I recently ran a poll on Twitter where I asked which West Virginia Mountaineers receiver was the most deserving of the Biletnikoff: Stedman Bailey, Kevin White or David Sills V? Each of the three players had a unique argument as to why they were they best receiver in college football their season but none of the three were able to win the award.
Which #WVU wide receiver was most deserving of the Biletnikoff?— Jake Lantz (@NiteStare) December 9, 2017
Overwhelmingly, the fans supported Stedman Bailey who set the school record with 25 touchdown catches (only two short of the national record of 27 set by Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech in 1998). Bailey also set the school record for catches in a season and yards in a season. All three records stand to this day.
Bailey, as voted by the fans and seen above received the overwhelming support in this poll and for good reason. As stated above, Bailey set school records in touchdown receptions (25), catches (114) and yards (1,622). The problem for Stedman was the presence of the USC Trojans and Marquise Lee. Lee bested Stedman in both catches (118) and yards (1,721).
Lee was his opposition but the real problem for Stedman was Terrence Williams of Baylor. Prior to the scandal that rocked Baylor and reduced them back to their doormat ways, Art Briles and his offensive system produced prolific offenses. Williams led the country in receiving yards (1,832) and played in the same conference as Bailey. In fact, Bailey’s first-ever Big 12 conference game came against Baylor. The game was classic “Big 12, no-defense” game that ended in a 70-63 score. Bailey finished that game with 13 catches for 303 yards and five touchdowns. Normally that would be the cherry on top of a Biletnikoff season but the score of the Baylor game along with having a second receiver in conference putting up similar numbers hurt Bailey.
Kevin White burst onto the national scene in his first game as a senior. Against Alabama, White produced a highlight reel catch that led to dozens and dozens of people making a comparison to Larry Fitzgerald, thanks in part to the flowing dreads beneath his helmet and his strong hands.
White would go on to have a remarkable senior season that included 109 catches, 1,447 yards but only 10 touchdowns. Ultimately the award went to Alabama’s Amari Cooper. Cooper would finish the year with 124 catches, 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns. It was a historic season for the Alabama receiver as he decimated the record books. Julio Jones was the previous yardage record holder at Alabama and he only had 1,133 yards. Not only that but Cooper became the first Crimson Tide player to catch 90 passes in a season, 100 passes, 110 and 120 passes. The previous record was 89. Cooper even broke his previous record of 11 touchdown catches, that he set AS A FRESHMAN.
David Sills is the latest West Virginia receiver to have an amazing season but fall short of the best receiver award. Sills led the nation in touchdown receptions while playing his last two collegiate games without his quarterback. Sills’ season was remarkable for a kid who was recruited by Lane Kiffin......[stop me if you’ve heard that story]
Only two teams kept Sills out of the endzone when Will Grier was completely healthy. Delaware State and Oklahoma State. Every other team on the schedule from Virginia Polytechnic Institute to Kansas State allowed at least one touchdown reception. Other than Iowa State, Sills caught at least two touchdowns in every game in caught a touchdown. The 18 touchdowns already caught by Sills puts him at 21st on the single season list. If he catches 2 more in the bowl game against Utah, Sills would move into the top 10 on the single season list.
Unfortunately for Sills, once again another Big 12 player had a great year. This time it was Oklahoma State Cowboys receiver James Washington. Washington didn’t have a truly remarkable year but he had the important stats. Washington led the country in receiving yards (1,423) while only catching 69 passes, 9 more than Sills. Washington also had 12 touchdowns. If Sills could have broken the 1,200 yard barrier, it is possible he would have a better argument for the award.
Which WVU receiver was most deserving of the Biletnikoff?
This poll is closed