By Shehan Jeyarajah
If there is one thing that Baylor football does not lack, it’s wide receiver depth. There were some preseason question marks about the lack of experience at the position, even though there is a plethora of raw talent at receiver for the Bears.
Senior inside receiver Tevin Reese and incoming true freshman wide receiver Robbie Rhodes have received immense preseason press, but those two student-athletes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the wealth of talent at receiver for Baylor.
“We have incredible wide receiver depth this year,” Reese said. “We have a lot of receivers who can play and it’s all about just getting them the ball.”
Junior wide receiver Antwan Goodley might be the best receiver that no one is talking about.
“Goodley is a guy that could potentially be a very, very dynamic player,” head football coach Art Briles said. “He’s an exceptional athlete.”
Goodley came to Baylor from Midland High School, where he played receiver, defensive back and kick returner. He finished his MHS career with a school-record 1,747 receiving yards and 23 all-purpose touchdowns.
When Goodley walks into a room, he sticks out because of his physical presence. Goodley is 5-foot-10, 225 pounds and built like a linebacker. He has squatted 660 pounds. That measured as the second highest mark on the entire team, including offensive and defensive linemen.
Goodley cannot be characterized by just his size. He recorded a 4.41 in the 40-yard dash, which would have put him in the top six among wide receivers at the 2013 NFL Combine. In the broad jump, he tested at 10-foot-7-inches.
Goodley did not get many opportunities last season, after being stuck on the depth chart behind current Dallas Cowboys recevier Terrance Williams.
“When you’re behind a guy who catches for 1,800 yards and leads the nation, you’re not going to get a whole lot of playing time,” Coach Briles said.
Despite the limited opportunity in 2012, Goodley finished with 17 receptions, 197 all-purpose yards and 2 touchdowns, including a crucial touchdown grab in Baylor’s win over UCLA in the Bridgepoint Holiday Bowl.
Goodley shined in the kick return game last season. He had 543 total return yards on 24 attempts. His 22.6 yards-per-return average was seventh overall in the Big 12.
Coach Briles has indicated Goodley’s receiving targets will change for the better this season.
“Goodley’s a guy who’s just been in the wings. It’s Antwan’s turn, and he’s going to deliver. Down the road, he’s going to make a lot of huge plays for us.”
In Baylor’s first game against Wofford, Goodley finished tied for the team lead with five receptions. He finished with 90 yards receiving and flew past the Terriers defense for a 27-yard touchdown grab in the back of the end zone.
“The defender seemed like he was lost, so I just ran right past him,” Goodley said. “There was nothing really spectacular.”
Goodley relishes the opportunity to be a key contributor for Baylor football heading forward.
“I’m just going to do whatever I can to help my team win. Just produce, no matter what. That’s all there is to it.”
Antwan Goodley and the rest of Baylor football return at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 at Floyd Casey Stadium against Buffalo.