After taking an in depth look at each conference to find the Best Running Backs in College Football I decided to continue on find out who is primed to be the best Wide Receivers in 2008. While this is a little more difficult overall than looking into the backfield, I’ve come up with some great players that will be suiting up this fall. Here is my breakdown of the best receivers accompanied by their 2007 stats….
1. Mike Thomas: Arizona: 07 1st Team All Pac-10: 83 Rec 1038 YDS 12.7 AVG 11 TD. One of our favorite Wildcats, a returning Senior that made the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award. After the first year of Sunny Dykes spread offense he has excelled and looks to only get better. Thomas will most likely be breaking some school receiving records after this season, sorry Northcutt.
2. Brandon Gibson: Washington St.: 07 1st Team All Pac-10: 67 Rec 1180 YDS 9 TD
3. Jaison Williams: Oregon: 55 Rec 884 YDS 8 TD
4. Patrick Turner: USC: 48 Rec 569 YDS 3 TD
Chris McGaha: Arizona State 61 Rec 830 YDS 1
Tied at fourth we have two guys that are looking to have break out years. Turner was the second leading receiver on the Trojans behind TE Fred Davis, and should be solidified as the number one target in 08’. McGaha is also looking to break out, he ranked 6th overall in receiving yards in the Pac-10 this year and is looking to increase that number. Also, his TD number might surprise you, but he will be a big part of the Sun Devils success in the passing game this year.
The Big Ten which is not particularly known for it aerial prowess and big name wide receivers has lost many of their more notable names. With the absence of Manningham (Michigan), Devin Thomas (Michigan St), Dorien Bryant ( Purdue), and James Hardy (Indiana), the conference is pretty open in terms of top receivers. Ohio State has without a doubt one of the best receiving cores and two of the best individual this year in the Big Ten. Butler is looking to have a big season and breakout while Jefferson will be playing on a very competitive Badgers team that will need to see some good production from him.
1. Brian Robiskie: Ohio State: 55 Rec 935 YDS 11 TDS
2. Brian Hartline: Ohio State: 52 Rec 694 YDS 6 TD
3. Deon Butler: Penn State: 47 Rec 633 YDS 4 TD
4. Kyle Jefferson: Wisconsin: 26 Rec 412 YDS 2 TD
The Big East has a plethora of young talent waiting to make an impact in a conference that appears to be a little more open than the previous few seasons. Out of this group I will be looking forward to see what Mitchell and Oderick can do to help get their teams back in the national spotlight.
1. Kenny Britt: Rutgers: 62 Rec 1232 YDS 8 TD
2. Dominick Goodman: Cincinnati: 68 Rec 869 YDS 8 TD
3. Carlton Mitchell: South Florida: 37 Rec 537 YDS 4 TD
*Mike Williams: Syracuse: 60 Rec 837 10 TDS: Note: Would be my third pick, but it appears as he has been suspended from the team, not sure whether he will compete in 08.
4. Oderick Turner: Pittsburgh: 36 Rec 496 YDS 5 TD
The ACC saw a lot of their top receivers leave for the draft, but a few of the leading receivers are returning for their teams. Remember, I’m looking at these guys in terms of individual talents in some cases and not who is around them (i.e. Riley).
1. Aaron Kelly: Clemson: 88 Rec 1081 YDS 11 TD
2. Rich Gunnell: Boston College: 64 Rec 931 YDS 7 TD
3. Greg Carr: Florida State: 45 Rec 795 YDS 4 TD
1. Eron Riley: Duke: 40 Rec 830 YDS 9 TD
2. Hakeem Nicks: North Carolina: 74 Rec 958 YDS 5 TD
3. Demaryius Thomas: Georgia Tech: 35 Rec 558 YDS 4 TD
The SEC is as competitive this year as it always is, with Florida and Georgia no doubt being the early favorites. Strangely enough no one from Georgia really impressed me enough to make the cut…
1. Kenny McKinley: South Carolina: 77 Rec 968 YDS 9 TD
2. Percy Harvin: Florida: 59 Rec 858 YDS 4 TD
3. Austin Rogers: Tennessee: 56 Rec 624 YDS 4 TD
1. Brandon LaFell: LSU: 50 Rec 656 YDS 4 TD
2. Rodgeriqus Smith: Auburn: 52 Rec 705 YDS 5 TD
3. Mike Wallace: Ole Miss: 38 Rec 716 YDS 6 TD
The Big 12 boasts a number of excellent receivers with absolutely scary numbers. The core of these players are still underclassmen, but there are a few returning for their senior years that will shine. Add some veterans to the emergence of underclassmen looking to become household names and you’ve got the best conference in America to find a wide receiver.
1. 1. Jeremy Maclin: Missouri: 80 Rec 1055 9 TD
2. Dexton Fields: Kansas: 63 Rec 834 YDS 6 TD
3. Deon Murphy: Kansas St: 57 Rec 605 YDS 5 TD
1. Michael Crabtree: Texas Tech: 134 Rec 1962 YDS 22 TD
2. Juaquin Iglesias: Oklahoma: 68 Rec 907 YDS 5 TD
3. Quan Cosby: Texas: 60 Rec 680 YDS 5 TD
The MAC is the MAC as always. It seems to be always a level below the rest of the conferences in terms of talents and national exposure. In any case, I think that these players will make a difference in getting to that conference championship game.
1. Matt Simon: N. Illinois: 52 Rec 969 YDS 5 TD *Simon had shoulder surgery after last season, and was returning for his senior year. Don’t know if he will be playing in the fall though.
2. Freddie Barnes: Bowling Green: 82 Rec 962 YDS 9 TD
3. Eugene Harris: Miami (OH): 46 Rec 542 YDS 2 TD
1. Dante Love: Ball St: 100 Rec 1398 YDS 10 TD
2. Stephen Williams: Toledo: 73 Rec 1169 YDS 7 TD
3. Bryan Anderson: Central Michigan: 90 Rec 1132 YDS 10 TD
After the blitzkrieg that was Colt Brennan and the Hawaii Receiving core ( Ryan Grice-Mullen, Davone Bess, Jason Rivers all with 1,000 Receiving yards and C.J Hawthorne with 860) the WAC has settled a little. That is a hard thing to say seeing as 3 of my four picks for the best WR in the WAC each had 1,000 yards last season.
1. Jeremy Childs: Boise State: 82 Rec 1045 YDS 9 TD
2. Marko Mitchell: Nevada: 53 Rec 1129 8 TD
3. Marlon Moore: Fresno St: 48 Rec 694 YDS 5 TD
4. Kevin Jurovich: San Jose St: 85 Rec 1183 YDS 9 TD
As with my list of Running Backs, let me know if there are any mistakes. That is players that aren’t returning, those that are and should make the list, or any other criticisms you have about who made the cut….