College Football Rankings: Power Ranking the Best WR from Each Ranked Team
Whether it's taking a five-yard slant pattern 95 yards for a TD, or leaping over the secondary for the deep ball, WRs make some of the most exciting plays in football.
QBs love them and DBs hate them, however, you can't help but have respect for a guy who has supreme athletic ability.
Let's face it, anyone with their level of athleticism deserves to be a little cocky.
That said, here's to pitting the best WR on each ranked team against one another.
NOTE: To view a preseason Top 25 poll click here.
25. Josh Huff, Oregon
Entering their junior years are QB Darron Thomas and RB LaMichael James.
Therefore, it's easy to suspect that defenses will underestimate Josh Huff.
Now, although his lack of stats are due to WRs like Jeff Maehl and D.J. Davis in 2010, Huff has a chip on his shoulder in 2011.
So with that said, it will be interesting to watch a player on a national championship contending team who has something to prove (not only to his teammates, coaches, fans and the media, but also to himself).
24. A.J. Guyton, Central Florida
After 2010, the Knights lost three senior WRs to graduation, while A.J. Guyton returns for his senior year.
Well, as the most experienced wide out coming back, he may still be under the radar as QB Jeffrey Godfrey and RBs Ronnie Weaver and Latavius Murray remain.
Therefore, don't be surprised if Guyton puts up All-Conference worthy numbers.
23. Deonte Thompson, Florida
Let's be honest, the Gators offense was definitely in a rebuilding year for 2010.
It was hard to adjust post-Tim Tebow, however it could have been much worse.
That said, leading WR Deonte Thompson returns for QB John Brantley with now a full year under center.
Opponents will most likely key-in on RB Jeffery Demps though, so don't be surprised if Thompson has a breakout season in 2011.
22. Tavarres King, Georgia
It's got to be difficult gaining recognition with a player like A.J. Green in the same position.
However, with Green graduating to the NFL draft along with fellow wide-out Kris Durham, junior-to-be Tavarres King now has the torch.
Therefore, expect QB Aaron Murray to send more targets in King's direction as the Bulldogs try to kick-start 2011 after a disappointing ending in 2010.
21. Rueben Randle, LSU
Although the Tigers lose some key offensive players in RB Stevan Ridley and WR Terrence Toliver, Rueben Randle has some legitimate potential.
He was second on the team in receptions (tied), yards and TDs.
Now, a lot does rely on the play of QB Jordan Jefferson, who had a down year in 2010 after a solid campaign in 2009.
So, in order for Les Miles' offense to improve, Jefferson and Randle will need to play more pitch and catch.
20. Josh Boyce, TCU
With QB Andy Dalton graduating to the NFL draft, the TCU offense will be in somewhat of a rebuilding process.
However, with Josh Boyce back to lead the WRs, not all hope is lost after he led the team in yards and average, while being second in TDs and receptions.
Now, there will be a young an inexperienced QB in Casey Pachall under center, so do expect the Horned Frogs to run more.
But, when coach Gary Patterson switches gears to flight mode, Boyce will be the primary target.
19. Chad Bumphis, Mississippi State
The best WR returns for Mississippi State in 2011, so as you can imagine, QB Chris Relf is delighted.
That said, the Bulldog offense should hit the ground running this fall, with Chad Bumphis having All-SEC potential.
18. Brandon Kinnie, Nebraska
For as little as Nebraska throws the rock, Brandon Kinnie put up some solid stats last season.
Now, with senior Niles Paul gone to the draft, Kinnie will receive more balls in 2011.
As long as the run game maintains its consistency, we should see an increase in his numbers.
Also, with the versatility of QB Taylor Martinez, Kinnie is not the ultimately the primary focus for defenses.
That said, there's no reason why he can't gain over 1,000 yards receiving on the year.
17. Tyler Shoemaker, Boise State
With seniors Austin Pettis and Titus Young gone to the NFL draft, Craig Shoemaker should become QB Kellen Moore's favorite target.
Amongst the current players in the Broncos receiving core, Shoemaker led them throughout the aforementioned statistics.
Therefore, coach Chris Petersen's offense shouldn't miss a step come time for kickoff 2011.
16. Emory Blake, Auburn
For as much attention that was given to QB Cam Newton last season, it's reasonable to suspect that Auburn's WRs went unnoticed.
However, folks in the SEC must be aware of Emory Blake, as he led the Tigers with eight receiving TDs.
That said, more respect from defenses should be shown his way since he will be leading the Tiger wideouts in 2011.
15. Chris Owusu, Stanford
In 2010, WRs Doug Baldwin and Ryan Whalen combined for 1,296 yards receiving, 99 receptions and 11 TDs.
Well, both have gone onto the NFL draft, so look for Chris Owusu to take control of the wideouts.
However, his health is a concern as he missed six games last season due to injury.
If he can stay healthy and play consistently well, QB Andrew Luck and the Stanford offense will be in store for another great season.
14. Marquis Maze, Alabama
Despite much of the attention going to Julio Jones all year, Marquis Maze performed very well last season.
Fast-forward to 2011, and Maze becomes the Crimson Tide's primary receiver.
It's not going to be easy filling the shoes of Jones, but then again the expectations would be too unrealistic (especially with a new QB in A.J. McCarren under center).
However, it still should be a solid year for Maze since the Tide (as of recent) have done more reloading than rebuilding.
13. Nick Toon, Wisconsin
Every time Nick Toon is mentioned, don't you initially think Nickelodeon?
Additionally, his father Al Toon may be remembered (stand-out WR for the New York Jets during the New York Sack Exchange-era).
Now, much like Nebraska, Wisconsin loves to run the rock, so don't expect flashy numbers from Toon.
However, he's very efficient and consistent, so keep an eye on him during key situations.
12. Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech
With QB Tyrod Taylor spreading the ball around so much, all the wideouts got a piece of the cake in 2010.
Jarrett Boykin however, received the biggest slice after leading the team in receptions, yards and TDs.
Now that Taylor is gone to the draft, Boykin will need to step up.
So, it may be tough to repeat the 2010 performance with a new QB Logan Thomas under center, but have trust that Frank Beemer will keep things rolling. Because he will.
11. Joe Adams, Arkansas
Even though the Razorbacks lose QB Ryan Mallet to the draft, Tyler Wilson does have the ability to keep the offense on track.
However, much will rely on the experienced WR core led by Joe Adams.
Adams, who led Arkansas in receptions, yards and tied for the most TDs, will be the main target.
The question is, how quickly can he and Wilson get into a rhythm to maintain the high scoring flow?
10. Bert Reed, Florida State
Despite only reaching the zone twice, Bert Reed still led the Seminoles in yards and receptions.
The stats may not be too sexy, but QB Christian Ponder dished the rock around like John Stockton, so everyone was rather consistent across the board.
That said, QB E.J. Manuel does have the ability to put up some respectable numbers after receiving playing time in six games (including the ACC Championship and Chick-fil-A Bowl).
With Bert Reed leading the way, all four WRs who had 30 or more receptions last season are back.
As long as Reed sets the tone, Manuel should follow in grasping the chemistry throughout Florida State's offense.
9. DeVier Posey, Ohio State
Despite being suspended along with coach Tressel and QB Terrelle Pryor for the first five games of 2011, DeVier Posey still remains a threat outside.
The question is how quickly he can get into mid-season form without playing until Week 6.
Also, his chemistry and timing with Pryor will be crucial.
Then, we will see how great they truly are; by how fast the Buckeyes' offense picks up once everyone returns.
8. B.J. Cunningham, Michigan State
Losing fellow WR Mark Dell to graduation will be tough, but with QB Kirk Cousins back, WR B.J. Cunningham should have another solid season.
Also, he may not even receive to much attention from defenses as RB Edwin Baker comes off a season where he ran for over 1,200 yards.
Come time for kickoff, Cunningham should make even more noise in 2011 as he will be the Spartans main big-play threat on offense.
7. Tavon Austin, West Virginia
Even though he's technically listed as an RB, Tavon Austin has contributed more to the Mountaineers as a WR.
A second-team All-Big East WR selection in 2010, Austin should become the focal point of the offense with RB Noel Devine gone to the draft.
That said, he may earn more carries in 2011, but expect him to continue as a wideout as well.
6. T.J. Moe, Missouri
Coming off a career year in 2010, WR T.J. Moe earned second-team All-Big 12 as a sophomore.
However, it may be tough for him to replicate that performance with new and inexperienced QB James Franklin under center.
So, will Moe have an encore and earn all-Big 12 honors again?
Well, if 2011 is much like 2010, he will make a solid case for the nation's best receiver since a new QB will be at the helm.
5. Jeff Fuller, Texas A&M
A first-team all Big 12 selection last year, Jeff Fuller has All-American potential in 2011.
Now, despite QB Jerrod Johnson gone to the draft, QB Ryan Tannehill has a significant amount of experience after playing in the final seven games.
As long as the Aggies can continue their two-dimensional offense with Cyrus Gray in the backfield, Fuller will be very exciting to watch this fall.
4. Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
Head coach Brian Kelly and QB Dane Crist had to be elated when WR Michael Floyd announced his return to Notre Dame.
Coming off a breakout season, Floyd will have added pressure in 2011, mainly due to the Irish's expectations.
Additionally, it won't be easier to duplicate 2010 since he's Notre Dame's biggest offensive threat.
So the question remains, how will he respond to the pressure?
3. Alshon Jeffery, South Carolina
As you can see, Alshon Jeffery led the Gamecocks in every receiving category last year, which earned him a first-team All-SEC selection along side Julio Jones of Alabama.
Not to mention he was only a sophomore last year, so much will be expected from his junior season-like the Fred Biletnikoff award.
And, regardless of who is at the helm (Stephen Garcia or Connor Shaw), Jeffery has the ability to make either QB's job easier.
2. Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma
Combine him with QB Landry Jones after a BCS Bowl victory season, Ryan Broyles will once again be atop the list of college football's premiere WRs.
However, there is competition within his own conference from Justin Blackmon and Jeff Fuller.
And, an encore performance will be difficult.
But, all those are just motivational tools (that's possibly crossed his mind) to get Broyles to up his level of play in 2011.
1. Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Last season's Fred Biletnikoff award winner and All-American, Justin Blackmon remains as college football's most prestigious wide-out.
Add in QB Brandon Weeden's return, and the Cowboys' offense is going to be beyond explosive (and that's an understatement).
It's rare to see someone of Blackmon's talent come back for a senior season, so even if you're not an Oklahoma State fan, you have to appreciate his decision.