West Virginia will have plenty of offensive question marks next season with the losses of quarterback Geno Smith and do-it-all wide receiver Tavon Austin. Now, it will move forward without another playmaker: wide receiver Stedman Bailey.
As a surprise to practically no one, Mountaineers coach Dana Holgorsen said Monday that the Pinstripe Bowl against former Big East foe Syracuse would be Bailey’s last game in a WVU uniform. Bailey is a redshirt junior and was Smith’s high school teammate at Miramar (FL). The two signed with the Mountaineers in 2009.
Bailey finished the 2012 season with 106 receptions for 1,501 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns. It was his second straight year of over 1,000 receiving yards. Bailey had two games this season with over 200 yards receiving and one game with over 300 yards receiving. He was also a finalist for this year’s Biletnikoff Award.
Austin got a lot of the hype — rightfully so — for his versatility and speed, but Bailey was perhaps the most sure-handed receiving on WVU’s roster and oftentimes made Smith look good with his receiving skills.
You can check out our Underclassmen Draft Declarations Tracker for all the latest announcements.
Navy has seen one of its most productive players on the defensive side of the ball play for perhaps the final time this season.
Kwazel Bertrand sustained a broken ankle in the win over Air Force last Saturday, head coach Ken Niumatalolo confirmed earlier this week. As a result, the defensive back will very likely miss the remainder of the 2015 season.
And, because he is a senior and has no other eligibility avenues to pursue, it would effectively end his collegiate career as well.
“I feel terrible for Kwazel. It’s really unfortunate any time a senior goes down with a season-ending injury,” Niumatalolo said. “Kwazel has been a really good player for us and we’re going to miss his presence out on the field.”
Bertrand started 27 games over the past three-plus seasons, including all four in 2015.
You know how I know we’re gradually creeping up on the end of another regular season? Watch lists are being whittled.
The first major honor to do so is the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, which is given out annually to the best quarterback who is a college senior or fourth-year junior. The preseason watch list was 30 quarterbacks strong; the newest list has been cut in half to 15.
The most recent list includes one of the top Heisman contenders (TCU’s Trevone Boykin) and the top two nationally in passing yards (Bowling Green’s Matt Johnson, Western Kentucky’s Brandon Doughty), as well as a quarterback who’s closing in on the all-time FBS record for rushing touchdowns (Navy’s Keenan Reynolds).
The Pac-12 leads all conferences with three watch listers, followed by two each from the AAC, ACC and Big Ten. The SEC has as many players (one, Mississippi State’s Dak Prescott) as the FCS (North Dakota State’s Carson Wentz).
Last year’s winner was Marcus Mariota of Oregon.
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jacoby Brissett, NC State
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Brandon Doughty, WKU
Everett Golson, Florida State
Kevin Hogan, Stanford
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
Cody Kessler, USC
Paxton Lynch, Memphis
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Nate Sudfeld, Indiana
Carson Wentz, N. Dakota State
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
Travis Wilson, Utah