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Gettis starts shining in blowout defeats

Nov. 15, 2006

Sports editor

In 2005, freshman receiver David Gettis became the first U.S. Army All-American Bowl participant to ever sign with the Bears. After catching 31 passes for 600 yards and nine touchdowns in his senior season of high school, the 6-foot-4 speed receiver was expected to step in and excel immediately at the collegiate level.

But after he was forced to miss what would have been his freshman season when he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA Clearinghouse, Baylor coaches and fans had to wait a year to see what he could do.

Because of the ruling, Gettis, who is also a standout track athlete, was away from football for a year. Regardless, Gettis signed with Baylor for a second time in January 2006.

While expectations were still high, his playing time was limited through the first nine games, and he didn't make a single reception.

Being underneath Baylor's leading receiver, senior Trent Shelton, on the depth chart kept Gettis off the field until the Bears' last two games durng which he has seen his role increase in blowout losses.

While his three catches, 75 yards and one touchdown in the team's past two games may appear to be minor accomplishments, the fact that he's asserted himself in recent weeks has everyone associated with the team excited.

"I think the last four or five weeks he's really started working hard. I think it was more of a situation where we can get him in and kind of let him do what he does well," said offensive coordinator Lee Hays.

"He's as good as anybody when is comes to running the hitch or the post. Our problem is throwing it deep enough for him.

"But he's really starting to shine, and I'm really excited about him."

Gettis, who caught his first collegiate touchdown in Saturday's game against Oklahoma State University, said it was a little frustrating to play so little early this season, but he's glad he's been able to contribute in recent weeks.

"Any time you get to score, that's great," Gettis said. "I'm just happy to get an opportunity to help my team out.

"The most important thing is helping my team any way I can."

Gettis said after having such little impact on the team the first nine games of this season, he wanted to show fans that he is as good as advertised.

Freshman quarterback Blake Szymanski said over the next three years, Gettis' play will speak for itself.

"Regardless of what people say about him, he's a playmaker," Szymanski said. "Because he hasn't gotten the opportunity to get on the field, they're saying, 'He's not what he was expected to be,' but that's not at all true.

"He's going to be good for us -- really good."