September 1, 2009

Top five pass catchers on Baylor's Schedule

Some of the stars of the position including Michael Crabtree, Quan Cosby, and Jeremy Maclin have all departed, but there are still a lot of established stars and rising talents at the wide receiver position in the Big 12.

In these rankings, SicEmSports breaks down the top five players by position that Baylor will face this season. The rankings are the opinion of SicEmSports, and are based on players' past performances and future potential.

SicEmSports Rankings: Top five running backs on Baylor's schedule

The shadow of Michael Crabtree is large and imposing, but this year it will be up to Lewis to step up his game and out of that shadow as the Red Raiders' new top receiver. With over 900 yards last season Lewis has already put up better numbers than many team's top receiver, but that is a product of Texas Tech's offense as it is his own talents.

Don't be too quick to write off his success because he is a skilled receiver with very good size, strength, and athletic ability. Many Baylor fans will remember him as the player that caught the winning touchdown against the Bears back in November. That play was a very good example of his size and acrobatic ability when he was able to go up and get the pass over a Baylor defender and get his foot inbounds.

Key Quote: "They try to compare me to him all the time or say 'next Michael Crabtree,' " Lewis said. "No, it's the next Detron Lewis." - Dallas Morning News

Detron Lewis Highlights

There are few offensive players in the Big 12 with the upside and potential that Texas A&M receiver Jeff Fuller has. He had glimpses of the kind of player that he can be last year, but in year two as a collegian and another year with quarterback Jerod Johnson he should have a breakout year. I think he is very similar to Dez Bryant last year. Like Bryant he has done some things to make people feel that he can be a great player in this conference, and I expect him to share the same success that Bryant had last season.

Fuller is a big receiver at 6-4, 215lbs, but he is still has exceptional speed and quickness for a player his size. He is also able to use his size to beat smaller corners for jump balls and is a dangerous red zone target.

Key Quote: "The pressure is on the sophomore year," said Mike Sherman "He will be so much better. He's on a mission to be as good as he can be." - Austin American-Statesman

Jeff Fuller Highlights

The lone tight end on this list is as deserving of his spot on the list as any of the wide receivers, and the unquestioned number one tight end in the nation this season. Gresham blends above average size with elite athleticism which makes him one of the most dangerous offensive weapons in the conference. On an offense with Heisman winner Sam Bradford, as well as DeMarco Murray and Chris Brown, it's Gresham who likely keeps opposing defensive coordinators up at night the most.

Barring a serious injury Gresham is a lock to be a high pick in next April's NFL draft. A former top notch high school basketball player, Gresham uses those skills along with his 6-7 frame to make him a terror in the red zone. He only needs six touchdowns this year to pass Mark Clayton for most trips to the end zone by a Sooner.

Key Quote: "He's a big monster," coach Bob Stoops said. "He's talented, he's competitive, he's got great hands, he's a great athlete. The size, it's just not natural to have a guy that big and strong to move and be as graceful as he is." -

Jermaine Gresham Highlights

If you watch one quarter of any Texas game you're sure to hear the story of the Shipleys and McCoys. It's guaranteed that you'll hear the story about Bob Shipley and Brad McCoy being roommates at Abilene Christian University, and how their sons Jordan and Colt have grown up together and are now roommates. By now it's a pretty tired story, but fact of the matter is that McCoy and Shipley do have very good chemistry on the field and McCoy looks for his favorite target early and often.

Because of that connection with his quarterback along with finally being healthy, Shipley finished last season with over 1000 yards, third among returning players in the conference. Along with being the longhorns' number one receiver, The 6th year senior is also their leading punt and kick returner and returned a punt and kick for a touchdown last season.

Key Quote: "I feel like he's one of the premier receivers. There's nobody that can man him up. He runs great, crisp, solid routes. When the ball's in his hands, he's going to make plays," said Colt McCoy. - News 8 Austin

Jordan Shipley Highlights

There are a lot of very good receivers on this list, but there's no question that like his jersey number, Bryant is number one. There is a faction of writers and fans that felt that Bryant may have even been the top receiver in the conference last year over two time Biletnikoff award winner Michael Crabtree, but now with the former Texas Tech receiver gone he has the full spotlight.

Bryant has very good size and speed, but when I think of him I just think of his athletic moves and acrobatic catches. He isn't as tall as Jeff Fuller, but with his leaping ability he's able to win any jump ball matchup, and he has enough speed to outrun just about any college defender. Bryant is also led the Big 12 conference in punt return average and finished third in the nation.

Key Quote: "I think Dez has played well enough and has competed and had success in big games to where he earned the right to be a Heisman candidate," Head coach Mike Gundy said. "There's six or eight guys across the country who have earned that right to be a candidate. I think for his position, what he's able to do and how he can change a game, he deserves to be in that race." -

Dez Bryant Highlights

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