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No. 3 Bryant back for chance at Biletnikoff Award

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin

No. 3

Dez Bryant is poised to become the Big 12's most explosive player after emerging as a consensus All-America receiver and the Big 12's special teams player of the year last season.

How productive?

Consider that Bryant averaged more on his punt returns (33 returns for a 17.9 yard-per-punt average) than he did as a receiver (87 catches for a 17.0 yard-per-catch average).

Another big season could only help boost the sizzle in one of the nation's most explosive offenses.

Bryant needs only to boost his consistency to become a player who conceivably could develop into perhaps the nation's top receiver.

Although rival defenses likely will be keying on in him in every game, Bryant could become the Big 12's third-straight Biletnikoff Award winner with continued growth and development.

Player: Dez Bryant
Team: Oklahoma State
Position: Wide receiver/kick returner
Vitals: 6-foot-2, 215 pounds; Jr.; Lufkin, Texas.

Why he was picked: Bryant had one of the most productive receiving seasons in OSU history, ranking second nationally with 19 touchdown receptions and 9.69 points per game and third nationally with 113.9 receiving yards per game and 17.94 yards per punt return. In the process, he set a school record with 19 touchdown receptions. His 128 points were second in school history, trailing only Barry Sanders' 234 points tallied in his memorable 1988 Heisman Trophy-winning season. Bryant has produced eight 100-yard receiving games in his career, including six last season. His explosiveness is highlighted by two 200-yard receiving games and 22 receptions of at least 20 yards last season.

What 2009 will hold: There could be some concern as Bryant recovers from post-season surgery that repaired a small tear on his left knee that kept him out of spring practice. But Bryant should be ready to go by the season and likely will pick up where he left off last season when he snagged a Holiday Bowl-record 13 receptions in barely three quarters against Oregon.

If he makes a diligent effort to become a more disciplined, consistent route runner and receiver, it could be possible that he could produce 100 catches, 1,700 yards and 20 touchdowns. It will be interesting to see if he keeps returning punts or if Coach Mike Gundy deems him too valuable to play on special teams. A big effort will be critical from Bryant if the Cowboys have any legitimate hope of claiming their first Big 12 South title.

The countdown:

4. Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham
5. Baylor QB Robert Griffin
6. Nebraska DT Ndamukong Suh
7. Oklahoma DT Gerald McCoy
8. Oklahoma State RB Kendall Hunter
9. Oklahoma LB Travis Lewis
10. Kansas QB Todd Reesing
11. Oklahoma RB-KR DeMarco Murray
12. Oklahoma State T Russell Okung
13. Texas DE-LB Sergio Kindle
14. Oklahoma T Trent Williams
15. Missouri LB Sean Weatherspoon
16. Baylor LB Joe Pawelek
17. Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson
18. Texas WR-KR Jordan Shipley
19. Oklahoma RB Chris Brown
20. Nebraska I-back Roy Helu Jr.
21. Texas Tech DT Colby Whitlock
22. Kansas WR-KR Dezmon Briscoe
23. Oklahoma DE Jeremy Beal
24. Kansas S Darrell Stuckey
25. Texas Tech RB Baron Batch
26. Kansas QB-WR Kerry Meier
27. Texas T Adam Ulatoski
28. Oklahoma State LB Andre Sexton
29. Missouri G Kurtis Gregory
30. Missouri RB Derrick Washington
31. Texas Tech LB Brian Duncan
32. Texas S Earl Thomas
33. Kansas State WR-KR Brandon Banks
34. Oklahoma LB Keenan Clayton
35. Baylor S Jordan Lake
36. Oklahoma State CB-KR Perrish Cox
37. Texas C Chris Hall
38. Texas Tech DE-DT McKinner Dixon
39. Kansas State DE Brandon Harold
40. Oklahoma FB Matt Clapp