Six games. Six catches per game. That’s all Baylor receiver Antwan Goodley has needed to emerge as the best receiver in the Big 12.
He’s best in the conference and No. 4 nationally with 851 receiving yards. He’s No. 3 in FBS in yards per reception. Only four wideouts have more touchdowns catches than his eight.
Goodley is built like a running back at 5-10 and 225 pounds. The junior had 19 career catches entering 2013. Nobody outside the Baylor program saw this coming, but his coaches and teammates knew Goodley was the real deal. He’s no longer their best-kept secret.
We sat down with Goodley following the Bears’ 71-7 win over Iowa State to discuss his breakout season and his big goals going forward.
How exciting has this season been for you as a guy who wasn’t on most people’s radars?
Antwan Goodley: That’s great. That’s what I want, that’s what I like. Nobody really knew about me so I felt like it was time to shine and show people what I can do. The attention is cool to have but I just can’t embrace it. I’ve got to focus, don’t let it get to me.
Did you honestly expect this would be your big season, or has it surprised even you?
AG: I knew it was going to be a lot different, because with Terrance Williams leaving someone had to step up and fill his shoes. Coaches had been telling me that I was going to be one of those guys. I’m just stepping up to the plate.
How impressed have you been by Bryce Petty in the first six starts of his career?
AG: Bryce has been great, man. He’s tremendous, a tremendous quarterback and a great leader. That transfers to his play. We put in a lot of time. We waited our time, and now it’s our time. He’s been anticipating this for a long time.
Your teammate, Tevin Reese, says this is the best receiving duo in the country. Agree?
AG: I feel the same way. With us doing the things we’re doing, I feel like no one in the country will be able to stop us if we keep doing our job.
Tevin has also said he watches College GameDay and wonders why you two don’t get talked up more nationally.
AG: We really don’t. I mean, we’re Baylor. No one really tries to discuss Baylor that much. But we’re going to show them. Last couple years, we’ve been pretty good. At first, Baylor was at the bottom. We’re trying to make our way to the top.
Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams, Tevin and now you. How does this offense keep churning out big-time receivers?
AG: Coach [Art] Briles does a great job recruiting. He knows what he likes and he likes speed. He knows how to make you look good.
Baylor is now 6-0. You guys are going to a bowl game for a fourth straight year. Is that still a big deal?
AG: It’s great. I actually wasn’t as excited as I used to be. It’s fun to make a bowl game, but we’re trying to push for bigger. We’re trying to make it to the national championship. I believe it can happen. We’ve got a great team. If we keep doing what we need to be doing, we’ll be fine.
Why do you feel that way? Why is this team set up to make that kind of a run?
AG: Everyone is so close, man. It’s just the bond that everyone has. We’re like a family. We’ve got each other’s back. You’ve got to pick your poison. If you try to stop this guy, we’ve got another guy. We have a lot of guys and a lot of talent on the field.
Why do you think so many of your touchdowns (five) have been 60-plus yarders?
AG: Whenever I get the ball, I’m trying to make a play. I’m looking touchdown every time. It feels good to be doing the things I’m doing, but I can’t worry about that right now. We’re a team.
Are you at least starting to get noticed around campus more now?
AG: I mean, I’m seeing my name a little more. I don’t really try to worry about it. I’m not trying to let that all get to my head.