- Duke Williams – Auburn (6-2, 215) LaPlace, Louisiana. Jr: I like Duke Williams more than some, but then I liked Sammie Coates better than most, too. Duke Williams is a big play guy in a big body and has all of the intangibles. Guaranteed a double team on most plays and still comes down with the big play time after time. Auburn lost Quarterback Nick Marshall, but his replacement may be a better passer which could work out perfectly for Williams. Auburn doesn’t throw the ball as much as some, but Williams still caught 45 passes for 730 yards and 5 Touchdowns. With the loss of Coates at Wide Receiver and the addition of Jeremy Johnson at Quarterback expect Williams to see a lot more throws come his way.
- Laquon Treadwell – Ole Miss (6-2, 230) Crete, Illinois. Jr: I still cringe when I think of Treadwell’s injury last year against Auburn. Just a bad break, in more ways than one, for him and his team. Treadwell is an outstanding talent and has been the Ole Miss Rebels’ top receiver for the past 2 seasons. Like Duke Williams, he is a big body with all of the intangibles. He doesn’t have the great speed, but is more than fast enough. Treadwell caught 48 passes for 632 yards and 5 Touchdowns following a true freshman season when he caught 72 passes. His injury cost him the last 4 games of the season. Ole Miss is past the Bo Wallace period and may be into the Chad Kelly era unless he gets in more trouble. Kelly, the nephew of Hall of Fame Quarterback Jim Kelly, has all of the tools but may have off field issues.
- Michael Thomas – Ohio State (6-3, 210) Los Angeles, California. Jr: Thomas is big time and proved it over and over last year. He’s tall, fast, and has the ability to cut on a dime and turn it up field as he showed the entire world against Oregon in the national championship game. Thomas teamed with Devin Smith and Jalin Marshall to form possibly the most dangerous Wide Receiver group in the country. The pass from Jalin Marshall to Michael Thomas just seconds before the half may have been the turning point in the game. Thomas will be back for his junior season after catching 54 passes for 799 yards and 9 Touchdowns. 2014 was his first season to start and Ohio State struggled early with the loss of Quarterback Braxton Miller. Look for Thomas to have a huge junior year and then leap to the NFL. I will be anxious to see his 40 time at the NFL Combine.
- JuJu Smith – USC (6-2, 210) Long Beach, California. Soph: Smith was the Trojan’s second highest rated recruit in the 2014 class and just exploded onto the scene from day one as if he had always been there. This guy is a big time play maker. Smith as a true freshman hauled in 54 receptions for 724 yards and 5 Touchdowns, but with the loss of Nelson Agholor, Smith will be counted on to carry the burden of the passing game and senior Quarterback Cody Kessler. Like the others above him on the list, he is a big receiver that has great hands and can move. I would be surprised if Smith did not catch around 100 passes in 2015.
- Mike Williams – Clemson (6-4, 210) Vance, South Carolina. Jr: Clemson’s big play guy in 2014 was Mike Williams. He is also big, with excellent speed and hands and just has a knack for coming down with the football. He caught 57 passes last season for a very impressive 1,030 yards and 6 Touchdowns. Williams was impressive in the Clemson Spring Game and got better from there. The Tigers had some Quarterback problems last season mostly with injuries, but Deshaun Watson should be a force there this season which is good news for Mike Williams and sidekick Artavis Scott.
- William Fuller – Notre Dame (6-0, 180) Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Jr: To me, Fuller was one of the more impressive receivers in the country as far as deep threats go. The speedster from Philly was dangerous all season long and came down with 76 catches for 1,094 yards and a very inspiring 15 Touchdown receptions. The Irish had an impressive start in 2014, but
collapsed after the Florida State game. Fuller’s best game came against Northwestern when he had 9 catches for 159 yards and 3 Touchdowns but Fuller was pretty consistent most of the season. Will be interesting to watch with the Quarterback situation going on in South Bend.
- Tyler Boyd – Pittsburgh (6-2, 190) Clairton, Pennsylvania. Jr: Pittsburgh’s version of a big play guy. Boyd caught 78 passes in 2014 for 1,261 yards and 8 Touchdowns. James Conner’s production at Running Back for Pitt definitely opened up opportunities for Boyd and he took full advantage of them. The only negative on Boyd is that he dropped a possible reception that would have given Pittsburgh a shot at beating Houston in their bowl game which they lost 35-34. Still, Boyd came up big for the Panthers time after time las year. Boyd also returned punts and kick offs.
- Cayleb Jones – Arizona (6-3, 215) Austin, Texas. Jr: The Texas Longhorn transfer was a star last season for the Wildcats. His father was a former NFL Linebacker and Cayleb inherited some of that size. He’s not a burner, but has the size and strength and great hands. He came down with 73 catches for 1,019 yards and 9 Touchdowns. Good possession receiver and tough for a small Cornerback to cover.
- De’Runnya Wilson – Mississippi State (6-5, 225) Birmingham, Alabama. Jr: Named Alabama’s Mr Basketball, Wilson decided a 6-5 Power Forward was an every day thing, but a 6-5 Wide Receiver was a possible hot commodity. Some college football coaches love to recruit high school basketball players because of their athleticism and Wilson is definitely an outstanding athlete. Wilson caught 47 passes in 2014 which was good for 680 yards and 9 Touchdowns. A lot of those receptions were of the jump ball variety and he is going to beat most Defensive Backs in that situation. Wilson is not a burner, but has most everything else needed to become a super Wide Receiver.
- Travis Rudolph – Florida State (6-2, 185) West Palm Beach, Florida. Soph: What is Florida State without some top Wide Receivers? Rudolph and teammate Ermon Lane were 2 of the top 6 Wide Receivers in the country in last year’s recruiting class and both will be stars. Rudolph put up better numbers as a true freshman and looks like the next big thing at Florida State and will do his best to replace Rashad Greene. Rudolph caught 38 passes for 555 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Supposedly, he runs a 4.4 40 yard dash and he looked pretty quick last year as a freshman. He played high school ball for former Miami Hurricane Quarterback Steve Walsh and he actually committed to the Canes before switching to Florida State.
- Pharoh Cooper – South Carolina (5-11, 200) Havelock, North Carolina. Jr: Cooper is a threat to take it the distance at any time. Cooper had 69 receptions in 2014 good for 1,136 yards and 9 Touchdowns. Great thing about Pharoh Cooper is that he caught 9 touchdown passes, he ran for 200 yards and 2 more Touchdowns, and he threw 8 passes completing 5 of them for 78 yards and still 2 more Touchdowns. It’s too bad he couldn’t play Defensive Back for the Gamecocks as well because he did pretty much any and all things on offense. For the second year in a row the Gamecocks will be breaking in a new Quarterback. For the life of me I cannot figure out why some college coaches refuse to get another player ready when they have a senior at Quarterback and especially a coach that used to play Quarterback. But, if South Carolina has a productive Quarterback, look for Cooper to have another great season and head out for the NFL. Cooper also returned punts.
- Rashard Huggins – Colorado State (6-2, 190) Mesquite, Texas. Jr: One does have to consider the competition, but Huggins has been a super star for the Colorado State Rams the last 2 seasons. As a freshman, Huggins caught 68 passes. Last season as a sophomore, Huggins just blew everybody away with 96 catches for 1,750 yards and 17 Touchdowns. Huggins led the country in receiving yards, in yards per game and Touchdowns. Huggins was unranked coming out of high school when he signed with Colorado State and was more than likely considered too small at the time. That’s another reason why I am not a huge fan of early recruiting. Some of these athletes just develop a little later than others and the bigger schools certainly missed on Rashard Huggins. Colorado State lost their coach and their Quarterback. But, they hired Georgia Offensive Coordinator Mike Bobo. California Nick Stevens looks to be the next Quarterback and he has tremendous potential.
- Leonte Carroo – Rutgers (6-1, 205) Edison, New Jersey. Sr: Carroo was a fun guy to watch last season with his big play ability. He caught 55 passes for an impressive 1,086 yards which amounted to 19.75 yards per catch. He had 10 Touchdown receptions and many of them were impressive. Carroo only had 28 catches as a sophomore, but 9 of them went for Touchdowns. Carroo has supposedly run in the 40 yard dash in the 4.3s and those are usually exaggerated much like height, weight and bench press, the man can run and took quite a few passes the distance in 2014. Rutgers did lose their Quarterback, Gary Nova, and they will need somebody to step up there. If sophomores Chris Leviano or Hayden Rettig can pick up where Gary Nova left off at Quarterback, Rutgers could have a decent team. Rettig transferred to Rutgers from LSU.
- Mekale McKay – Cincinnati (6-6, 200) Louisville, Kentucky. Sr: A case might be made that McKay is not even the best Wide Receiver on his own team. But McKay is 6-6 with some enormous potential. In 2014, McKay caught 44 passes for 725 yards and 8 Touchdowns. If Quarterback Gunner Kiel can stay healthy in 2015, look for McKay to have a big season and he will be well liked by NFL scouts other than he’s still a bit on the thin side at 6-6, 195 to 200. He will need to muscle up a little bit to be really successful in the NFL. I am basing my selection of McKay off of what I think he can do in 2015.
- Corey Davis – Western Michigan (6-2, 205) Wheaton, Illinois. Jr: Western Michigan has two outstanding sophomore Receivers returning in Davis and Daniel Braverman. They also had a really good sophomore Quarterback in Zach Terrell and all of them are back. The Western Michigan Broncos also have tremendous sophomore Running Back, Jarvion Franklin, came in as a freshman and rushed for 1,551 yards and an amazing 24 Touchdowns. Watch out for Western Michigan next season in the Mid American Conference. Braverman had more catches than Davis, but Davis had more yardage and Braverman has some outstanding speed. Davis had 78 catches for 1,408 yards and 15 Touchdowns. Western Michigan plays Michigan State and Ohio State next season and it will be interesting to see if they can put up those kinds of numbers against good Big 10 teams.
15 A. Nelson Spruce – Colorado (6-1, 195) Westlake Village, California. Sr: Spruce caught 106 passes in 2014 that totaled 1,198 yards and 12 Touchdowns. Spruce was one of the few bright spots in another bad season in Boulder, Colorado. Spruce also completed 2 out of 2 passes with 1 Touchdown. 2015 should be more of the same for the Buffaloes, but Spruce should have another big season.
B. Speedy Noil – Texas A%M (5-11, 185) New Orleans, Louisiana. Soph: Noil is a burner that hauled in 46 passes for 583 yards and 5 Touchdowns. Speedy also returned punts and had a 12 yard average last season and on kick off returns he had a 23.89 average. Speedy Noil should put up some really big numbers over the next 2 years.
C. Malachi Dupre – LSU (6-3- 190) New Orleans, Louisiana. Soph. Nobody has any idea how good this guy can be and unless LSU gets their Quarterbacking situation figured out, we may not know next season either. Dupre only caught 14 passes as a true freshman but that was far from his fault. He has the length that everyone talks about these days. Whatever happened to height? He will fill into his frame and live up to the number 1 ranking he was given as a high school senior. Teammate Travin Dural might should be on this list as well and fellow sophomore Trey Quinn may wind up some lists before it’s all said and done. LSU just needs to get their Quarterback position fixed.
D. Pig Howard – Tennessee (5-8, 185) Orlando, Florida. Sr: Howard led the Volunteers in receptions last season with 54 which covered 618 yards. Oddly, Howard only had 1 Touchdown catch in 2014, but he ran for 96 yards on the ground and scored 2 Touchdowns. Pig Howard has some quickness and should have a much better season with Joshua Dobbs in the lineup all year.
Some others that are close to making lists:
Sterling Shepard – Oklahoma: Could be in top 15.
Mike Dudek – Illinois: Outstanding freshman for the Fighting Illini. Was lightly recruited and then had 76 catches as a true freshman. Great hands.
KD Cannon – Baylor: Another great true freshman that could have easily been in the top 15. Caught 58 passes for over 1,000 yards. Very explosive.
Josh Doctson -TCU: The 6-4 Doctson might get moved into the top 15 later, he is really good. As a junior, Doctson caught 65 passes for just over 1000 yards and 11 Touchdowns. He will be loved by NFL scouts.
Artavis Scott – Clemson: Yet another outstanding true freshman in 2014. Scott had 76 catches for slightly under a thousand yards. Present and future star.
Jordan Payton – UCLA: Payton is a big time player with good size and speed.
DaeSean Hamilton – Penn State: True freshman star caught 82 passes. Excellent size and hands.
Josh Reynolds – Texas A%M: Big receiver and the Aggies big play guy and he could be on above list.
Bo Hines – North Carolina State: 2014 was the year of the freshman and Hines was yet another talent.
Demarcus Robinson – Florida: If only somebody could throw the ball to him.
River Cracraft – Washington State: Tough kid with good hands. System player?
Travin Dural – LSU: Could be on the list above. Talented guy.
Devon Allen – Oregon: National hurdling champion can fly. Injured during year but serious talent.
Darren Carrington – Oregon: Talent if Oregon can find a Quarterback.