For years now the Big XII has had some of the most talented receivers in the nation and in 2014 they may take center stage as the cornerstones of the conference offenses. As far as who ranks where within the Big XII, it is wide open as the receivers and tight ends are the deepest of the skill positions. That doesn't mean were not going to take a shot at it though, and we'd love your input as well. Make sure to sound off in the comments section below.
1) Baylor Bears - Tevin Reese is the only top receiver missing from Baylor's talented corps from last season. Senior Antwan Goodley led the team last year, with an average of 18.9 yards per reception, and scored 13 touchdowns. Levi Norwood and Corey Coleman averaged 15.6 yards and 15.1 yards respectively, with Norwood being responsible for 8 touchdowns. '
2) Texas Longhorns - Don't let the lack of quarterback play fool you on the Longhorns' depth at receiver. Jaxon Shipley led the team with 56 receptions and 589 yards last season. While Mike Davis (8 TDS in `13) is gone, Marcus Johnson averaged 15.9 yards per catch.
3) Kansas Jayhawks - You may be a bit surprised to see KU ranked this high but there are several teams below that would like to have Tony Pierson on their squad. He and tight end Jimmay Mindine (5 TDs) led the Jayhawks in receptions last season and return as senior leaders in 2014. Add Nick Harwell, Rodruguez Coleman, and former Sooner Justin McCay into the mix and Kansas is pretty stacked with receivers.
4) Texas Tech Red Raiders - Tech lost their top two targets in tight end Jace Amaro (1,352 yards/7 TDs) and receiver Eric Ward (947 yards/8 TDs) but return Jakeem Grant and Bradley Marquez who had over 1,400 yards and 13 touchdowns between them. Sophomore Reginald Davis will take a bigger role within the offense in 2014 as well.
5) Oklahoma Sooners - It goes without saying that OU significantly moves up in the rankings if DGB ends up being declared eligible in 2014. As is stands right now the Sooners have a star in Sterling Shepard (11.8 yards per catch/7 TDs) and then a bunch of guys who we think can play. Taylor McNamera and Blake Bell will try to rejuvenate the tight end position while Durron Neal and Derrick Woods look to prove themselves as Oklahoma's next crop of talented receivers. True freshman Michiah Quick could very likely be a strong component within the offense as well.
6) Oklahoma State Cowboys - The Pokes lost three of their top four receivers from last season but have a budding star in Jhajuan Seales (14.6 yards per catch/3 TDs). JUCO transfer, and resident speedster, Tyreek Hill will be an immediate boost to the position.
7) West Virginia Mountaineers - WVU has their top three receivers returning from 2013. The problem is Mario Alford, Kevin White, and Daikiel Shorts only combined for just over 1,500 yards and 9 touchdowns. Sophomore Wendell Smallwood should be a bigger factor this fall than he was in 2013.
8) TCU Horned Frogs - David Porter led the team in 2013 with 5 touchdowns and a 16.7 yards per reception average. Josh Doctson led the Frogs with 36 receptions. They'll both be looking for support from junior Ja'Juan Story (along with better QB play) to bolster TCU's receiving numbers this fall.
9) Kansas State Wildcats - Tyler Lockett is the Big XII's leading returning receiver in yards per game average (105.2) and in receptions (81) from 2013. He's second only to Baylor's Goodley in touchdowns with eleven. He'll be joined by fellow senior Curry Sexton (11.4 yards per catch) in a thin KSU receiving corps.
10) Iowa State Cyclones - Junior Quenton Bundrage was pretty impressive in 2013 with a 14.1 yards per reception average and nine touchdowns. He'll be a key part of Mark Mangino's offense in 2014 and the Cyclones will look for tight end EJ Bibbs (11.8 yards per catch) to compliment.