Share This Page
WVU

West Virginia playmaker Bailey declares for draft

| Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, 3:46 p.m.
Tribune-Review
West Virginia receiver Stedman Bailey hauls in a 20-yard touchdown pass in front of Baylor cornerback Joe Williams in the second quarter at Mountaineer Field at Milan Puskar Stadium in Morgantown on September 29, 2012. (Barry Reeger | Tribune-Review)

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia junior Stedman Bailey will forego his final year of college eligibility to enter the upcoming NFL Draft.

Bailey, WVU's career leader with 39 touchdown receptions, ranks second in school history in career receiving yards (3,097) and third in career receptions (202). His 23 touchdown receptions this season led the nation and is No. 3 all-time in FBS history.

“The year I had this year, the numbers I put up, it couldn't get much better,” said Bailey, who indicated scouts project him as a third-round pick.

The NFL Draft is scheduled for April 25-27.

Bailey caught 106 passes for 1,501 yards in 2012. He recorded five consecutive 100-yard games, a school record. He equaled WVU's single-game record with 14 receptions against Oklahoma State.

His 303 receiving yards and five touchdown receptions against Baylor also were school records.

Bailey was one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award honoring the nation's top receiver.

“He had two tremendous years in a row,” WVU coach Dana Holgorsen said. “He wanted to (turn pro). I didn't try to talk him out of it.”

Bailey said the departures of quarterback Geno Smith and receiver Tavon Austin, who are seniors, contributed to his decision to leave school early.

Smith and Austin, WVU's career leaders in passing and receptions, respectively, are projected first-round selections.

“That played a role, as well,” Bailey said. “Those guys are my buddies. We came in together. The fact that those guys won't be there, which is a whole lot different.”

More important, Bailey cited the recent birth of his son, Stedman Jr., with helping him decide to turn professional.

“I have a responsibility, a major one,” he said.

Bailey will play his final college game against Syracuse in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 29 at Yankee Stadium.

“Weird. Bittersweet. Exciting. A lot of mixed emotions right now,” Bailey said. “I had a lot of great memories at West Virginia.”

John Harris is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at jharris@tribweb.com.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.