We return to the surprises of 2006 with a nod to the rapidly emerging Quan Cosby. There wasn't much question that Cosby had superior talent and skills, but his contributions - epsecially in the second half of the season - were remarkable. I decided on Cosby because of the very strong rapport that he seems to have built with Colt McCoy.
Consider Cosby's last five games of the season:
Cosby's least productive game down the stretch was at Kansas State, when Jevan Snead completed just 13 of his 30 pass attempts. Greg Davis and Colt McCoy developed a nice rhythm in the passing game, using Limas Sweed to extend opposing secondaries deep, while utilizing Cosby as a reliable possession receiver underneath. The results were terrific and bode well for an oustanding offensive season for the Longhorns next year, as well.
Cosby also completed a beautiful pass of his own on a reverse wide receiver toss, a play which netted Texas 34 yards and helped set up a score. When Texas fans were fretting about Colt McCoy's health heading into the Alamo Bowl, it was Cosby who Texas would have relied on to back up Matt McCoy in emergency duty. Throw in 24.4 yards per kickoff return and 64 yards on two punt returns, and Cosby had one heck of a good year for the 'Horns.
After his breakout 2006 season, Cosby can't make this list again next season. Big things will be expected from him, and judging from the way he and McCoy finished the year... I seriously doubt we'll find him on the list of disappointments, either.
Top 5 Surprises of the 2006 Season
#5 Scott Derry
#4 Derek Lokey
#3: Quan Cosby