25 July 2012
Over the next several weeks, EERinsider will bring you our Player Spotlight Series looking at playmakers for the 2012 season.
We kickoff our series with junior wide receiver Stedman Bailey. He had a breakout year in 2011, and looks to continue that trend in 2012.
Bailey attended Miramar High School coached by former Mountaineer player Damon Cogdell. He played along side current Mountaineer teammates Geno Smith and Ivan McCartney, a place they now call Miramar University due to the talent that's produced yearly.
Stedman was a Florida Class 6A First Team All-State selection as a senior and finished up his time at Miramar with 68 catches for 1,163 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was rated the 6th best player in Broward County according to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
Bailey arrived in Morgantown and was was redshirted during the 2009 season.
The 2010 Bailey played in all 13 games, starting in nine. Stedman was 4th leading receiver on the team with 317 yards on 24 receptions. He added 4 touchdowns. Most remember his catches against Louisville at home, and N.C. State in the Champs Sports Bowl.
He earned All-Big East freshmen honors by ESPN.com.
In 2011, Bailey was Mr. Clutch. Stedman had a breakout season and when the Mountaineers needed to move the chains there he was.
Bailey was named All-Big East First Team by Phil Steele and ESPN. He ended the 2011 season setting a single season WVU mark with 1,279 yards receiving. He was 13th nationally and 1st in the Big East with 98 yards per game. Set a school record with consecutive 100 yard receiving games.
Who could forget Bailey’s 26 yard reception on 4th and 10 to help the Mountaineers to a win over South Florida, and a Big East Conference Championship?
How about his catch in the back of the endzone against Rutgers?
Can’t forget the Cincinnati catch.
The stiff arm against Pittsburgh in the Backyard Brawl.
How about Syracuse and Louisville?
Bailey had an incredible season in 2011. What do the Mountaineers expect in the second year of Dana Holgorsen's offense. Bailey offered his thoughts.
“I don’t expect nothing less than 50 points a game, really, for us this year,’’ said Bailey, a junior who led the Mountaineers in receiving yards, yards per catch and touchdown receptions last season.
“We’ve been able to go toe-to-toe with one of the best defenses around,’’ referring to LSU last season, when the Mountaineers racked up 533 total yards.
Bailey is very confident of his abilities and his Mountaineer teammates. He isn't taking the competition in the Big 12 for granted.
"We understand the challenges that are in front of us. But, we also know that we will present plenty of challenges for defenses that will try and stop us." Bailey continued. "I don't think it's safe to double-team either one of us because that would mean one-on-one coverage for him or myself. We just want to have another season like last year, have success." Bailey said.
Stedman and Tavon Austin was recently named to the Biletnikoff Watch List, something Bailey is very proud of.
"I know Dana has produced a couple of Biletnikoff winners (Michael Crabtree and Justin Blackmon)," explained Bailey. "Me and Tavon were added to that list, which is pretty exciting. We compliment each other in a very good way.
The Mountaineers have been working hard during the offseason participating in early morning runs, lifts, and 7-on-7 drills. Now it's time to focus on 2012 with camp starting in over a week, and the calendar showing 38 days until WVU opens at home against Marshall.
With WVU picked to finished second in the Big 12, Bailey knows where the target sits.
"I'm sure a lot of people are looking at that and saying, 'These guys haven't seen us yet. Those things won't happen to us.' I'm quite sure we have a target on our head.
One thing is certain, these Mountaineers have caught the attention of the Big 12, and the nation.
Stay with EERinsider.com for more from our Player Spotlight Series.
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