Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Biggest shoes to fill: Oregon State
By Kevin Gemmell
Starters in, starters out. That's college football. Players' eligibility expires and they leave for the rest of their lives, whether that includes the NFL or not.
And they leave behind shoes of various sizes that need to be filled.
Our concern with this series? The biggest shoes -- in some cases Shaq-like size 23s.
Big shoes: WR James Rodgers
How big are his shoes? Well, Rodgers only leaves as Oregon State's all-time leader in all-purpose yards (6,377) and receptions (222). Not to mention he was tied for third all time for career receiving touchdowns (19) and fourth all time for career receiving yards (2,582). It is also worth noting that it will be the first time since 2007 that a "Rodgers" brother won't be on the roster. His impact last season wasn't as significant -- 45 catches and just three touchdowns -- but he leaves OSU as one of its most celebrated receivers.
Stepping in: Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks
Wheaton actually clicked well with quarterback Sean Mannion last season and was the team's leading receiver with 73 catches for 986 yards and a touchdown. He tied for fifth in the conference with 6.1 catches per game. Cooks was tied for third on the team with 31 catches for 391 yards and three receiving touchdowns (including a team-long 59-yarder against BYU). With a renewed focus on the running game, coach Mike Riley said he hopes the balance will allow for better bang-for-buck in the passing attack.
You can check out the rest of the "Big Shoes" series here.