anybody in the Big 12, and his consistency is encouraging, too. He topped 100 yards receiving in five consecutive games last year to set another school record. He added two more 100-yard receiving games against Louisville and Cincinnati. He had fewer than 75 yards receiving in just two of 13 games last season, but proved he could put up big numbers against the nation's best when he caught eight balls for 115 yards and a touchdown in a loss to SEC champion LSU. He also caught at least five balls in nine of 13 games last season.
Bailey's going to be a star in this league as a junior in 2012. He was snubbed by the media for the second receiver spot opposite Austin on the preseason All-Big 12 team, in favor of the Sooners' Kenny Stills. Here's guessing Bailey proves voters wrong this fall.
The rest of the list:
- No. 25: Justin Gilbert, CB/KR, Oklahoma State
- No. 24: Ben Habern, C, Oklahoma
- No. 23: Terrance Williams, WR, Baylor
- No. 22: Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
- No. 21: Cyril Richardson, OL, Baylor
- No. 20: Trey Millard, FB/TE, Oklahoma
- No. 19: Quandre Diggs, CB/KR, Texas
- No. 18: Kenny Stills, WR, Oklahoma
- No. 17: Brodrick Brown, CB, Oklahoma State
- No. 16: Stansly Maponga, DE, TCU
- No. 15: Gabe Ikard, OL, Oklahoma
- No. 14: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
- No. 13: Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma