Monday, July 15, 2013
Projecting the Big 12's leading receiver
By David Ubben
The Big 12 is dealing with a major drain on top-flight receivers, with Tavon Austin, Terrance Williams and Stedman Bailey all taking their talents to the NFL.
Austin was the first receiver drafted back in April, Williams led the nation in receiving yardage last season and Bailey was the nation's leader in touchdown catches with 25, seven more than any other player.
All this to say, the race is wide open in 2013 and your votes reflected that. "The field" was way out in front with 35 percent of the vote. Oklahoma State's Josh Stewart narrowly edged out Texas Tech's Eric Ward with 20 percent of the vote, just ahead of Ward's 19 percent. Baylor's Tevin Reese grabbed 15 percent of the vote, ahead of Texas' Mike Davis, who earned 11 percent of the vote.
Jalen Saunders would be a good selection from the field, but I'm taking Stewart here. Another year of experience is under his belt, there will be plenty of opportunity in Oklahoma State's offense and you have to figure he couldn't have worse luck with injuries at quarterback than he did last season.
Late in the season when Clint Chelf took over, Stewart hit his stride with three games above 147 receiving yards in Oklahoma State's final five of 2012. That's going to continue in 2013.
What about your picks? Here's what you had to say:
Matthew in Dallas writes: I'm picking the field for the Big12 leading receiver for Robbie Rhodes. With defenses forced to stop Seastrunk, Martin, and Petty in the run game, Its going to be a bit of pick your poison on the outside. With Reese getting more coverage at the beginning or the year; I think Rhodes will have slightly better #'s.
Phillip in Fort Worth, Texas, writes: In regards to your poll for the big 12's best receiver. I chose Jalen Saunders of OU out of the field. My reason being is, I have a lot of confidence and get a good feeling from Blake Bell. I have a gut feeling, he might do better then Landry Jones did, simply because of his mobility. I could be wrong though.
Blake in Fort Worth, Texas, writes: Ubben, I gotta go with the field on your WR poll--and namely Jalen Saunders. Numbers don't tell the whole story for Saunders because, well...he missed about a quarter of the season. If you look at his per game average (both yards and TDs) he's right below Josh Stewart and blows Tevin Reese, Eric Ward, and Jaxon Shipley out of the water.
- Per game: Stewart: 93 ypg (1210 in 13)
- Saunders: 92 ypg (829 in 9)
- Reese: 74 ypg (957 in 13)
- Ward: 88 ypg (1053 in 12)
- Davis: 72 ypg (939 in 12)
Pretty clear that Stewart-Saunders are 1-2 as far as the best receiver in the Big 12. The thing is, Stewart was THE go-to guy for OSU, whereas Landry Jones had Kenny Stills and Justin Brown and Saunders still managed a stellar ypg average in his 9 games. Should be interesting what a full season will do for him.
Dave in West Virginia writes: I like Kevin White from WV. I have seen some good video and heard lots of praise from the Mountaineer coaches. He also looked good on the Spring game. With a coach like Holgorsen who is known for producing good receivers, I see Kevin White excelling.
Daniel in Saginaw, Mich., writes: David, I'm taking the field on the receiver poll. The guys on the list are great, but I get the feeling that Saunders is going to have a great year, and with two big and fast outside receivers to take the heat off of him plus a QB that linebackers are going to have to spy on I might even go as far to say that it will Broyles-esque.