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Baylor Football 2014 Position Previews: Wide Receivers

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After an unforeseen day delay, the Position Preview series returns with those weapons for which Baylor has become known: the wide receivers.

Ronald Martinez

So, when I sat down to work out the schedule for the Position Preview series, I initially intended that we'd have the offense wrapped up completely by now.  One decision to separate inside and outside receivers and a day off later, we're not quite there.  But that's ok.  Today's Position Preview focuses on our outside receivers, those dynamic weapons that Baylor produces seemingly out of thin air.

Eligibility Remaining
No. Player Year Ht/Wt. Position 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
5 Antwan Goodley
SR 5-10/220 Wide Receiver
4 Jay Lee
JR 6-3/210 Wide Receiver
82 Kaleb Moore
SO 6-0/200 Wide Receiver
87 Andy Ritter
SO 6-3/175 Wide Receiver
26 Brandon Brown
SO 6-0/180 Wide Receiver
12 Quan Jones
RS-FR 6-5/210 Wide Receiver
83 Cole Edmiston
RS-FR 6-1/190 Wide Receiver
16 Davion Hall
FR 6-2/200 Wide Receiver
8 Ishmael Zamora
FR 6-4/195 Wide Receiver
30 Tanner Ritchey
FR 6-1/170 Wide Receiver

That's a lot of receivers, so we'll take them one at a time.  Though we didn't lose anyone from last year's chart due to graduation, there are a few changes to address.  First and foremost, we're pouring one out for the departed Robbie Rhodes, who is now at Baylor Jr., Bowling Green.  Second, we have a position switch that brought walkon Cole Edmiston from QB to WR.  It's entirely possible he's actually an IR; I have no idea.  Finally, we have three new freshman, including the other half of the Four Horseman 2014 recruiting class.  I feel pretty confident at this point that Zamora will redshirt, but I've listed both of them as doing so for now until we get a little better information.

Antwan Goodley -- SR -- #5 -- 5-11, 225 pounds

Faced with the departure of Terrence Williams to the NFL (Well, almost.  He plays for the Cowboys.), we wondered how the receivers position would shake out for the Bears in 2013-- specifically, who among our current receivers would make the leap to being The Guy in our offense.  Despite the fact that some warning signs were there from those around the program, I completely missed in my estimations who it would end up being.  A 71-catch, 1300+ yard season later, Antwan Goodley had arrived.

Receiving Rushing Scrimmage
Year School Conf Class Pos G Rec Yds Avg TD Att Yds Avg TD Plays Yds Avg TD
*2011 Baylor Big 12 JR WR 11 2 26 13.0 0 2 26 13.0 0
*2012 Baylor Big 12 JR WR 13 17 171 10.1 2 4 26 6.5 0 21 197 9.4 2
*2013 Baylor Big 12 JR WR 13 71 1339 18.9 13 6 33 5.5 0 77 1372 17.8 13
Career Baylor 90 1536 17.1 15 10 59 5.9 0 100 1595 16.0 15
Provided by Sports-Reference.com/CFB: View Original Table
Generated 8/7/2014.

You can see how I totally blew it on Goodley, right?  He was a 5-10, 220 pound bowling ball of a wide receiver, the kind for which there is currently no real parallel in the NFL.  Before 2013, he had all of 19 career receptions for 197 yards.  He'd double that yardage in his first two games as a starter.

If he was relatively unknown then, he certainly isn't now.  One of the best players in the conference by any measure, Goodley goes into his senior year as an undisputed starter, and the one established outside receiver Baylor has for which opposing teams absolutely must account.  Goodley combines great strength -- he has reportedly squatted 660 pounds-- with outstanding speed, wrapped into a unique physical build for a WR that seems to help in our offense more than it hurts.  It remains to be seen how much the NFL will appreciate his talents, since he's not exactly a prototypical WR there, but he is definitely Baylor's biggest outside weapon at this point, and he should have another great year.  I'll let you guys tell me how great in his 2014 Community Projections, which went up this morning.

Jay Lee -- JR -- #4 -- 6-3, 210 pounds

If you had no numbers, names, or anything else by which you could identify Baylor's wide receivers, and I put them all out in front of you in a lineup, you'd probably pick Jay Lee out of everyone.  You'd have good reason; at 6-3, 210, he has the size that makes NFL scouts dream, and he runs like a gazelle.  To date, however, he has a grand total of 22 catches for 309 yards, all in his sophomore year, where he finished sixth on the team in both stats.  To make things somewhat worse, we've recruited extremely well at WR each of the last two years, meaning that if Jay Lee is going to make a big impact, he needs to do it very quickly.

Thankfully, he should get the opportunity to do so in this, his junior year.  With Robbie Rhodes now playing in Ohio, Lee's biggest competition for playing time from the ranks of the non-freshman is gone.  All he really has to do, then, is show the coaches enough that they feel comfortable redshirting Hall and Zamora, something they probably want to do, anyway.  In a perfect world for Lee, the coaches go forward with that plan, giving him the opportunity to play opposite Goodley, earning the benefit of the attention #5 will inevitably draw from opposing defenses.  We'll see.

Kaleb Moore -- SO -- #82 -- 6-0, 200 pounds

Due to the fact that he missed the entirety of last season with an injury, Kaleb Moore may actually be a redshirt freshman in our coaching staff's reckoning rather than a sophomore, depending on whether he decides to seek a medical redshirt or not.  With no information either way, he's a sophomore until he isn't.

Moore is the kind of player that always intrigues me because we know relatively little about him.  He came in as a late addition to the 2012 recruiting class having played football for just two years.  A track star in high school, he competed in the long, triple, and high jump events, so you know he is athletic.  And before he was injured, he was supposedly turning heads in spring 2013 despite having difficulty catching the football.

Since he was always going to be a project at the position due to inexperience, I wouldn't expect much from Moore outside of garbage time going forward.  I haven't seen anything indicating that he's more than a reserve option at this point, but if he either or both of the big freshmen redshirt, he might get a few catches.

Andy Ritter -- SO -- #87 -- 6-3, 175 pounds

Brandon Brown -- SO -- #26 -- 6-0, 180 pounds

Both walkons, both sophomores, and both relatively unlikely to make big impacts this season.  Brown actually caught 1 pass last year for 22 yards, so that's good.  Aside from getting to work with great QBs in practice, I imagine it's pretty tough to be a walkon WR fighting for time in Baylor's offense right now.

Quan Jones -- RS-FR -- #12 -- 6-5, 210 pounds

If you didn't choose Jay Lee in the hypo I posed earlier about no names or numbers, you probably chose Quan Jones, a 2013 recruit that redshirted last year.  I am fascinated to see how Baylor uses Jones going forward because of his one unteachable attribute: size.  As he was fond of telling people on twitter before he got to Baylor, Jones is every bit of 6-5, making him the tallest receiver on our team until such time as Shawn Oakman tells the coaches that it's time for him to score touchdowns, too.*

*This won't happen.

At the close of spring practice, Jones was in an interesting spot as the nominal backup to the pair of Rhodes and Lee, one of whom is now obviously gone.  I'll be watching for him in practice and spring reports, but I wouldn't be surprised if he followed a Lee-esque path of not really getting all that much attention this year.  There are just so many other options, especially if either of the next two guys on our list force their way into the picture.

Davion Hall -- FR -- #16 -- 6-2, 200 pounds

The third member of the Four Horseman in our preview series, Hall arrived at Baylor in January, giving him a leg up on his freshmen brethren in the pursuit of playing time.  He reportedly dazzled in the spring, showing everyone how he earned his 4* ranking as a recruit, and has even earned time with the first team offense this week.  Considering there is only one player on this entire list with more than 25 career receptions, I can envision a scenario where Hall plays in the Rhodes role this year, while the other three redshirt.  Or you could see Hall and Cannon play together, sending recruit mavens across the country into excited hysterics.

Ishmael Zamora -- FR -- #8 -- 6-4, 195 pounds

If you go hear Briles speak between now and the beginning of the season, chances are he'll talk about an unnamed freshman wide receiver that caught just 18 passes in his high school career but has Josh Gordon-like potential.  That's Ishmael Zamora.  Already 6-4 and close to 200 pounds as a freshman, it's easy to dream on Zamora down the road and see big things.  This year, however, it seems unlikely that he will play at all, since he is so raw and his development will take time.  That said, if it all comes together, I wouldn't be at all surprised to look back in five years and say he was the best of the entire group.

Tanner Ritchey -- FR -- #30 -- 6-1, 170 pounds

Everything written above is about the extent of what I know about Tanner Ritchey.  He's originally from Gail, Texas, and I have him listed as a probable redshirt this season. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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As I tried to stress in the IR position preview, it's important to remember that the distinction between inside and outside receiver in our offense probably means less than we think that it does.  What that means is that with just one established starter at WR, Goodley, you might actually see someone like Clay Fuller or Levi Norwood get playing time on the outside.  We saw it last year with Reese to a small degree, and you may see it again, especially with the guy most likely to step into the production hole we seem to have, Robbie Rhodes, gone.  Baylor has a ton of talent, obviously, but it all comes together may be the single most intruging part of our offense in 2014.  The easiest, and perhaps cleanest result is that Goodley and Lee start on the outside with Norwood and Coleman on the inside.  Whether that turns out to be the case, we'll just have to see.

UPDATE: As I'm writing this, I'm seeing reports that Fuller might miss as much as 2 months to some undisclosed injury.  If that's true, I'd consider it a near-lock that one of the freshmen, probably Cannon, plays early and often this year.  Maybe Hall, too.