Stedman Bailey is from the Miami area and originally was at a school that was a run heavy offense and his talent and development was being wasted. Geno Smith recruited Bailey to join him at Miramar High School in Miami and the two of them became really good friends. Geno actually took Stedman to New York and he was part of Geno's "entourage" and Bailey said that he wanted to be there for his friend. Bailey caught 68 passes for 1,163 yards and 14 touchdowns while at Miramar and Geno, Bailey and another receiver Ivan McCartney were part of the 2009 recruiting class. (Miramar's high school coach was a former linebacker for WVU back in mid to late 90's) One of the factors that caused him to choose WVU is that WVU was willing to offer both Smith and Bailey.
When Bailey came to WVU he was redshirted for his first year because WVU had two players WR Jock Sanders and WR Alric Arnett were above him on the depth chart. Bailey made his debut in 2010 starting 9 games and playing 13. He finished the season with 24 recs for 317 yds and 4 tds. He proved to be a good deep threat down the field and scored 32 yard touchdown against NC State in the bowl game that year (unfortunately that was all the scoring that WVU did that day). Jeff Mullen (formerly of Wake Forest) was the offensive coordinator and he did not have much imagination for the offense and was subsequently fired after 2 seasons at WVU. Enter Dana Holgersen and the "Air Raid" offense (or "Eer Raid" as WVU fans like to call it) in 2011 and Bailey exploded. With increased opportunity Bailey was able to catch 72 passes for 1289 yards and 12 tds. The following season WVU had more production out of the qb position and Bailey was able to make 114 recs for 1622 and an eye-popping 25tds (and no that is NOT A TYPO). Bailey's best game was against Baylor last year where he made 13 recs for 303 yards and 5 tds. Bailey has always seemed to fly under the radar because of the presence of Austin. Bailey was the voted first runner up for the Biletnikoff award and lost to USC WR Marquise Lee despite having all around better stats (how he did not when is a mystery to me)! I believe that he fell to the third round because he does not have the explosion that Austin has and there was some concern as to whether he could get separation at the next level.
On the field:
I will bang the table for Stedman Bailey having the best hands of any WR in the draft and that includes Tavon Austin (although Austin has very good hands as well). Bailey hardly ever drops a pass. He often makes spectacular receptions and even catches the ball well in traffic. I'm sure you have heard or read that Bailey plays bigger than his size. That is true and what they mean by that is that Bailey has the ability, much like taller receivers, to track the ball and catch the ball at it's highest point. Bailey is also really good at making over the shoulder catches. Although Bailey doesn't have the explosive 4.2 speed Austin does, he runs a high 4.4 and has a 34 inch vertical so there is some explosion there as well. Bailey is also a good route runner. At WVU he was used as a deep threat most of the time and ran intermediate to deep routes. In 2011 he averaged 17.8 yards per reception and this past year he averaged nearly 15 yards per reception. On occasion he did see some WR screens and shorter passes but most of that was relegated to Austin. Bailey and Austin complemented each other well because if you try to take one of them away than that benefited the other. Geno and Stedman had great chemistry and Stedman and Geno were able to develop that back shoulder catch was makes it nearly impossible for a DB to defend against (I think we have seen that throw in the NFL quite a bit). I would love to see Stedman and Bradford develop that kind of chemistry together.
I am interested in how Schotty will use Bailey in the passing attack. I have heard rumors that they may put him in the slot on one side and have Tavon in the slot on the other in a 4 WR set. That intrigues me if that is the direction that the team decides to take with him since it seems that Givens is deep threat on the team (at least that what I have been told) . CAN'T WAIT FOR THE SEASON! Go RAMS!!!