They terrorized the Big 12 with 153 combined receptions, 2,690 receiving yards and 34 touchdowns while distinguishing themselves among the nation’s top receivers during the regular season.
But neither Baylor’s Corey Coleman nor TCU’s Josh Doctson will add to their eye-popping numbers during the bowl season. As injuries will keep Doctson (wrist) and Coleman (sports hernia) from ending their collegiate careers with a bang.
TCU’s offense hasn’t been the same since Doctson, who had 79 receptions for 1,327 yards and 14 touchdowns, was injured in early November. After hoping to return in the bowl game, last week the senior was ruled out of the Valero Alamo Bowl against Oregon.
"He’s definitely a huge weapon for them," Oregon defensive end DeForest Buckner said. "It’ll ease up the pressure on the secondary and the whole defense in general, so it’s a benefit for us and we just have to take advantage of something like that."
Meanwhile, Coleman brings a different element to Baylor’s offense with his versatility. He had 74 receptions for 1,363 yards and 20 touchdowns and added 111 rushing yards when sliding into the backfield as a running back. Baylor faces North Carolina in the Russell Athletic Bowl on Tuesday.
It’s a missed opportunity to see the Big 12’s best receivers one final time before they start playing on Sundays.
Yet, for the young receivers on both squads, this is an opportunity to start blazing a path toward 2016 and a potential breakout campaign. TCU coach Gary Patterson and Baylor's Art Briles expressed as much heading into the bowl season with Patterson saying he trusts the playmakers who will replace his star receiver and Briles taking a similar stance.
"We look at it as an inspiring opportunity," Briles said. "I have a lot of faith and belief in the guys we've got."
Here’s a look at a three receivers (one known, two unknown) on each roster who could step up in the bowl games and set themselves up to be a bigger part of their teams' plans heading into the offseason.
KD Cannon: The sophomore will get the chance to prove he can be a No. 1 receiver after cementing his status as one of the Big 12’s best complementary targets during his first two seasons. Cannon led the Bears with 449 receiving yards and five touchdowns alongside Coleman during Baylor’s final five games.
Ishmael Zamora: There has been plenty of buzz about the 6-foot-4, 220-pound redshirt freshman, but he only had eight receptions for 108 yards and two touchdowns in the regular season. The bowl game is his chance to shine.
Davion Hall: Remember when there was a question of which young receiver was better, Hall or Cannon? The injury bug hit Hall and Cannon soared. Yet Hall’s talent remains. The sophomore needs to take advantage this opportunity to earn a role in the offense.
Shaun Nixon: The converted running back was TCU’s most targeted pass-catcher in November and December. The redshirt freshman was targeted 33 times for a team-high 23 receptions, 253 yards and one touchdown. He’s a versatile playmaker.
Emanuel Porter: The sophomore been a quality target when healthy. Porter had 12 receptions for 154 yards and one touchdown this season and could use the bowl game to cement a role -- even with the Horned Frogs' rising level of talent at receiver -- in 2016.
Jarrison Stewart: The true freshman saw more time with Doctson hampered during the final stretch of the regular season, amassing six receptions for 54 yards and one touchdown.