Preview 2015 – The Top Ten Wide Receivers


Follow me … @PeteFiutak

Who are the ten best wide receivers going into the 2015 college football season?

10. Bralon Addison, Jr. Oregon


Addison is exactly what’s expected from a Duck skill player these days, explosive, elusive and lightning fast as a receiver and a return man. And he had All-American potential in 2014 as Marcus Mariota’s favorite target. But a knee injury in April instantly changed his fortune and kept him from playing a single down. Addison blossomed into an emergent star as a sophomore by catching 61 balls for 890 yards and seven touchdowns, while adding two punt returns for six versus Cal. He’ll be one of the best friends of Mariota’s successor in 2015.
2015 Oregon Preview

9. KD Cannon, Soph. Baylor

The 6-0, 175-pounder is more than just a running mate to the other top Baylor targets – he might deserve to be considered among the most talented receivers the program has ever had. A superstar recruit with track star speed, elite leaping ability, he produced right out of the gate finishing second on the team with 1,030 receiving yards with eight touchdowns on 58 catches, averaging 17.8 yards per grab. While his production tailed off – he managed just 20 catches for a total of 182 yards and no scores over a six-game stretch to close out the regular season – but he dominated Michigan State for 197 yards and two touchdowns on eight grabs. Expect him to be among the nation’s top deep threats.

2015 Baylor Preview

8. Josh Doctson, Sr. TCU


The 6-3, 195-pounder can jump out of the stadium, has the deep speed to make big things happen, and he has become the reliable No. 1 target for Trevone Boykin. With 65 catches for a team-record 1,018 yards and 11 scores, he blew up in the new offense after making just 36 grabs for 440 yards the year before. Unstoppable at times, he caught seven passes for 225 yards and two scores against Oklahoma State, and he blew up late in the regular season with 16 catches for 266 yards and two scores against Texas and Iowa State. Now he’s a veteran main man for an experienced group of receivers. Expect even more.
2015 TCU Preview

7. Sterling Shepard, Sr. Oklahoma


The key part of the receiving corps for the last three years, he made 96 grabs in his first two years before exploding last season. He made 51 catches in 2013 for 603 yards, but last year he made more and more big plays with 970 yards on the same 51 grabs with five touchdowns averaging 19 yards per catch. Even more impressively, he did all of that in just nine games, missing the back half of the season with a groin injury. At 5-10 and 191 pounds, he has decent enough size to go along with excellent speed and NFL potential, and now he should do even more as a deep threat with more help around him. Really, really quick, he can be used as a punt returner and can make plays in the open field, but he’s at his best as the No. 1 target. Steady throughout the year, he blew up against Kansas State with 15 catches for 197 yards and a touchdown and nailed TCU with 215 yards on seven carries. There’s a lot more where that came from.
2015 Oklahoma Preview

6. Corey Davis, Jr. Western Michigan


2013 was an utter disaster for Western Michigan, but Davis was one of the few bright spots, catching 67 passes for 941 yards and six touchdowns as a true freshman. At 6-2 and 205 pounds, and with dangerous deep speed, he showed off a little of his potential, and then it all came together last year making 78 grabs for 1,408 yards and 15 touchdowns – averaging over 18 yards per catch – in an unstoppable campaign. He missed the Virginia Tech game, but outside of that he caught a touchdown pass in every game but one, and went for 100 yards or more in every game but four, going for 99 in the win over Murray State. With great weapons around him, and a veteran quarterback in Zach Terrell getting him the ball, he should be one of the nation’s most productive targets again.
2015 Western Michigan Preview

5. Pharoh Cooper, Jr. South Carolina


The all-star do-it-all playmaker led the team with 69 catches for 1,136 yards and nine scores, averaging 16.5 yards per grab, ran for 200 yards and two scores, and served as the primary punt returner at times. With good size, the 5-11, 208-pounder is built like a running back, but he’s lightning quick and does big things whenever he has the ball in his hands. He destroyed Tennessee for 233 yards and two scores on 11 catches, and had a ten grab day against Vanderbilt, and now there’s no question who the No. 1 target is. The coaching staff will keep on inventing ways to get the ball in his hands.
2015 South Carolina Preview

4. Nelson Spruce, Sr. Colorado


Spruce’s decision to remain in school for his senior year is the best thing to happen to Colorado so far this offseason. The 6-1, 195-pound Biletnikoff Award semifinalist and team MVP shattered all kinds of Buffalo records in 2014, catching a league-high 106 passes for 1,198 yards and 12 touchdowns. Spruce is the kind of polished receiver who makes his quarterback better by running tight routes, securing anything within his catch-radius and knowing where the markers are at all times. Even though defenders know he’s the target, he’ll still be up around 100 receptions again this year.
2015 Colorado Preview

3. Will Fuller, Jr. Notre Dame


Where did that come from? The 6-0, 180-pound Fuller didn’t do much as a freshman, making six catches for 160 yards and a score, but he blew up last season as a steady scorer and all-around No. 1 target with 76 grabs for 1,094 yards and 15 touchdowns. He didn’t get into the end zone against Stanford or USC, but that was it coming up with at least one touchdown in every game with three against Northwestern and two against both Syracuse and North Carolina. He was a good recruit, but not an elite one. However, he has quickly figured out how to produce at a high level as the key part of the fantastic receiving corps.
2015 Notre Dame Preview

2. Tyler Boyd, Jr. Pitt


Even in an offense that leans so heavily on the running game, Boyd’s next-level set of skills were once again impossible to miss. After a smashing debut in 2013, he took his game up a notch in 2014, earning First Team All-ACC with 78 receptions for 1,261 yards and eight touchdowns. The 6-2, 190-pound Boyd is an ultra-consistent performer, with one of the best work ethics on the team. Plus, his advanced hand-eye coordination allows him to make difficult grabs look easy, effortlessly plucking the ball out of the air. It’ll be an upset if he remains on campus beyond the 2015 campaign, though he’ll first have to work through the challenges of June’s DUI arrest and an opening game suspension.
2015 Pitt Preview

1. Rashard Higgins, Jr. Colorado State


Higgins showed glimpses of greatness as a true freshman catching 68 passes for 847 yards and six touchdowns, showing off decent deep speed and a world of upside. And then the 6-2, 188-pounder blew up into one of the nation’s best receivers putting it all together with a 96-catch season for 1,750 yards and 17 touchdowns – and that was without playing against Hawaii with a shoulder injury. Unstoppable after the one-catch, 16-yard, one touchdown day against Colorado to start the season, he cranked out 100 yards or more in every other game he played in except for a nine-catch, 98-yard, one touchdown day against Boston College. He wasn’t just a big catch target, he cranked out home run after home run, averaging 18.2 yards per catch despite being keyed on by every defensive scheme.
2015 Colorado State Preview