College Football's Most Lethal WR Duos for the 2013 Season
The days of college football offenses only having one great receiver are long gone. As spread offenses gain popularity and the sport becomes faster, coaching staffs are doing their best to put more athletes on the field.
We need more speed, more playmakers and guys who can catch!
Last season, wide receiver duos such as West Virginia's Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin set the bar high. It's also worth noting that USC's Robert Woods and Marqise Lee weren't too shabby. And how about Clemson's Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins?
Terrific wide receiver duos are becoming more popular, especially in the SEC and ACC.
Sammy Watkins and Martavis Bryant, Clemson
There's no question that Sammy Watkins will get back on track this season.
Despite missing four games last year, he still finished with 57 receptions for 708 yards and three touchdowns. With DeAndre Hopkins in the NFL, Watkins now will be the go-to receiver and is sure to cause headaches for secondaries in the ACC.
Most of the other Clemson receivers are unproven and jockeying for position during fall camp. The likely No. 2 receiver is Martavis Bryant, who only caught 10 passes for 305 yards as a sophomore. But four of those receptions went for touchdowns, and six produced 25 or more yards. Yikes!
Bryant and Watkins can score anytime the ball is in their hands. It's going to be a treat to watch these players turn on the afterburners and gash defenses over the top.
Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley, Texas
For whatever reason, Texas isn't usually mentioned when discussing teams that have top-tier receivers. Mike Davis and Jaxon Shipley aren't special by themselves, but they have done damage together the last two years.
Davis is a speedy receiver who has caught 149 passes for 2,026 yards and 10 touchdowns in his career. Shipley is a possession and sure-handed receiver who has quietly caught 103 passes for 1,344 yards and nine touchdowns in two seasons. Both have caught more than 40 passes every season and appear to be getting better with time.
Texas doesn't have flashy receivers who are often going to make highlight reels, but it does have a pair that is effective.
Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse, Fresno State
The most underrated wide receiver duo in the country? Davante Adams and Isaiah Burse.
Fresno State isn't going to get much attention, because it plays in the Mountain West Conference and didn't beat a single ranked team last season. But Adams and Burse combined for 159 receptions, 2,163 yards and 20 touchdowns. It's hard to argue with those numbers.
Adams was a redshirt freshman who hauled in 102 passes for 1,312 yards and 14 touchdowns. He was named MWC Freshman of the Year. Burse has caught a combined 97 passes in the last two seasons.
Fresno State averaged 325 passing yards a game, and its impressive statistics will continue with these two solid receivers side by side.
Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott, Miami
Some believe the Miami Hurricanes will not only win the ACC, but that they are national championship contenders.
Because the offense finally has those traditional Miami playmakers and was able to average 31 points per game last season. Two of those big-time players are wide receivers Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott.
Together, they combined for 93 receptions, 15 plays of 25 or more yards and scored seven touchdowns. They also averaged 14 yards per reception and have the speed to go the distance anytime.
That flashy style of football is officially back in Miami.
Jordan Matthews and Chris Boyd, Vanderbilt
Vanderbilt may have the best wide receiver duo in the SEC.
Jordan Matthews has popped up on most NFL draft boards due to his size (6'3") and impressive ball skills. Last season, he caught 94 passes for 1,323 yards and eight touchdowns. He averaged 14 yards per catch and moved the chains on 54 of his receptions.
Although Matthews gets the majority of the credit, Chris Boyd also made a name for himself by hauling in 50 passes for 774 yards and five touchdowns. He caught 25 passes in the final six games and scored a touchdown in five of the final six games. It's going to be interesting to see if he can build on that momentum.
Vanderbilt will continue to make noise in the SEC with this wide receiver tandem.
Donte Moncrief and Vince Sanders, Ole Miss
Donte Moncrief and Vince Sanders took their game to another level in their sophomore year and largely contributed in Mississippi's surprising 7-6 season.
Moncrief led the way with 66 receptions for 979 yards and 10 touchdowns. He established himself as one of the nation's most explosive receivers, picking up 25 or more yards on 11 receptions and finishing three games with more than 140 receiving yards. He's a real treat to watch.
Sanders finished third on the team with 39 receptions, but he was second with his 504 receiving yards and four touchdowns. He picked up a first down 23 times and caught at least five passes in five games.
The Rebels are an exciting young team because of these two players.
Josh Stewart and Tracy Moore, Oklahoma State
Oklahoma State had the seventh-best passing game in the nation last year, averaging 331 yards a game. Blame the spread offense, blame the lack of defense in the Big 12, but the Cowboys have a pair of explosive receivers who can get the job done on Saturdays.
Josh Stewart proved to be one of the nation's best receivers, hauling in 101 passes for 1,210 yards and seven touchdowns. He averaged nearly eight catches a game and finished four contests with double-digit receptions.
Tracy Moore only played three games before suffering an ankle injury, but what he accomplished in such a short amount of time makes him special. Moore caught 20 passes for 259 and four touchdowns. He was Oklahoma State's best receiver before getting injured.
The Cowboys will remain one of the best offensive teams in college football.
Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett, Georgia
Because of its star running backs and a Heisman candidate at quarterback, Georgia's wide-receiver tandem of Malcolm Mitchell and Michael Bennett tends to get overlooked.
Mitchell is one of the fastest receivers in the country, and he is no longer playing in Tavarres King's shadow. Last season, Mitchell caught 40 passes for 572 yards and four touchdowns. Keep in mind that he spent the first two games playing cornerback on defense. He is poised to have the best season of his career.
Before tearing his ACL, Bennett caught 24 passes for 345 yards and four touchdowns in five games. He has rehabbed and is ready to return, according to David Paschall of the Chattanooga Times Free Press.
The rest of the SEC has a problem on its hands if Bennett can return to form. And assuming that's the case, Georgia has one of the best wide-receiver duos in college football.
Amari Cooper and Chris Black, Alabama
Another SEC team?
It's tough to argue against Amari Cooper being one of the best receivers in college football. He consistently beat defenses over the top last season, catching 59 passes for 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns. The scary part is that he was only a freshman and still new to the playbook. He could be even more effective as a sophomore.
Alabama has several other potential big-play receivers, but Chris Black is the best No. 2 option. He was expected to contribute last season, but a shoulder injury sidelined him and forced him to redshirt. Still, he has the speed, elusiveness and explosive ability to become a scary player alongside Cooper.
If you thought Alabama couldn't get any better, just watch.
Marqise Lee and Nelson Agholor, USC
What a surprise!
Uh, not really.
Marqise Lee is the best college wide receiver since Julio Jones and will be a first-round NFL draft pick once he decides to leave school. He's been simply unstoppable since he set foot on USC's campus, and he caught 118 passes for 1,721 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. If a receiver is going to win the Heisman for the first time since 1991, Lee would have the best chance.
Nelson Agholor is now the No. 2 receiver for the Trojans. Although he was often overshadowed by Robert Woods, he still caught 19 passes for 340 yards and two touchdowns last season. He averaged 18 yards a catch and had four receptions that produced 25 or more yards.
Lee is a one-man wrecking crew, and Agholor would be the best receiver on almost any other team. Together?
It's going to be a long season for Pac-12 defenses.