1. West Virginia-
The Mountaineers have arguably the best duo of wide receivers in the country
with junior Stedman Bailey and
senior Tavon Austin. Stedman led the team with 1279 receiving
yards and 12 touchdowns. Austin was
right behind him with 1186 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. These two explosive offensive playmakers
will make the Mountaineers very hard to cover for deep threat plays downfield
in 2012. In addition to Bailey and
Austin, West Virginia will have the
teams third leading receiver Ivan McCartney who went for 585 yards and three touchdowns last year and will
add a third threat to the Mountaineers aerial arsenal in 2012.
2. Oklahoma- The
Sooners lose big time wide receiver Ryan Broyles who had 1157 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns last year, but they
still return a very talented cast of receivers for 2012. Junior wide receiver Kenny Stills had 849 receiving yards
and eight touchdowns last year and could very well be the leading receiver in
2012. Talented junior wide receiver
Jaz Reynolds had 715 receiving yards and
five touchdowns last year and will be looking to improve his numbers and
possibly be a 1000-yard receiver next year. Other notable receivers are junior wide
receiver Trey Franks and sophomore wide receiver Kameel Jackson who had limited receptions last year, but will get more
playing time in 2012.
3. Baylor- The
departure of both Robert Griffin III
and talented wide receiver Kendall Wright will hurt the Bears offense next year, but they have quite a few
other playmakers that will make up for the loss of those two. Senior wide receiver Terrance Williams had 59 receptions for
957 yards and 11 touchdowns last year.
Williams has a real shot at reaching 1000 plus yards in 2012 and should
be the leading receiver for the team.
Junior wide receiver Tevin Reese also
should be a big factor for the Baylor offense next year. Reese had 51 receptions with 877 yards
receiving and seven touchdowns last year.
Other contributors will be senior Lanear Sampson who had
572 receiving yards and three touchdowns and highly touted incoming freshman
wide receiver Corey Coleman who
could see playing time next year.
4. Texas Tech- The
Red Raiders return all of their major contributors from 2011 next year. Junior wide receiver Eric Ward had a breakout season last
year with 84 receptions for 800 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns. Ward will
have a shot at getting near the 1000 yards mark next year if he gets enough
passes thrown his way. Along with
Ward, Darrin Moore will have a shot
at building on his successful, but short season last year after a nagging
injury derailed what could have been a breakout year. Moore had 571 yards and eight touchdowns
last year. Other playmakers at the
receiver position will be senior Alex Torres, sophomore Bradley Marquez
and senior Marcus Kennard. Senior quarterback Seth Doege will have more experience and a great collection of wide
receiver talent and Texas Tech
should have no problem throwing the ball all over the field next year.
5. TCU- The
Horned Frogs stand out junior wide receiver Josh Boyce could be one of the best receivers in the Big 12 next
year with his good hands and speed.
Boyce had 61 receptions for 998 yards and nine touchdowns. I don’t expect his number to go up as
the Horned Frogs will face much more talented defenses, but Boyce should still
have a great year in 2012. TCU has
two other playmakers in Skye Dawson
and Brandon Carter who had 500 and
352 yards respectively. Quarterback
Casey Pachall is going to have a stable of wide
receivers that will help the Horned Frogs offense click in 2012.
6. Oklahoma State-
It goes without saying that the loss of Justin Blackmon will really hurt Oklahoma State in 2012. The two-time Biletnikoff
award winner was a huge part of the Cowboys success in the last two years. Blackmon scored 18 of the Cowboys 40
receiving touchdowns; no other receiver had more than four. The Cowboys also lose their second
leading receiver Josh Cooper who had
715 yards and three touchdowns in 2011.
Senior wide receiver Tracy Moore
had 672 receiving yards and four touchdowns last year and will have to step up
and be a leader on the offensive side of the ball in 2012. Along with Moore, sophomore wide
receiver Josh Stewart will have to
be a leader and replace Blackmon on the outside. Stewart had 291 yards and two touchdowns
last year in his freshman season. Oklahoma State will have to rebuild and
rely on less experienced receivers in 2012, but will still have a solid stable
of young talent.
7. Texas- The
Longhorns have a stable of highly touted wide receivers, but none had breakout
years in 2011 in a year where they struggled in their passing game. Junior wide receiver Mike Davis had 45 catches for 609 yards
and one touchdown last year. Along
with Davis, Jaxon Shipley had 44 catches for 607 yards
and three touchdowns. These two
should be the standout receivers in 2012 and if quarterback play can improve,
they should have much better numbers.
Junior wide receiver Darius White
transferred out of Texas and will play for Missouri but will have to sit out
the 2012 season. Other contributors
for 2012 are likely speedy receiver senior Marquise Goodwin and talented incoming freshman Cayleb Jones could see some playing time next year.
8. Kansas- The
2011 season should see a spike in offensive production from the Jayhawks
receiving corps in both returning talent and because of new head coach Charlie Weis’ offensive scheme that
uses a lot of passing plays. Leading
wide receiver D.J. Beshears
caught 40 passes for 437 yards and three touchdowns last year. Beshears is a
versatile playmaker that fields kick returns and I expect him to be the
Jayhawks biggest variable to offensive success in 2012. Along with Beshears, the Jayhawks
return a freshman talent in JaCorey Shepherd
who caught 15 passes for 252 yards and three touchdowns last year. Shepherd will improve on those numbers
and I see him as an important component in the Jayhawks offense next year.
9. Iowa State- The Cyclones lose their
top receiver from 2011 in Darius Reynolds. Reynolds caught 43
passes for 695 yards and seven touchdowns last year and will be hard to
replace. Senior wide receiver Josh Lenz caught 39 passes for 510
yards and two touchdowns and will need to be the standout receiver for the
Cyclones 2012 squad. If senior Aaron Horne, who had 431 yards
receiving in 2011 can get solid production in 2012, the Cyclones passing game
could improve but it won’t be easy without a set starter at the quarterback
10. Kansas State- The Wildcats didn’t do
much damage through the air in 2011.
Quarterback Collin Klein
threw for 1918 yards and 13 touchdowns last year. Kansas State’s leading receiver last
year was senior Chris Harper who
caught 40 passes for 547 yards and five touchdowns. Harper should be the go to guy on the few
plays the Wildcats throw the ball next year. There is a big drop-off in production
after Harper, junior wide receiver Tramaine Thompson
who caught 21 passes for 338 yards and one touchdown. If the Wildcats can even out their
offense by passing the ball more, they could have another good season in 2012.