Coleman carries ‘WRU’ mantle

Junior receiver Corey Coleman dives and catches a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Seth Russell during the game between Baylor and Lamar Sept. 12 at McLane Stadium. Photo credit: Sarah Pyo

At a school now being hailed as “Wide Receiver University” one position stands atop the nation for the Baylor Bears. And one player stands out above all the rest in the country as well.

Wide receiver Corey Coleman, a junior from Richardson has been the most explosive receiver in the nation this season. Coleman burst onto the scene last year as a redshirt sophomore. 2015 is shaping up to be one of the greatest receiving years in college football history.

“He’s very capable with the ball in his hand,” said head coach Art Briles. “To me it’s about passion and energy and burning inside. That’s what kind of separates him. It’s like I tell him, he’s not happy unless he’s mad. That’s when he’s the happiest is when he’s mad. He’s a great football player and great for our team.”

If anger is what separates Coleman from the rest of the pack, he must be one furious dude. In just four games, Coleman has caught 24 balls for 570 yards and 11 touchdowns.

The 11 touchdowns by Coleman lead the nation, three touchdowns ahead of the next player on the list. Coleman also ranks fourth in receiving yards. Coleman is on pace to amass 72 catches, 1,710 yards and 33 touchdowns.

The NCAA record is 27, set in 1998 by Louisiana Tech’s Troy Edwards. If Coleman continues on this spectacular pace, he would have one of the greatest statistical receiving years in college football history. Those stats are only if Baylor plays the standard 12-game season. Assuming the Bears get into the postseason, Coleman could have even more time to pad his numbers.

The Baylor school record is 14, set by Kendall Wright in 2011. Coleman has caught at least three touchdowns in three straight games for the Bears, putting Wright’s record in sight as soon as 11 a.m. Saturday against the winless Kansas Jayhawks (0-4).

“Corey is a freak athlete,” said junior quarterback Seth Russell. “When you get the ball in his hands, he makes plays.”

Russell is not the only one to have called Coleman a “freak”. named Coleman “the most freakish athlete” in college football coming into the 2015 season, while also being named a preseason All-American.

Coleman’s ability is evident by his 4.38 40-yard dash time. Coleman also boasts a 45-inch vertical jump. At 5-11, 190, Coleman is also very compact and low to the ground, making him a difficult tackle for opponents.

“I would almost debate he’s only been tackled 13 times. He stepped out of bounds two, three times. He’s a hard guy to get off his feet,” Briles said.

Coleman’s hot start is also catching the eyes of many around the nation, as the wide out has put himself into the Heisman conversation. A receiver has not won the coveted award since Michigan’s Desmond Howard in 1991.

Like Coleman, Howard was Michigan’s best threat on the outside, registering 19 touchdowns in the 1991 season. Howard’s real presence was in the return game, an area Coleman has seen time in 2015.

Coleman has recently been slotted in as Baylor’s punt returner, where he has already returned two punts over 50 yards, though both have been called back due to penalties.

If this stretch holds, Coleman will certainly capture the Biletnikoff as the nation’s top receiver. He could also be the second player in the Big 12’s history to win Offensive Player of the Year, with Justin Blackmon being the only wide out to win it in 2011.

Coleman will look to continue his good form this weekend as the Bears take on the Kansas Jayhawks. Kansas has one of the worst teams in the country. With Baylor’s top offense, expect fireworks from Coleman and the Bears.

Baylor has been spoiled recently with great receivers, such as Terrance Williams, Antwan Goodley and Wright. Coleman’s season may come as something expected, another great receiver for another good Baylor team.