Before we get started on the Position Preview for what has become the sexiest position at #WRU, we need to address two things:
1. Goodbye, Antwan Goodley
We're pouring one out for an ODB favorite, Antwan Goodley, who is now fighting for a roster spot on the Dallas Cowboys. In celebration of his greatness at Baylor, here's a gif of one of my favorite plays from last season:
Really gonna miss you, 'Twan.
2. I may have been wrong about Davion Hall
Never one to hide from my own failures, I think I may have been wrong when doubted that Davion Hall will actually play IR this coming season. Briles has mentioned Hall specifically as someone who has impressed in practice and will make an impact this season. I could see that working at IR in a Levi Norwood-esque role.
Because I didn't include him in the IR preview, though, I'm going to put him in our chart today.
*Seriously, that's how he's listed on the roster. I'm not messing with you.
Jay Lee -- SR -- #4 -- 6-3, 215 pounds
We're diving right in with the elder statesman among the Baylor receivers. It's almost unbelievable that Lee is playing his last year in green and gold, but it's true. And coming off a year in which he broke out (relatively) with 41 catches for 663 yards and 8 TDs, expectations are high for the former Allen star. Lee's career stats:
Despite all he's done, I don't think I'm going too far out on a limb to say that Lee's Baylor career hasn't been exactly what he'd hoped. Overshadowed each of the last two years by Goodley (in 2013) and Coleman/Cannon (in 2014), Lee has toiled mostly in silence. Though he started 8 of 13 games for the Bears last season and enters this year as a presumptive starter on the outside, Lee doesn't get a lot of attention as compared to those others. Make no mistake, however, Lee is a very talented and important player in Baylor's offense, and his role should only expand this year in Goodley's absence, particularly if he makes plays like this:
Kaleb Moore -- JR -- #82 -- 6-2, 200 pounds
Speaking of guys that haven't done nearly as much as they probably expected, Moore enters the 2015 season completely healthy for the first time in years hoping to break into the 2-deep at WR. So far, mostly due to those injuries I mentioned, Moore hasn't recorded any stats for the Bears, and it remains to be seen how much of his once-prodigious speed remains.
Assuming he stays healthy, we could see Moore playing with the 2s and/or 3s late in games or on special teams as he tries to carve out a role. When/if we do, we'll know more about him than we know now, which is basically nothing.
Quan Jones -- SO -- #12 -- 6-5, 210 pounds
Listed as one of the backups to Jay Lee on the outside, Jones enters his sophomore year at Baylor having amassed 3 receptions for 20 yards as a redshirt freshman.
With Lynch and Stricklin behind him, it may be now or never for Quan to make the jump this season into a valuable contributor. He's been a popular transfer suggestion basically since he got here, and with the way Baylor recruits at WR these days ... I just don't know. But until that happens, I will continue to hope that Baylor finds a way to leverage Jones' height into a legitimate weapon.
Cole Edmiston -- SO -- #83 -- 6-1, 190 pounds
A career reserve so far in at Baylor, Edmiston has apparently secured one job that nobody can take away: the holder. Apparently, according to Briles, they asked the kickers who they felt most comfortable with, and the answer was Edmiston. There's certainly no shame in that game given the importance of special teams.
Davion Hall -- SO -- #16 -- 6-2, 200 pounds
So, as I mentioned above, I decided against including Hall in the inside receiver preview despite the fact that he was listed as a backup at the position in the last official depth charts. I made that call because I doubted that he would actually play inside receiver, a justification that I now realize sounds pretty dumb when you really think about it. Why, after all, would they put him on the depth chart at a position he wouldn't really play? What would be the point?
I don't know the answer to either question, and it appears very possible, perhaps even likely, that I was wrong. We'll find out together.
Assuming he does play inside, however, Hall could be a very intriguing weapon at the position. His best traits are generally considered to be his hands and route-running, two traits reminiscent of Levi Norwood, but he also has outstanding speed and athleticism (as evidenced by the fact that teams like Alabama recruited him as a safety out of high school).
Regardless where he plays, it appears that Briles expects Hall, coming off a 15-catch, 210-yard true freshman year partially limited by injuries, to be "very productive for [Baylor] this season." I expect the same.
I mean, he looks like a Baylor IR running all alone like that for the TD, right? Oh, and that's some guy named Seth Russell throwing him the ball, too. Weird.
Ishmael Zamora -- RS-FR -- #8 -- 6-4, 195 pounds
If you want a spot on the Ishmael Zamora hype train, better grab one quick. I'm conducting, and once this thing gets going, we're not slowing down. At 6-4, he has prototypical NFL WR size, and he runs like a gazelle. Even better, he can also catch. Two years ago, Briles couldn't stop talking about how they stole an elite WR recruit because his offense barely threw the ball in high school. That recruit was Ishmael Zamora, who ended up with a 4* ranking late in the game but never got the attention he deserved.
I'm thinking he'll get it now with the redshirt gone and a backup spot behind Corey Coleman there for the taking.
Blake Lynch -- FR -- #2 -- 6-3, 200 pounds
The first of our two 2015 recruits, both of whom I expect to redshirt this coming season, Lynch played almost his entire high school career as a QB at Troup before transferring to Gilmer last season and winning the MVP award in the 4A Division II state championship game as a WR after catching 3 TD passes and running for another. A couple of weeks later, he enrolled at Baylor early to go through offseason workouts and spring ball.
Lynch is reportedly still a work-in-progress at WR, a position he played for just one season before coming to Baylor, but the potential is clear. I would expect to see him redshirt this season to continue learning the position and Baylor's offense before I start hyping him up next year like I'm doing with Zamora now.
Pooh Stricklin -- FR -- #11 -- 6-1, 180 pounds
I don't know why the roster lists Devontre Stricklin as "Pooh," and frankly, I don't care. I love it either way.
Like Lynch, I expect that the former Midway star will redshirt this coming season for the Bears before competing for a spot next year after Lee and Coleman* leave for the NFL.