Big 12 Football: Ranking League’s Biletnikoff Watch List Receivers
Ranking League's Biletnikoff Watch List Receivers
The Big 12 recently released a list of ten receivers within the conference that are on the Biletnikoff watch list for 2013. The Biletnikoff trophy goes to the best wide receiver in college football. The award winner is usually the leader in most major receiver statistics, but wide receivers who make memorable plays, long touchdowns and the highlight reels give themselves the best chance to win the award.
The league has had a lot of recent success winning the Biletnikoff since the wide open, up-tempo offenses started to dominate the Big 12 in the early to mid 2000s. First, former Texas Tech Red Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree won the award in consecutive years in 2007 and 2008. Then, former Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Justin Blackmon also won the award twice in a row in 2010 and 2011.
The Big 12 has Biletnikoff finalists just about every year it seems, and this year should be no different. Six different schools have a representative in the preseason list for the Biletnikoff, and it's safe to say that some of these receivers will remain on the list throughout the season. It should be a fun and interesting year to see if the Big 12 can produce yet another Biletnikoff winning receiver this fall. Of the ten receivers from the Big 12 that are on the list, my top five are as follows in the upcoming slides.
No. 5: Mike Davis
Texas Longhorns wide receiver Mike Davis had a strong 2012 campaign where he caught 57 passes for 939 yards and seven touchdowns. Davis will be looking to break 1,000 yards this year and help the Longhorns get back to double digit wins. At 6-foot-2 193 pounds, Davis has good size and is a deep threat. Look for the Longhorns to use him for big, downfield plays in 2013.
No. 4: Jalen Saunders
After transferring from Fresno State, wide receiver Jalen Saundershad a pretty good 2012 season. The senior caught 62 passes for 829 yards and three touchdowns in his first year playing for the Oklahoma Sooners. This year, Saunders will need to become the primary target for new starting quarterback Blake Bell. Saunders is a speedy receiver and can create open space for mid range passes, which is perfect for run first Bell.
No. 3: Tevin Reese
The Baylor Bears seem to be putting out some of college footballs best wide receivers for the past few years, and Tevin Reese seems to be next in line. Reese caught 53 passes for 957 yards and nine touchdowns last year. This year, he should be the primary receiver for the Bears and is almost certain to pass the 1,000 yard mark. Look for Reese to use his speed to create open space and be one of the leaders of the Bears offense in 2013.
No. 2: Eric Ward
After passing 1,000 yards last year, senior wide receiver Eric Ward is looking to grab the Biletnikoff award in 2013 and help the new Texas Tech Red Raiders offense run smoothly. Ward may be the most physical receiver in the league, if not the nation. At 6-foot-1, 204 pounds, Ward will go up and grab the football, but he can also break tackles and is a great blocking receiver. Look for Ward to make big plays in the middle of the field for the Red Raiders this fall.
No. 1: Josh Stewart
Junior Oklahoma State Cowboys wide receiver Josh Stewart had a great 2012 season with an incredible 101 receptions for 1210 yards and seven touchdowns. This year, Stewart will be looking to score more touchdowns and is my leading candidate for the 2013 Biletnikoff award. Stewart is very versatile and will be a key to the Cowboys' quest for another Big 12 title this fall.