1. Clemson: Bolstered by the return of Mike Williams and also the return of their top receiver, Artavis Scott the Clemson have to have the top group of Wide Receivers in the country. Mike Williams missed nearly all of the 2015 season after running into the goal post in game one and breaking his neck. Williams is a big play guy and his return is huge for the Tigers. Williams is tall, fast and extremely athletic coming up with big play after big play. He has that knack for the circus catch.
Artivus Scott is one of the top receivers in the country and he has been the Tigers’ leading receiver for the past two seasons. He is very determined when he catches the ball and he will not be denied.
The Tigers did lose senior Charone Peak and his 50 receptions. But, they have so much talent returning they may not even miss him.
Deon Cain is another big play guy. He was suspended before the playoffs began last year which was a huge blow to Clemson. He should be back this season after catching 34 passes as a true freshman.
The biggest surprise for the Tigers last season was true freshman walk-on Hunter Renfrow. Hauling in 33 passes including 7 for 88 yards and 2 Touchdowns in the championship game against Alabama.
Ray-Ray McCloud, Germone Hopper and Trevione Thompson could start for most teams. They combined for 60 receptions a year ago.
To add to the embarrassment of riches, the Tigers signed 4 star Wide Receivers Diondre Overton and Tavares Chase, plus 3 star Cornell Powell.
2. Oregon: Bralon Addison left to try and make it in the NFL, but don’t feel bad for the Ducks. Darren Carrington is a natural for the big plays and he caught 32 passes a year ago for 609 yards and 6 Touchdowns.
Dwayne Stanford is a 6-5, 210 talent from Ohio that was right up there with Carrington last season with 30 catches and 5 Touchdowns.
The Ducks really need Devon Allen to return to 2014 form, but he is trying to make the US Olympic team in the hurdles. Allen is a graceful athlete that can fly and few Defensive Backs can run with
Charles Nelson moved over to Wide Receiver from Safety last year, but continued to play both ways. He is a speedy, smaller receiver that is a difference maker and is focusing on Offense this year. Jalen Brown and Kirk Merritt are young guys looking for playing time.
True freshman Dillon Mitchell was only a 3 star recruit but he looked more than fabulous in the Oregon Spring Game. He made some incredible plays coming out of nowhere to make spectacular play after spectacular play.
3. Florida State: Last season, Travis Rudolph led the Seminoles in receiving with 59 catches for 916 yards. But, Jesus ‘Bobo’ Wilson was right behind with 58 receptions for 622 yards. Then, Kermit Whitfield was right there also with 57 catches for 798 yards.
Ja’Vonn Harrison, Nyqwan Murray, Ermon Lane, George Campbell and Da’Vante Phillips are all talented guys right on the verge of a break out season. Campbell and Lane, in particular, are expected to do really well. Redshirt freshman Auden Tate is the big receiver that the Seminoles have been longing for since Kelvin Benjamin moved on to the NFL. He is 6-5, 220 and ready for a breakout season.
The Seminoles also signed another big receiver in the 2016 class in Keith Gavin who is 6-3, 220.
4. USC: Quarterback Cody Kessler has used up his eligibility and is trying his hand in the NFL. New Trojan Quarterback Max Browne will have some talent to throw the ball to this Fall with maybe the nation’s best Wide Receiver returning in JuJu Smith-Schuster. He caught 89 passes last year for an impressive 1,454 yards and 10 Touchdowns.
Adoree Jackson is a Cornerback, but plays Wide Receiver also. He is one of the most explosive and exciting players in the country. He plays on both sides of the ball and returns punts and kicks as well.
Steven Mitchell caught 37 passes a year ago, with Darreus Rogers making 28 receptions, and with 15.
De’Quan Hampton, Deontay Burnett, Isaac Whitney, Jalen Greene are guys that could help out, with Greene also playing Quarterback.
Ajene Harris should be back after missing all of the 2015 season due to a hip injury. He did have 4 receptions in 2014 as a freshman and he has supposedly been looking good lately.
Incoming freshman from Georgia, Josh Imatorbhebhe, rejected the SEC schools that were after him to come West.
But, don’t over look the other 4 star Wide Receivers coming in, Tyler Vaughns, Keyshaun Young, Michael Pittman and Velus Jones.
5. LSU: The Tigers always have some talent at Wide Receiver. Unfortunately, the LSU Tigers did lose a few to transfer in the off season, but these guys were just wanting to get the ball more.
The numbers don’t really back my statement, but Malachi Dupre is one of the nation’s great Wide Receivers. He only caught 43 passes last season, but that’s more about LSU’s offense than anything else. He is tall, fast and has great hands possessing the abilities to make the big plays time and time again.
Travin Dural is another big time receiver. He caught 28 passes last season but averaged over 19 yards per catch.
Tyron Johnson, Jazz Ferguson, DJ Chark, Tony Upchurch and Russell Gage are all back. Drake Davis, Stephen Sullivan and Dee Anderson will be eligible in the Fall and all of them are big, fast and talented.
6. Arkansas: The Razorbacks couldn’t throw the ball very well a few years ago, but Brandon Allen an his receivers were pretty good in 2015. Brandon Allen is gone, but his younger brother Austin is poised to take over. Austin Allen looked really good in the Spring Game.
Their top receiver last year just seemingly came out of nowhere. I blogged about Drew Morgan here last season: Morgan
Morgan led all Arkansas receivers last season with 63 receptions. Morgan was their possession Dominique Reed. He hauled in 28 catches for 535 yards which meant over 19 yards per catch.
receiver with surprising speed, while their legitimate deep threat was
Jared Cornelius, Damon Mitchell, Cody Hollister, Jojo Robinson and Kendrick Edwards are all back. Cody Hollister had a really good Spring and could have a breakout season.
For next season, the Hogs will add 4 star receivers TJ Hammonds and Jordan Jones. Kofi Boateng is a 3 star guy from Texas coming also.
Bret Bielema has changed his program from nearly an all run offense to more of a balanced offense which could pay off for them in the SEC standings.
7. Alabama: The Tide will be loaded as always and Wide Receiver will be loaded as usual. Their best receiver last season was a true freshman, Cam Ridley. The incredible Ridley hauled in 89 passes for 1,045 yards and 7 Touchdowns. ArDavius Stewart caught 63 passes for 700 yards. Robert Foster, Cam Sims, Chris Black, Daylon Charlot and Derek Kief all return.
Exciting news for Alabama is the transfer of Bowling Green Wide Receiver Gehrig Dieter. Most SEC fans haven’t seen Bowling Green, but Dieter is a 6-3, 210 talent that caught 94 passes last year for 1,033 yards and 10 Touchdowns. Dieter is this year’s Richard Mullaney, only better.
8. Texas A%M: It’s not clear who will throw these guys the ball, but Christian Kirk is a talent as a receiver and as a punt returner. Josh Reynolds was their big play guy averaging nearly 18 yards per reception.
Ricky Seals-Jones is hard to stop because of his size. Speedy Noil, Damion Ratley, Jeremy Tabuyo and Edward Pope are all returning.
They’ve added Clyde Leflore-Chriss, Quartney Davis and Kendrick Rogers are recruits that could play in 2016.
9. North Carolina: The Tar Heels are loaded at Wide Receiver. They will miss Quinshad Davis, but they do return Ryan Switzer who had 55 catches in 2015. Switzer is more than just a punt return guy.
6-4, 210 Mack Hollins was their big play guy last year when he caught 30 passes for 745 yards and 8 Touchdowns. Bug Howard was one of their other big play men last year when he caught 29 passes
for 488 yards and 4 Touchdowns. It helps that Howard is 6-5, 210.
Austin Proehl is the son of long time NFL receiver, Ricky Proehl. Jordan Fieulleteau is back for his junior season and will need to come on strong if he wants any playing time.
The Tar Heels had an outstanding recruiting class in 2015 and they had the depth to redshirt some people. Juval Mollette is a 6-4, 200 Wide Receiver from Randleman, North Carolina who was a highly recruited 4 star and he will be available this season.
3 star recruit Roscoe Johnson is a member of the 2016 class, but will probably redshirt.
10. Penn State: Christian Hackenberg decided to head for the NFL, but they have about everybody else back. Chris Godwin caught 69 passes for 1,101 yards. Godwin is one of the top receivers in the nation. Daesean Hamilton also returns after making 45 catches for 580 yards.
Saeed Blacknall only caught 8 passes, but he averaged over 31 yards per catch. He is a 6-3, 210 dangerous threat and he needs to see the ball more.
Geno Lewis is also back after catching 17 passes a year ago and he also threw a Touchdown pass. Brandon Polk, DeAndre Thompkins and Greg Garrity are also available. Juwan Johnson and Irvin Charles redshirted last year as freshmen. They are almost twins at 6-4, 215 and they could make an impact in 2016.
Dae’Lun Darien is a 3 star 6-4, 200 Wide Receiver from Maryland.
11. Washington State: Not many schools throw the ball around more than the Cougars of Washington State and their coach Mike Leach. Gabe Marks returns for his senior year coming off of a 2015 season where he caught 104 passes for 1,192 yards and 15 Touchdowns.
The Cougars did lose explosive Dom Williams who is a big loss. But, River Cracraft had 53 Robert Lewis had 43. Kyrin Priester, John Thompson, Kyle Sweet and Tavares Martin also return and they combined for 86 catches last season.
Mike Leach runs the type of program that attracts receivers and watch for 4 star recruit Isaiah Johnson who is a 6-3, 205 talent from Palm Beach, Florida. He should play really early.
They also landed 3 star prospects Grant Porter, Josiah Westbrook, Renard Bell, Stephen Houston and Dezmon Patmon.
Leach will have a lot of bodies to choose from in 2016.
12. Texas Tech: The Red Raiders generally have a truckload of receivers and this year is no different.
They did lose their best receiver, Jakeem Grant, but they have plenty of good talent returning. Devin Lauderdale had the most receptions of returning receivers with 43 catches. He was followed closely by Ian Sadler with 42.
After Grant and his 90 receptions, the Red Raiders spread the ball around a lot. Reginald Davis is back after catching 38 passes with 8 of those going for scores. Cameron Batson had another 29 catches, and Zach Austin had 22.
Jonathon Giles, Tony Brown, Keke Coutee, and Ja’Deion High are young receivers that combined for 48 receptions.
13. Indiana: The Hoosiers lost their Quarterback Nate Sudfeld who was drafted by the Washington Redskins, but they have Zander Diamont and Junior College transfer Richard Lagow available to take over. I have blogged about both Diamont and Lagow: Lagow and Diamont
Simmie Cobbs Jr had 60 receptions last season that went for 1,035 yards and 4 Touchdowns. Ricky Jones caught 54 passes and Mitchell Paige had 57 pass receptions.
Nick Westbrook, Isaac Griffith and Luke Timian are also back.
Taysir Mack and Phil Benker could help in 2016 if needed.
The Hoosiers run the ball really well and that opens up the passing game. They have had one of the better offenses around in recent seasons under head coach Kevin Wilson.
14. Kentucky: The Wildcats got close to bowl eligibility last year, but failed in the end and finished up 5-7. They have all of their Wide Receivers coming back led by Garrett Johnson and Dorian Baker. Johnson had 46 receptions and Baker had 55. Jeff Badet and Blake Bone are next with 29 and 20 catches respectively.
Ryan Timmons, Charles Walker, Alexander Montgomery, and TV Williams are also back.
They also added Junior College transfer Kayaune Ross is unranked but he has good size at 6-4, 220.