More than any position, the Bears have had more success with outside receiver than anywhere else on the field (maybe outside of Quarterback). Terrance Williams set program records that Antwan Goodley now is trying to break. Soon, another line of 4 and 5-star caliber outside receivers will be lining up to continue the Bears strong performance at this position.
CURRENT STARTERS – 10
|2013 1st Team All Big 12, 71 catches, 1339 yards, 13 TDs||22 catches, 309 yards, 1 TD||Redshirted in 2013||True Freshman, early enrollee|
Anytime you can return one of the best players in the country at a particular position, you know you are in good hands. The Baylor Bears have such a player in Antwan Goodley, who broke onto the national scene with a monster Junior campaign in his first substantial role. After sitting behind Terrance Williams for his first few years on campus, Goodley was finally promoted to a starting position and he took full advantage of it. 71 catches for 1339 yards and 13 touchdowns in a role where he had to take more and more of the tough coverages after Tevin Reese was injured.
Alongside Goodley will be a rotating cast of big and tall receivers, led by Jay Lee. Lee has had limited success in his two years playing at Baylor, but has looked great during spring drills and there are hopes that he will finally put it all together in 2014.
POSITIONAL DEPTH – 8
|Outside Receiver Eligibility|
This grade would have been a bit higher before the loss of Robbie Rhodes. Anytime you lose a 5-star sophomore receiver, it hurts depth. However, Rhodes was still not a finished product, and would have probably been in a dual-starting role with Lee. However, the depth is still hurt by his loss. This will accelerate the timeline on needing Davion Hall, another big and tall 5-star receiver. Hall was probably destined for a redshirt year with Rhodes ahead of him on the depth chart, but will now probably be the #4 outside receiver behind Goodley, Lee and Quan Jones.
The former 4-star recruit, Jones is coming off of a redshirt year that saw him put on some good weight and learn the offense. He is as gifted athletically as any other receiver on the roster, and will have a chance to make a big impact in the fall. Also joining the team this fall will be true freshman Ishmael Zamora, another long and tall receiver. Zamora is also gifted athletically, but will have to learn some of the subtleties of the Bears offense. He comes from more of a running high school offense, so he will have some learning to do. However, the last time the Bears got an under-recruited wide receiver from a rushing offense (Tevin Reese), it worked out pretty well.
CLASS BALANCE –9
The Bears have recruited the outside receiver position as well as any on the roster. They have had two five-star recruits in recent years (Rhodes and Hall), and have also added a top 4-star in Quan Jones. Baylor coaches have also spotted risers in the rankings very quickly, jumping on Zamora and Stricklin before they blew up. All told, the Bears have tremendous depth and balance on the way. They have 1 outside receiver committed for the 2015 and 2016 classes, with both Blake Lynch and Chad President in the 2015 class who could move to outside receiver if they don’t work out at their hoped for positions (Safety and Quarterback).
NEXT YEAR – 8
This was another grade that would have been a bit higher with Rhodes still around, but the Bears should be in good shape with their current roster. Jay Lee will be the lone senior with a bevy of sophomore and freshman behind him. If Lee takes the big step forward some think he will, the Bears will feature another high draft choice on the outside. Hall, Jones and Zamora have as much upside as anyone that has come through before them, so the sky is the limit for the Bears.
FUTURE YEARS – 5
With a commitment lined up for 2015 and 2016, the Bears are in great shape for 3-5 years down the road. Davion Hall and Quan Jones are just starting their careers with the Bears, and will have 3-4 years left to play as well. Simply put, this might be the best position to look at right now for the future of Baylor football.
Make no mistake, this is an important position for the Bears, but not nearly as important as their quarterback, running back or even certain lineman. The Bears have been able to find star receivers out of the 3-star recruiting bin, so it will be very interesting to see what they can do with 4 and 5-star recruits.
TOTAL – 43
This number sure looked a little bit higher when first doing the rankings, but losses happen. Too bad they hurt this one by 2-3 points. This position is still pretty loaded and with much more talent on the way. Enjoy Antwan Goodley this year, as he is one of the best outside receivers in the country, but the line of great receivers shouldn’t stop with him.