There might not ever be another Ryan Broyles. Sure, OU will probably have record breaking wide receivers. Heck, they might already be on campus or on their way to campus, but I'd be hard pressed to believe that there is another Ryan Broyles amongst them. Understand that is said with no disrespect to those players here or those that will come after him, but meant much more as a gesture of immense respect to Broyles and all that he accomplished in Norman. Both on and off the field mind you. The records he set may or may not last a long, long time, but what we know will last forever is the legacy he leaves as one of the all time great Sooners.
So with that we hand out our WR grades.
Ryan Broyles: A+
Final stats: 83 receptions, 1157 yards, 10 TDs
And that's not just a homer or a career "A+" either. That's an "A+" for a guy who finished in the Top 20 in both receptions and yards despite not playing in his team's last three games. That's how great of a season he was having before injuring his knee and that should not be forgotten. His absence proved beyond a shadow of a doubt just who this team's MVP was all season.
Kenny Stills: B
Final stats: 58 receptions, 818 yards, 8 TDs
Probably not quite the season many expected coming off an impressive true freshman campaign, but still nothing to sneeze at. Especially when you consider, as I happen to believe, that he appeared to play injured for much of the 2011 season. The FSU and Texas games were probably enough alone to get him a passing grade, but you can't help but feel a little disappointed that he didn't seem to grasp that #1 target role after #85 went down. 2012 is obviously the year we learn whether or not he becomes that kind of player.
Jaz Reynolds: A-
Final stats: 41 receptions, 715 yards, 5 TDs
That may be a little generous on my part, but I'm going with it both for what he did this year and even more so because of what he was expected to contribute heading into this season. Nothing, and I mean nothing, was expected from Reynolds so to have him become such a vital part of this offense was certainly a welcome surprise. He could legitimately be this team's #1 wide receiver in 2012, so it will be imperative he keep his head in check this offseason. He's had his issues and had to serve a one game late season suspension, so it's clear he is still subject to the mental lapses that could derail his potential.
Final stats: 22 receptions, 245 yards, 1 TD
For the life of me, I'll never understand how he didn't do more in his four years here. With all the physical advantages he has, I was sure he would do big things at OU. Obviously, it never materialized. It will be interesting to see if he can get a shot in the NFL, given his size and speed I'd have to think somebody will give him a tryout at least. As for his career in Norman, the stats might not have ever been there but by all accounts he was an outstanding teammate and clearly never let his limited playing time affect that.
Trey Franks: D-
Final stats: 20 receptions, 187 yards, 0 TD, and absolutely zero kick returns worth a crap
Okay, okay, maybe that last one was a little harsh. But has there ever been a guy more perfect for that kind of role who has failed so miserably to make any kind of impact? How does a h.s. track star not know how to run? Seriously, how is that possible?!? He never gets tackled. Literally. He just trips himself every time, so there is no need for the opposing defense to tackle him. Aside from two big gains on reverses, he had no positive impact on the offense what so ever. I don't normally like to speculate on kids transferring, but if I were to do so given everything we already have on campus and the kids committed, I'd say Franks would be a possible candidate.
Final stats: 9 receptions, 120 yards, 0 TD
The true freshman had a decent enough season, but like a lot of guys this year I didn't really understand what the coaches were trying to accomplish with him. They got him on the field early, then failed to play him for essentially the entire middle of the season, then tried to work him back in once Broyles went down. Kind of feels like a wasted year given how infrequently they chose to play him. He's a perfect slot WR and could take over that role for Broyles next year, but he'll have some competition next year for that spot.
This failing grade isn't for these two individual players, rather for the coaches choice to flat out waste a year of eligibility for both. Each had already used a redshirt, so I fail to see what was gained by both not taking a single snap on offense all season? Just a stupid decision by the OU coaches IMO and it's the surest way I know of to get kids to transfer.