When UCF head coach George O'Leary described his first impressions of Fiesta Bowl opponent Baylor based on the handful of times he saw them on television this season, he said, "They have a very explosive offense."
That would be an understatement, especially now that the Bears will have senior wide receiver Tevin Reese available on Jan. 1.
Reese missed the final four games of the regular season after dislocating his right wrist in a win over Oklahoma, an injury that required surgery. But Reese had 824 receiving yards and eight touchdowns in eight games, averaging an absurd 25 yards per reception, forming a potent pairing with junior Antwan Goodley.
With redshirt junior Levi Norwood totaling 24 receptions for 358 yards and four touchdowns in Reese's absence, the Baylor passing offense could be even more dangerous entering the program's first-ever BCS bowl.
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"We're planning on having him back and that's a big boost for him and us as a football team," Baylor coach Art Briles told the Waco Tribune. "It will definitely give us a boost offensively because he's a guy that can scare a defense."
For Reese (5-foot-10, 170 pounds), it gives him 15 more practices and one more game before transitioning to preparations for the NFL draft. It also gives him one final appearance in a Baylor uniform.
"I don't know if I can put it into words -- it's an overwhelming feeling," Reese said. "It was tough being out knowing I can't help my teammates. It tested my patience, but it let me know the kind of player I need to be off the field."
With 24 career touchdown catches, Reese could be an explosive option in the slot or a DeSean Jackson-style deep threat outside at the next level.