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West Virginia Football 2016 Player Previews: Shelton Gibson

West Virginia's leading receiver in 2015, Gibson finished just shy of 900 yards in his first year starting at receiver. Big things await the speed demon from Cleveland Heights, Ohio.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

2015 Season Stats & Review

Receptions Yards Touchdowns Yards per Catch Kick Returns Kick Return Yards Kick Return Touchdowns
37 887 9 24.0 11 360 1

When the 2015 season started, no one was sure what to expect from the wide receivers. Jordan Thompson and Daikel Shorts were the two most experienced receivers. Neither had done enough to push themselves past the up-and-coming receivers.

In stepped Shelton Gibson. Dana Holgorsen spoke his praises during the spring and fall camps. Dana called Shelton "the best receiver I've ever coached at going and getting the ball". Go and get the ball, Shelton did. Despite only registering 37 catches on 70 targets, Shelton provided a much needed and necessary deep ball threat for the Mountaineers.

Against Maryland, Shelton used his track speed to blow past All Big Ten First Team defensive back William Likely. Shelton burned him for a long touchdown.

Shelton was the most consistent receiver on an inconsistent offense. He struggled with drops, much like the other receivers on the team but provided a spark when every other player was struggling. Against Baylor, Gibson returned a kickoff for a touchdown.

Gibson finished the year with 37 catches for 887 yards, an average of 24 yards per catch. He returned 11 kickoffs for 360 yards including the 100-yard touchdown against Baylor.

2016 Outlook

Gibson is once again going to be expected to be the Mountaineers big play receiver. Playing mostly on the left side of the formation, Gibson should draw most teams number 1 corner. Just as quarterbacks have gotten better under Dana Holgorsen, so have receivers. If Skyler Howard is getting the ball out to receivers faster and in better locations, the receivers should also see more targets, more catches, more yards and hopefully more touchdowns.

Gibson needs to improve his physicality at the point of attack. Gibson relies on his speed to get past corners and struggles with jump balls and 50/50 balls. If Gibson can become more physical on jump balls and contested balls, look for Shelton to put himself in conversation of one of the best Big 12 wide receivers.

Projected 2016 Stats

Receptions Yards Touchdowns Yards per Catch Kick Returns Kick Return Yards Kick Return Touchdowns
57 1235 10 21.5 13 390 1