The Bears have a number of holes to fill in their receiving corps. Art Briles' team brings back last year's No. 1 pass catcher Kendall Wright (66-740, 4 TDs) but much of his supporting cast is gone. Receivers David Gettis, Ernest Smith and tight end Justin Akers have all graduated. Senior Lanear Sampson (29-297, 2 TDs) is one key holdover while sophomore Willie Jefferson (5-101, 1 TD) and senior tight end Brad Taylor (13-166, 1 TD) both figure to play more prominent roles this fall.
Baylor signed a pair of receivers who will arrive just in time for fall practice. Antwan Godley is a 5-10, 190-pound receiver who played wideout, defensive back and returned kicks. He also ran track and played basketball in Midland. Fellow incoming freshman Eddie Johnson is a 6-3 recruit from Midlothian who is big, strong and comes in with high expectations from Briles and his staff.
Bob Stoops' Sooners are also pretty stacked at receiver. Slot man Ryan Broyles (89-1,120, 15 TDs), who will be a junior this fall and a top target for QB Landry Jones. Running back DeMarco Murray (41-522, 4 TDs) is also a solid option. Junior Dejuan Miller (36-434, 1 TD) and senior Brandon Caleb (26-408, 2 TDs) are just two more weapons in the OU arsenal. Joining them are sophomore Jaz Reynolds (13-256), a likely starter, and senior Cameron Kenney (22-268, 1 TD). At tight end, Jermaine Gresham is gone to the NFL but senior Eric Mensik (2-14) and junior Trent Ratterree (11-152) are both ready to contribute at that spot.
As usual, there will also be a solid group of incoming freshmen to also vie for playing time. This group consists of: Trey Franks (5-9, 163) from Orange, Texas, Justin McCay (6-3, 200) from Kansas, Sheldon McClain (6-2, 180) from Cibolo, Joseph Powell (5-11, 175) from Dallas and Kenny Stills (6-1, 175) of California. There is a lot of talent in front of them on the depth chart, but that doesn't preclude any of these young phenoms from contributing this fall as true freshmen in Norman.
As good as OSU was running the ball in 2009, the Cowboy passing game was on the opposite end of the spectrum. Junior Hubert Anyiam (42-515, 3 TDs) is the top returning receiver along with fellow junior Josh Cooper (20-234, 1 TD), who played in nine games. Also returning are sophomores Justin Blackmon (20-260, 2 TDs) and Tracy Moore (11-183, 3 TDs). Converted defensive end Wilson Youman (10-96, 2 TDs), a 6-5 junior who caught a TD pass in the 2010 Cotton Bowl, returns at tight end.
However, help could be on the way from Mike Gundy's latest recruiting class. Chris Dinkins is a 6-2 talent from Tyler who has 4.4 speed and a 38-inch vertical leap. The athletic Dinkins also played defensive back and also participated in track and basketball. Kevin Johnson is a 6-2 pass catcher from Houston who ran a 4.39 in the 40-yard dash. He had nearly 30 scholarship offers but didn't play wideout as a senior. Instead, he quarterbacked his high school team last fall. Montra Nelson is a 6-3 receiver from Arlington who was one of the 20 best pass catchers in the state. He also played basketball.
Shipley might be gone but it looks like UT's cupboard is far from bare. Junior Malcolm Williams, who had 39 grabs for 550 yards and 2 TDs is the top returning receiver for Mack Brown. Also back is senior James Kirkendoll, who had 48 catches for 461 yards and 6 TDs. Fellow senior John Chiles (34-319, 3 TDs) also figures to get a few more balls thrown his way from new Longhorn quarterback Garrett Gilbert.
And speedy sophomore Marquise Goodwin might not be going through spring practice since he is competing for the school's track team, but he will be back for fall practice. He too figures to see an even bigger role this fall in his second season in Austin. UT added a quartet of receivers in their latest highly-ranked recruiting class: Mike Davis (6-2, 183) from Dallas Skyline HS, John Harris (6-3, 200) from Garland HS, Chris Jones (6-0, 175) out of Daingerfield and Darius White (6-3, 200) from Fort Worth Dunbar. Any member of this talented group could push for playing time this fall, much like Goodwin did.
Other than Texas Tech, the Aggies might have the most impressive group of returning pass catchers in the division. The top returning receiver is Uzoma Nwachukwu, who caught 40 passes for a team-leading 708 yards and 6 TDs as a true freshman. Backup QB Ryan Tannehill caught 46 passes for 609 yards and 4 TDs as the team's No. 2 receiver. Fellow junior Jeff Fuller (41-568, 7 TDs) also offers another great target for A&M QB Jerrod Johnson.
Another key holdover is sophomore Brandal Jackson (16-272, 1 TD) along with Terrence McCoy (7-77) and Ryan Swope (19-172, 1 TD). Talented tight end Jamie McCoy has graduated but Kenny Brown (4-21, 1 TD) and Craig Raschke look to be capable replacements. A&M had two wideouts in their latest recruiting class. Nate Askew is a 6-4 pass catcher from San Antonio whose assets include athleticism, great hops and equally great hands. Malcome Kennedy is a 6-0 receiver from Cayuga who is strong, can play both out wide and in the slot. Kennedy also brings value as a ball carrier out of the backfield.
It shouldn't be a big surprise that the South's best stable of wide receivers reside out in Lubbock. Six-foot senior Detron Lewis (65-844, 6 TDs) is the top returning pass catcher for the Red Raiders, but he clearly isn't alone. Also back is 6-2 sophomore Alex Torres (67-806, 6 TD), 6-3 junior Tramaine Swindall (55-694, 5 TDs), 6-1 senior Lyle Leong (45-571, 9 TDs) and 6-1 sophomore Austin Zouzalik (35-469, 2 TDs).
Junior Jacoby Franks (26-313, 2 TDs) is another returning receiver who warrants mentioning. The Tech running backs are also great targets out of the backfield as top returning rusher Baron Batch got his share of catches last fall (57-395, 1 TD). Fellow running backs Harrison Jeffers (27-218, 1 TD) and Eric Stephens (14-113, 1 TD) also are nice targets for either Taylor Potts or Steven Sheffield.
1) Texas Tech: Hard to argue with a group that includes such talents as Detron Lewis, Lyle Leong, Alex Torres and Tramaine Swindoll.
2) Texas A&M: Sophomore Uzoma Nwachukwu leads this group but backup QB Ryan Tannehill and Jeff Fuller are others to watch.
3) Oklahoma: Ryan Broyles is a true talent at slot. Dejuan Miller, Brandon Caleb plus running back DeMarco Murray also catch their share of balls.
4) Texas: Shipley might be gone but James Kirkendoll and Malcolm Williams each return. Could this be a breakout year for Marquise Goodwin?
6) Baylor: Kendall Wright is a great first option but will need some new faces to emerge to round out his supporting cast.
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