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Mardy Gilyard: Electric. Dangerous. Best Wide Receiver in the Big East.



Best Wide Receiver in the Big East

All of the above has been used to describe Cincinnati senior receiver Mardy Gilyard

The man can truly do it all. In last Saturday's 70-3 win for Cincinnati, Gilyard scored on a 53-yard punt return, a 1-yard rush, and was twice on the receiving end of touchdown passes--all in the first half. The last player in FBS college football to score on a a punt return, a rush, and a pass in the same game was Maurice (Jones-Drew) of UCLA back in 2005. Granted, this was against Southeast Missouri State, but it's was still an impressive night and shows just what the 6-1, 180 pound Gilyard is capable of. He had 197 all-purpose yards in the game. 

On special teams, Gilyard was best known last year for his kickoff returning ability a year ago. He set a school record with 994 kickoff return yards, scored two touchdowns, and was named the Big East Special Teams Player of the Year as well. This year, he's obviously already expanded his resume with the touchdown on a punt return. 

He was on the receiving end of 11 touchdowns in his junior campaign, and racked up yet another school record-- 1,276 receiving yards over the course of the season. 

Gilyard is a versatile threat to score on nearly any offensive play, as his quickness and agility make him skilled at getting separation. Some even draw comparisions between Gilyard and ex-OSU wide receiver Chad Johnson Ochocinco, like Tom O'Brien of the Bearcats Examiner:

Mardy Gilyard's physical stature is similar to a very accomplished NFL wide receiver Cincinnati fans are quite familiar with - Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson. Enhancing Gilyard's already high draft potential are his speed, great hands and explosive ability. Entering the NFL, Chad Johnson ran a 4.54 at the 2001 combine. Gilyard's 40 yard dash time, according to CBS Sports, is 4.51.

Gilyard, who came to Cincinnati as a cornerback under previous head coach Mark Dantonio, has an obvious passion for the game and thrives in Coach Kelly's offense.

"When I get the game plan, I start licking my lips."

Gilyard will definitely provide a tough matchup for Mark Banker's defense, which ranks 95th in passing defense out of 120 Division FBS teams through two weeks of games. 

--Jake (