Well, it's Kellen Moore Day here at the Countdown. That means we have 11 days until the season begins and we also get to highlight the Broncos' most dynamic playmaker—Shane Williams-Rhodes... all 5 foot 6 of him.
#11, Shane Williams-Rhodes, Junior, Wide Receiver
Weight: 158 lbs
Hometown: Spring, Texas
High School: Klein Collins HS
How'd he get to the Blue™?
By being good at the football. Williams-Rhodes was a terror on the gridiron for his Klein Collins squad. He was named first team all-district last season as a wide receiver and kick returner and was named team MVP (and captain) after accounting for 1,384 yards of offense and 19 TDs. As a junior, Williams-Rhodes was named the district's offensive MVP and to the all-district first team as well after rushing for 640 yards and 11 TDs and hauling in 43 passes for 877 yards and 9 more scores. Rated a 3-star recruit by Scout.com, he chose the Broncos over an offer from Kansas State, who I assume told him he could be the "next Darren Sproles". Boise State told him he'd get to be the "first Shane Williams-Rhodes"
"Superman" in honor of his look-a-like...
...Boxing's best pound-for-pound fighter of all time: Roy Jones Jr.
I know, it's a little bit of a stretch, but the coaches named SWR the strongest pound-for-pound Bronco, so I'm just going to ride that theme while I can.
Played as a true freshman, catching 25 passes for 142 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 97 yards and two touchdowns. As a sophomore, he was on pace to easily break the Boise State record for catches in a season until a late season injury derailed the effort. Regardless, SWR finished with 77 catches with 702 yards and six touchdowns, good enough for All-Mountain West honorable mention. He was also named to the Academic All-Mountain West team and was the recipient of my favorite touchdown of last season:
As a freshman, SWR was in all sorts of gadgetry. Last year, he was the master of the bubble screen. This year? It looks like he will transition to a more traditional slot receiver role. Although with this coaching staff, I bet the gadgetry levels return to those of 2012.
With a new offensive scheme, one more focused on exploiting vertical seems rather than getting players into space, it's fair to reason that SWR will finish with fewer catches than last year. His yardage, however, will probably balloon. His 9.1 yards per catch were rather pedestrian but understandable under the circumstances. Speaking of yards per catch, who led the Broncos in that category last year? Matt Miller? Aaron Burks? Geraldo Boldewijn? Nope, No, Nyet—It was Dillon Lukehart with one masterful catch for 30 yards on a fake punt. But I digress. With a much larger per catch average, more scoring opportunities, and being utilized all over the field, expect SWR to improve on his All-MWC honorable mention and make a run at the Paul Hornung Award for college football's most versatile player.
Bottom line, Shane Williams-Rhodes will be a large part of the offense. He may not be the focal point (see Day 27: Jay Ajayi) but he will force every Defensive Coordinator to account for his whereabouts at all times. This will open up holes all over the field, which the likes of Ajayi, Miller, and Hedrick will exploit with ease, highly orchestrated ease.
If you want to have some fun, take a look at his high school highlight reel.
Is he on Twitter?
Of course... and it looks like he is an Ice Bucket Challenge victim too:
Movies or parts of movies I've watched today:
Batman Begins, Back to the Future III, The Dark Knight Rises, The Wedding Planner, Man of Steel. One does not belong.