WVU receivers catching on quick this season
College Football Videos
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen wasn't happy with his receivers at the start of camp. Despite their speed and talent, he thought they weren't playing up to their potential.
"Those guys are all incredibly inconsistent — all of them," he said.
Junior Tavon Austin and redshirt sophomore Stedman Bailey turned that criticism into starting roles for this season, which opens Sunday against rival Marshall.
"Stedman and Tavon have established themselves," Holgorsen said this week. "The more they can handle, the more they'll play."
Austin, a 5-foot-9, 176-pound converted running back, led the team in receiving last year with 787 yards and eight touchdowns. He'll play an inside receiver role, where he can use his speed and quickness to gain separation.
Bailey, a 5-10, 190-pound receiver, started nine games last season. He caught 24 passes for 317 yards and four scores. Holgorsen has been impressed with Bailey's big-play ability and named him the starter at outside receiver.
"I've been wanting to become one of those household names here at West Virginia," Bailey said. "For him to put that trust in me, it kind of puts pressure on me, but I'm going to rise to the occasion."
Even with the vote of confidence, Austin and Bailey know their jobs aren't safe. The coaching staff has taken a "what-have-you-done-for-me-lately?" approach, and the duo are working hard to keep their spots.
"At any given time, they can snatch you off the field," Austin said. "That's the type of coaches we've got. Me and Stedman have to bring it in practice ... and hopefully we can keep it up and keep that confidence."
Last season, when Holgorsen was offensive coordinator at Oklahoma State, Justin Blackmon caught 111 passes for 1,782 yards and 20 touchdowns. He was a unanimous All-American and won the Biletnikoff Award as college football's top receiver.
Austin and Bailey are focusing on themselves, but they have seen the statistics. They're excited about the possibilities in an offense that has produced tremendous numbers.
"I've thought about it a couple times," Austin said. "If it happens, it's meant to happen. If I don't, hopefully I can make a few plays to make our team win."
Added Bailey: "I'm actually pretty excited about that, too. I always look up his numbers and think that's pretty amazing."
Show commenting policy
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.
- Pirates show depth in earning victory over Rockies; Polanco has big night
- Healthy, confident Steelers LB Shazier ready for full speed ahead
- LaBar: The upgrade of The Wyatt Family in WWE
- Daily Courier columnist knew, loved Connellsville community
- Lineman Groh back from injury, ready to help Mustangs
- Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Fischer in spotlight as meeting nears
- Earlier start, free meals among changes as Connellsville Area schools start Monday
- Cops nab 4 in Monessen drug hangout
- Mon Valley steelworkers rally for new contract
- Timing drives former KHL star Plotnikov
- NFL notebook: Redskins backpedal on RG3, who’s now out against Ravens