College Football 2012: Ranking the 22 Best Wide Receiving Duos in the Country
The evolution of college football in recent years has turned once run-happy offenses into passing machines.
That has meant big numbers for some of college football's best wide receivers.
Receivers put up some huge numbers last season, and while many of the best have made the jump to the NFL, there are still some excellent wideouts at the college level.
There are also some great duos that will put up huge numbers in 2012.
With 2011 now behind us and names like Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, Ryan Broyles, Mohamed Sanu and Alshon Jeffrey now preparing to play on Sundays, it is time for some new and talented receivers to take center stage.
Here are the top 22 receiving duos heading into 2012.
22. Wisconsin: Jared Abbrederis and Jeff Duckworth
Starting off the list is a duo from Wisconsin.
Jared Abbrederis will return for his junior season at Wisconsin after leading the team last year with 93 yards and eight touchdowns on 55 receptions.
Fellow junior Jeff Duckworth had 230 yards and one touchdown on 15 receptions.
Those are not huge numbers, but Duckworth is ready to fill the shoes of the departed Nick Toon. A lot will be expected of this duo in 2012.
21. Miami: Phillip Dorsett and Allen Hurns
This duo is based mostly on potential, but there is certainly a ton.
Allen Hurns will be entering his senior season and Phillip Dorsett will only be a sophomore.
Hurns finished last season with 411 yards and four touchdowns on 31 receptions. But with Tommy Streeter now having moved on early to the NFL, Hurns will be the main target.
Phillip Dorsett saw some playing time as a true freshman last season and will step into the starting role in 2012.
He caught 14 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown last year. Big things are expected this season from Dorsett.
These two targets are perhaps the brightest spot on the Miami offense.
20. Auburn-Emory Blake and
Auburn may have one of the best receivers in the country in Emory Blake.
The senior battled through injuries last season to finish the year with 613 yards and five touchdowns on 36 receptions.
He will be counted on big time in 2012.
Joining him will be fellow senior Travante Stallworth.
Stallworth finished last season with 214 yards and a touchdown on 13 catches.
19. California: Keenan Allen and Jackson Bouza
This duo is next on the list based almost solely on the talent and skills of Allen.
The junior ranked ninth in the country last season with 1,343 yards and will only get better entering his junior season.
He had 98 catches and six touchdowns on the season.
With three senior receivers graduating last season, junior Jackson Bouza will step into the starting role.
Bouza only had three catches for 32 yards last season, but starting alongside Allen, he will likely see much single coverage, and big things are expected.
18. Missouri: T.J. Moe and Dorial Green-Beckham
The Missouri Tigers should have no trouble putting points on the board and they will be led by two talented WRs.
Senior T.J. Moe was the team's leading receiver last season with 649 yards and four touchdowns on 54 receptions.
He will be joined by Dorial Green-Beckham.
The 6'6" 220-pound Beckham is the No. 1 overall recruit in the country by Scout and will be an immediate force for the Tigers.
Throw in junior quarterback James Franklin who passed for 21 touchdowns last season and Missouri will have one of the most explosive offenses in the country next season.
17. Florida State: Rodney Smith and Rashad Greene
This Seminole duo did not put up huge numbers last season, but are very talented and have potential.
Leading the way last season was freshman Rashad Greene, who finished with 596 yards and seven touchdowns on 38 receptions.
Rodney Smith, meanwhile, will be back for his senior season. The 6'6" big man had 561 yards on 36 receptions last season to go along with four touchdowns.
Quarterback E.J. Manuel should be much improved his senior year and has two nice targets to work with in 2012.
16. Tulsa: Willie Carter and Bryan Burnham
Like many other teams on Conference USA, Tulsa is not afraid to put some points on the board.
Their passing offense was led last season by two juniors with 800-plus receiving yards.
Senior Willie Carter is listed as a running back, but can do it all; he caught 61 passes for 868 yards and seven touchdowns in 2011.
Bryan Burnham is more of a big-play threat and finished last season with 850 yards on 54 receptions to go along with nine touchdowns.
This duo will be counted on heavily for the Golden Hurricane next season.
15. Oregon: De'Anthony Thomas and Josh Huff
Oregon is built on speed and last year, their leading receiver may have been the fastest player in college football, and he was only a freshman.
De'Anthony Thomas was recruited as a running back and saw action there, but he was most beneficial to the Oregon Ducks at wideout.
Thomas finished the season as the Ducks' leading receiver with 605 yards and nine touchdowns on 46 receptions.
Fellow receiver Josh Huff will be back for his junior season. Last year he was third on the team with 31 receptions and finished the year with 430 yards and two touchdowns.
These two will help Oregon have one of the best offenses in the country once again next season.
14. Miami (OH): Nick Harwell and Andy Cruise
Nick Harwell may be one of the best players in the country most people have not heard of.
Last season the sophomore was fifth in the country with 1,425 yards and nine touchdowns on 97 receptions.
He is the leading returning receiver in the country and will be joined by senior Andy Cruse.
Cruse had 43 receptions for 391 yards and four touchdowns last season and is poised to step into the starting role in 2012.
13. Hawaii: Billy Ray Stutzmann and Jeremiah Ostrowski
Hawaii has always loved to air it out and last season was no different.
The Warriors passed for over 4,000 yards and will have two of their top three receivers coming back.
Leading the way is junior Billy Ray Stutzmann, who had 910 yards his sophomore campaign. He also led the team with 78 receptions to go along with four touchdowns.
Senior Jeremiah Ostrowski was third on the team with 65 receptions for 687 receptions and five touchdowns.
Look for some big scoring outputs next season from Hawaii.
12. BYU:Cody Hoffman and Ross Apo
It is rare for a team to return their two leading WRs, but that is what BYU has to look forward to in 2012.
The Cougars will bring back junior Cody Hoffman along with sophomore Ross Apo, who helped form one of the best young receiving duos in the country last season.
Hoffman led the way last year with 943 yards on 61 receptions. He also had 10 touchdowns.
Apo was also impressive his freshman year, finishing with 453 yards on 34 receptions and nine touchdowns.
This duo will be great next year and even better in 2013.
11. Pittsburgh: Mike Shanahan and Devin Street
The Pittsburgh Panthers had trouble throwing the ball last season, so their receivers' output was not as high as many others, but the talent is certainly there.
Junior Devin Street led the team with 754 yards on 53 receptions and two touchdowns, while senior Mike Shanahan had 39 receptions for 493 yards and four touchdowns.
Expect these two to post much better stats in 2012, particularly Shanahan.
The problem for Pittsburgh is finding somebody to throw to these talented receivers.
10. Baylor: Terrance Williams and Tevin Reese
The Baylor Bears return two of their three leading receivers, both of whom went over 850 yards last season.
The leading returning WR is senior Terrance Williams. Williams totaled 957 yards and 11 touchdowns on 59 receptions.
Junior Tevin Reese had 877 yards and seven touchdowns last season on 51 receptions.
Even though these two will not have Robert Griffin III throwing to them next season, they are still likely to put up some huge numbers.
9. SMU: Darius Johnson and Der'rikk Thompson
SMU is another of the Conference USA teams who loves to throw the ball around.
They were led last season by four receivers including Darius Johnson.
Johnson totaled 1,118 yards and eight touchdowns on 79 receptions last season and will be back for his senior season in 2012.
Der'rikk Thompson meanwhile showed a lot of promise as a freshman last year and finished with 411 yards and three touchdowns on 30 receptions.
He will likely progress nicely heading into this sophomore campaign and could double his numbers next season.
8. Texas A&M: Ryan Swope and Uzoma Nwachukwu
Last season, not many receivers put up the kind of numbers that Ryan Swope did.
He finished the year with 1,207 yards and 11 touchdowns on 89 receptions, leading the team in every category.
Uzoma Nwachukwu had 50 receptions for 639 yards and two touchdowns. He was third on the team in both receptions and yards.
Both players will be entering their senior seasons, so experience will not be an issue.
There is a good chance these two could combine for nearly 2,500 yards next year, making them one of the best duos in the country.
7. Georgia: Tavarres King and Malcolm Mitchell
With quarterback Aaron Murray back for his junior year, Georgia will have a lot of talent on offense, and that talent will be headlined by a talented due of receivers.
Malcolm Mitchell had 45 receptions for 665 yards and four touchdowns last season as a freshman.
Senior Tavarres King had 47 receptions for 705 yards and eight touchdowns last season.
These are not huge numbers, but both WRs are extremely talented and could post 1,000-yard seasons in 2012.
6. Washington State: Marquess Wilson and Bobby Ratliff
Only one returning receiver in the country had more yards last season than Marquess Wilson, he Wilson totaled 1,388 yards and 12 touchdowns on 82 receptions.
Teammate Bobby Ratliff had 348 yards and one touchdown on 28 receptions. Those are big numbers for a freshman and more will be expected his sophomore season as Ratliff will step into the starting role.
This duo will be hard to handle in 2012 and in 2013 they are likely to be ever better.
For now, they are No. 6 on the list.
5. Tennessee: Da'Rick Rogers and Justin Hunter
Da'Rick Rogers is one of the most talented receivers in the country and Tennessee is expecting huge things from him next season.
The junior finished last season with 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns on 67 receptions.
He will be joined in the starting lineup by fellow junior Justin Hunter. Hunter totaled 314 yards and two touchdowns last season on 17 receptions.
A lot more will be expected of Hunter after a solid first couple of seasons in the program.
4. Oklahoma: Kenny Stills and Jaz Reynolds
Oklahoma had three talented receivers last season, and now with the graduation of Ryan Broyles, they are down to two. But those two are stars in the making.
Junior Kenny Stills had 849 yards and eight touchdowns on 61 receptions last year.
Fellow junior Jaz Reynolds had 715 yards and five touchdowns on 41 receptions. These two are huge playmakers that will see their numbers increase significantly with Landry Jones coming back for his senior season.
Look for big things from these two in 2012.
3. Clemson: Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins
The Clemson receivers are young, talented and could make an argument to be No. 1 or No. 2 on this list. For now they are third, miles ahead of No. 4.
The Tigers are led by sophomore Sammy Watkins.
Watkins put up huge numbers last season as a freshman, with 1,219 yards and 12 touchdowns on 82 receptions.
He will joined on the other side by junior DeAndre Hopkins.
Hopkins had 978 yards and five touchdowns on 72 receptions last season.
This duo is clearly one of the top three in the country and could climb to No. 1 by season's end.
2. West Virginia: Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin
Both Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin surpassed the thousand-yard threshold last season for West Virginia, and with quarterback Geno Smith coming back as well, this offense will undoubtedly be explosive in 2012.
Austin was a third-team All-American as a special teams players and also totaled 101 receptions last season for 1,186 yards and eight touchdowns.
He will be back for his senior season and is one of the most dynamic players in the country.
Junior Stedman Bailey led the team in 2011 with 1,279 yards on 72 receptions to go along with 12 touchdowns.
This duo may have the most big-play ability in the country.
1. USC: Robert Woods and Marqise Lee
This duo is the best in the country and No. 1 on the list.
Junior Robert Woods had 1,292 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.
Sophomore Marqise Lee totaled 1,143 yards and 11 touchdowns on 73 receptions for the Trojans.
Look for these two to have no problems surpassing the thousand-yard mark once again, with an outside chance to chase 3,000 combined yards.
One huge positive they have on their side is the return of Matt Barkley, the best quarterback in the nation to be receiving tosses from.
These SC wideouts are NFL-ready right now and the duo is the best in college football heading into 2012.