Today, I have the esteemed pleasure of writing the last numerical roster countdown for #82 Thomas Sperbeck. He will go down as one of the greatest, and if I may be so bold, THE greatest wide receiver to ever play on the Blue Turf.
#82, Thomas Sperbeck, Senior, WR
Weight: 180 lbs. (+4)
High School: Jesuit High School, Carmichael, CA
How'd he get to The Blue™?
Sperbeck did everything for Jesuit. His senior season, he lead the team in passing, rushing, tackles and scoring. Yes, ALL OF THE THINGS. He completed 57 of 156 passes for 1,049 yards and 13 TDs, rushed for 932 yards and 9 TDs and had 69 tackles, 40 of which were solo. That's crazy pants if you ask me. He was also named MaxPreps All-Sac-Joaquin Section First Team, Sacramento Bee All-Metro First Team on offense and Sac-Joaquin Section Delta River All-Purpose Player of the Year.
I'm going to go with what Damien used last year.
Maybe that makes me lazy, but that just fits him.
I think we are all pretty aware that Sperbeck is a special talent. The funny thing is that he was recruited as a safety. They burned his red shirt in 2013 to play him at wide receiver. That season was a modest one from him, hauling in 5 passes for 40 yards and no touchdowns. His sophomore year was his break-out year with 51 receptions for 877 yards and 3 TDs. We were fairly deep at WR that year, but with Miller out with an injury, Sperbeck got his chance to shine. He was named the Offensive MVP of the Fiesta Bowl that year.
Last season was easily his best listed on the pre-season Biletnikoff watch list. He set the single season yardage record with 1,412, passing Titus Young's previous record of 1,215. He also tied Matt Miller's single season receptions record with 88 and set the record for receptions in a game with 20, passing Tim Gilligan's 16 from 2003. In that same New Mexico game where he set the single game record of 20 receptions, he also set the single game yardage record with 281 yards. He finished the season with 88 receptions for 1,412 yards and 8 TDs. He was also named to the All Mountain West first-team offense.
Another nickname for Sperbeck could be "Mr. Consistency". If the ball gets within what seems like a 10 yard radius of him, he comes down with it. We already know that Sperbeck will be THE guy at WR with Chaz as another starter. Richardson, Wilson or Modster could all slide into that 3rd spot, as could any of the rest of the receivers. But Sperbeck has a chance to have a very special season. He most likely won't beat Miller's career receptions of 244 as he needs 100 more to beat him. Considering he just tied the single season record of 88, he'll have to nab another 12 receptions just to tie it, which is roughly a solid games worth. He currently sits at 9th on the career yardage list with 2,329 yards. That means he needs just 735 yards to take the #1 spot from Titus Young, who has 3,063 yards. That is a very achievable record, to say the least.
If he were to have 735 yards receiving, that would be his 3rd best receiving season in his career and just a little over half of what he had in 2015. Having had the success he has had, I would imagine MW defensive coordinators will be keying in on him a little more, so to expect him to eclipse his 1,412 yard extravaganza he had last year would be a bit far-fetched. Not entirely impossible, but I wouldn't count on it. 1,000 yards though? With sophomore Brett Rypien at the helm and a year under his belt? Absolutely.
With 11 total TDs, he won't pass up Austin Pettis' career TD record of 39. If he has a crazy season and doubles his total TD from last season, he could tie Shoemaker for TDs in a season, but I wouldn't hold him to it. He could possible tie or beat the TDs in a game record of 4, which has a 4 way tie right now, but again, I wouldn't expect it. I'd think a 1,000+ yard season and 10 TDs would suffice. I'd like to see him get 89 receptions this season just to nab that record as well.
To recap, Sperbeck currently owns 3 BSU receiving records. He has a solid chance of owning at least one more, if not 2. We still have summer and fall camp to get through though, so let's not get ahead of ourselves. For now, enjoy some crazy catches and highlights of the legend that is Thomas Sperbeck.
Is he on Twitter?
Negative. I bet he has all of his sanity then.
Completely made up fact
There is a reason that Thomas is so good at catching. He refuses to eat anything that could get his hands messy. S'mores, hot wings, and ribs have all been black listed for him.