By Shehan Jeyarajah
Baylor junior wide receiver Antwan Goodley was one of six receivers added to the Biletnikoff award watch list after a stellar start to the season. Goodley joins fellow teammate senior wide receiver Tevin Reese as one of two Baylor representatives on the watch list.
The Fred Biletnikoff Award is given yearly to the “nation’s outstanding college football receiver” by the Tallahassee Quarterback Club Foundation Inc. Former Baylor receiver Terrance Williams was a finalist for the award last year and receiver Kendall Wright was a semifinalist the year before.
“It’s definitely good to be on the watch list, but I’m still not where I need to be,” Goodley said. “A lot of people haven’t seen me play. I think the people that have, can see that I can play.”
After coming into this season as an unproven talent, Goodley is forcing people to notice his play-making ability. Through three games, he ranks sixth in all of college football with 123.3 receiving yards per game.
Goodley also ranks second in the country with 26.4 yards per reception and leads all players who have played three games with four touchdowns. Goodley leads the Bears in receving yards this season with 370 yards and four touchdowns on 14 catches.
At 5-foot-10 and 225 pounds, Goodley possesses a rare skill set. Goodley runs a sizzling 4.39-second 40-yard dash. He also squats 685 pounds, which ranks second on the entire team.
Despite his sturdy frame, Goodley possesses a 39-inch vertical jump and broad jumps 10-feet-7 inches.
To put that into perspective, current Seattle Seahawks receiver Golden Tate is also 5-foot-10, but weighs 199 pounds and runs a 4.42-second 40-yard dash. Tate’s vertical jump is 35 inches.
As a junior in college, Goodley already has better raw physical skills than some receivers at the NFL level.
“Antwan’s performance may be a surprise to some people, but it’s his time,” head coach Art Briles said. “He’s a really good football player who does what we need him to do.”
With the addition of Goodley, Baylor has a dynamic duo at receiver. Reese has more than 1,800 receiving yards in the last two seasons.
Reese has exemplified explosiveness this season with 15 catches for 350 yards and three touchdowns. He is 12th in college football with 116.7 yards per game. His 23.3 yards per reception ranks him ninth in college football, and second in the Big 12 behind only Goodley.
“We’ve got a lot of options,” Goodley said. “With Tevin and I, you have to pick your poison.”
Combined, Goodley and Reese are one of only three sets of teammates in Division I who average more than 100 yards a game each.
Among players who have played at least three games, Goodley and Reese lead by far with 240.0 total yards of receiving a game.
“Goodley and Reese have done well,” Briles said. “They’ve done everything we’ve expected for them to do.”
Baylor’s first team offense has not played more than a few drives into the second half so far this season thanks to blowouts against all three opponents.
Reese and Goodley have had 29 receptions between the two of them because of limited playing time. There are 10 players with more receptions themselves than Reese and Goodley combined.
The potential for Baylor’s explosive passing attack to become even better is a definite possibility. Maybe that production can lead to another Biletnikoff finalist or two for Baylor at the end of the season.
The Bears have a bye week before beginning Big 12 Conference play on Oct. 5 against West Virginia at Floyd Casey Stadium.