- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
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Now that spring ball has ended, we're updating our Big 12 position group rankings over the next two weeks. We continue the series today with the conference's receivers:
1. Baylor (pre-spring ranking: 1): Only the Bears can lose three seniors and still argue they'll be even better at receiver. Corey Coleman and KD Cannon will get the headlines this fall, but it was redshirt freshmen Ishmael Zamora and Chris Platt who wowed this offseason. Lynx Hawthorne, Jay Lee and Davion Hall will get their targets, too, and hopefully beloved new tight end LaQuan McGowan gets a few more passes thrown his way in 2015. Together, they'll all help Seth Russell take control of this prolific Baylor offense.
2. TCU (2): Josh Doctson and Deante' Gray went down with injuries this spring, which opened the door for Kolby Listenbee to take a huge step and for the rest of TCU's receiving corps to get valuable snaps in practice. Gary Patterson raved about Listenbee this spring and has big expectations. Ty Slanina, Emanuel Porter and Desmon White lead a solid group of reserves that'll soon feature five incoming freshmen, and Cameron Echols-Luper is back on offense after trying cornerback this spring.
3. Oklahoma State (3): Brandon Sheperd leads a deep and proven collection of receivers that got better this spring. Sheperd makes guys miss and will continue to thrive with Mason Rudolph throwing his way. James Washington is poised to make a name for himself this fall, fellow starter David Glidden is back and Marcell Ateman, Austin Hays, Jhajuan Seales, Chris Lacy and Keenen Brown will all compete for reps. The Pokes are in great shape.
4. Oklahoma (4): Sterling Shepard can't do it all by himself, and it looks like he won't have in his senior year. Junior college transfer Dede Westbrook wowed this spring as a speedy playmaker who'll find space in Lincoln Riley's offense. Second-year receivers Jeffery Mead and Mark Andrews – who's moved to tight end – show major promise, and sophomores Michiah Quick and K.J. Young are also in the mix. Riley says he wants to get eight-deep at receiver this season. OU is definitely making progress in that direction.
5. Texas Tech (5): The Red Raiders know who their five best receivers are. Can they establish a few more? Jakeem Grant and Devin Lauderdale will look to build on their big seasons. Ian Sadler, Dylan Cantrell and Reginald Davis continued to show improvement this spring. Cameron Batson has a chance to be a nice weapon, too, but don't be surprised if several of Tech's six incoming receivers crack the two-deep at some point this fall.
6. West Virginia (7): The spring emergence of Shelton Gibson was a must, and the redshirt freshman is rising at the right time. Daikiel Shorts made the move to outside receiver and Jordan Thompson brings experience to the inside slot. Watch out for William Crest, the athletic backup QB who'll keep experimenting in other roles on offense. Find a few more productive options among Devonte Mathis, Lamar Parker, Ricky Rogers, Jovon Durante and Ka'Raun White and WVU will be in business.
7. Iowa State (6): The Cyclones know what they have in Allen Lazard and D'Vario Montgomery, who combined for 89 catches in 2014. Their continued development will be exciting to watch. Quenton Bundrage showed off progress in his comeback from a torn ACL. Jauan Wesley got more work this spring and Dondre Daley returns, but quality depth is needed.
8. Texas (8): The Longhorns will have a relatively deep supply of talent at receiver but exit the spring without a true No. 1 option. Jacorey Warrick and Dorian Leonard impressed their coaches this spring, and Marcus Johnson regained his confidence. Armanti Foreman is still a big-play threat, Daje Johnson ought to be if he plays with better consistency and Lorenzo Joe could be sneaky good. We'll see which of Texas' five incoming pass-catchers come ready to play.
9. Kansas State (9): The Wildcats need a new go-to guy, and Deante Burton wants to be the one who replaces Tyler Lockett. He made a nice impression this spring, and Kyle Klein is determined to contribute after coming back from a season-ending back injury. Andre Davis, Judah Jones and Kody Cook will push them, and Dominique Heath is worth watching after his huge spring game debut.
10. Kansas (10): Losing Rodriguez Coleman to an indefinite suspension at the end of the spring puts this unproven group in even worse shape. Senior Tre' Parmalee will likely have to lead these KU wideouts with sophomores Derrick Neal, Darious Crawley and Bobby Hartzog Jr. and redshirt freshman Tyler Patrick chipping in. Shakiem Barbel stepped up in the spring game, too. Truthfully, Kansas' best receiving options might be tight ends Ben Johnson and Kent Taylor.
Unsurprisingly, Baylor boasts the best array of talent at the receiver position.