You'll forgive Todd Boeckman if he seeks out Longhorn Quan Cosby immediately after the Fiesta Bowl Monday night. You see, it's not often that he comes across another player that is car-rental eligible, but that's exactly what Cosby, at the ripe old age of 26 is. In fact, he's 18 months older than Boeckman, giving him the edge in that oh-so crucial benchmark of whether or not you were alive when the Thriller video dropped.
Unlike Boeckman, Cosby has only been on campus for four years. He originally committed to Mack Brown in 2001, but his arrival to Austin was delayed by a stint in the Angels organization after the team selected him in the 6th round of the 2001 draft. Cosby's baseball experiment was short-lived as he spent just four years between rookie and Class A ball1, and he eventually came back to the other sport he happened to be pretty damn good at.
The former two-time all-state football player and 2nd team USA Today All-American quarterback enrolled at Texas in 2005 and saw the field early at the receiver spot. At 23, he was older than his quarterback, Vince Young, and the old man pulled in 15 receptions for 270 yards and 2 TDs as a freshman, including this pretty sick catch against Kansas.
In his sophomore season of 2006, Cosby played in all 13 games, starting eight of them, upping his reception numbers to 45 while accumulating 525 yards and two TDs. He got off to a bit of a slow start, including just three catches for 22 against the Buckeyes in week two, but strung together three seven catch performances and another four catch, 101 yard effort in the Horns' last five games.
Last year, Quan took another step, starting 11 games and hauling in 60 catches for 680 yards and five touchdowns. Though he didn't really dominate any single game, he did catch 10 balls in an early season tilt with Central Florida. This season, his last at Texas, he registered an impressive 78 receptions for 952 yards and eight touchdowns. I know Texas plays pinball offense, but to put those numbers into a little bit of Buckeye perspective, the catches would put him 2nd in the Ohio State books for receptions in a season. Or, just good enough for honorable metnion All-Big 12.
Cosby had three 100-yard games this season, torching UTEP for 154 on eight and the Sooners for 122 on nine catches. He's shown the ability to bounce back from sub-par performances over the last two years, but a disturbing trend has emerged. The primary wideout under McCoy is going to get his, whether it be Sweed or Shipley, but whenever Cosby, the secondary option in each of the last two seasons, is held to three or fewer receptions in a game, the Longhorns are winless. Oh and four. Probably meaningless, but who knows.
Quite capable of burning teams in other ways, Cosby was an All-Big 12 special-teamer last year. The burner2 set a Longhorn record for kick returns last season when he took 42 back for 1,017 yards including a 91 yard touchdown. His numbers dropped in that department this season as he split touches with Shipley and others on returns, but he was still good enough for 20+ a pop on kickoffs.
Against the Buckeyes, Cosby will look to do what he's done for the better part of two years now: catch balls underneath while the Longhorn offense methodically moves down the field. Chekwa will most likely be put on Cosby duty when Ohio State decides to roll man and when the Bucks show zone, he's good enough to find the pockets to keep the chains moving. One thing the Buckeyes must be aware of is Cosby's ability to break on Colt McCoy scrambles, turning what looks to be not much into a wish for someone to stab your eye out. Defensive backs be warned: the
kid old dude likes to block.
Highlights from the Cosby File (Source)
Favorite movies: Bad Boys 1 & 2
My sports hero: Deion Sanders
Favorite cartoon character: Wolverine
1 Cosby left baseball a .260 hitter in 340 career games.
2 He was the Texas 2A state champion in both the 100m (10.46) and 200m (21.31) in 2001.