We continue to rank the best position groups in the Big 12 Conference ahead of the 2019 season. And when it comes to wide receivers, there is no shortage of talent and depth in the Big 12. In fact, it might be the deepest unit in the conference. So let’s get right to what is one of the hardest ranking groups in the Big 12.
Also, if you missed it, here are the other categories we have ranked thus far:
1. Baylor Bears
Where do you start? Sure, Jalen Hurd, the team’s top receiver in 2018 is gone, but the rest of the gang returns and the depth is unbelievable. Denzel Mims is the leading returner with a team-best eight touchdown catches and 794 receiving yards. Behind him, Chris Platt, Marques Jones, and Josh Fleeks are all back after at least 14 catches last season. R.J. Sneed played sparingly last season as a redshirt freshman, but could be ready to take that next step this season after an All-American high school career in Cypress, Texas. Gavin Holmes was impressive as a freshman in 2017 (13 catches for 166 yards), but missed most of last season with an injury. Jaylen Ellis is a true freshman who was an All-American out of Cedar Ridge in Round Rock and could find himself with meaningful reps this fall. The depth and possibilities are endless in Waco.
2. Oklahoma Sooners
At OU, you’ve got big-time talent coming back in CeeDee Lamb, who was ranked as one of our top 3 players in the Big 12 Conference, with some steady hands like Lee Morris, A.D. Miller and Nick Basquine, plus some young studs who could find themselves as household names by November such as Jadon Hasselwood and Theo Wease, a pair of five-star prospects in the Class of 2019. Trejan Bridges also fits into that mix as a four-star. But they’re all obviously unproven. Behind Lamb’s incredible season of 1,158 receiving yards and a team-best 11 touchdowns, the question is who will help fill the shoes left by Marquise Brown’s exit for the NFL? Lee Morris the returnee with the most production (21 catches, 457 yards and eight touchdowns), however don’t be shocked if the No. 2 receiver turns out to be one of the freshman previously mentioned. They’re both studs with huge upsides.
3. Oklahoma State Cowboys
OSU is WRU, right? From Blackmon to Washington to now Wallce, they’ve always got a stud at the position, and Tylan Wallace has a chance to end the season as the best wide receiver in the conference. Last season he had 86 catches for 1,491 yards and 12 touchdowns. Can he possibly top that? No. 2 Dillon Stoner is back, but he will have more pressure on him, and the good news is there is no shortage of options in Stillwater. Landon Wolf becomes an upperclassman after 34 catches for 368 yards in 2018. After that, there are lots of questions, but a ton of upside. C.J. Moore was one of the top wide receivers in America in the Class of 2018 and redshirted last season. At 6’5’’, whoever the OSU quarterback is would love to see him on the outside. There are JUCO and transfer options in Jordan McCray, Taje Williams and Patrick McKaufman. Langston Anderson was the top WR prospect in the 2019 Class and is also a big body at 6’4’’, 195. I’m also intrigued by redshirt freshman Jonathan Shepard, who was underrecruited in high school, but could burst onto the scene.
4. Texas Longhorns
Collin Johnson is back after skipping out on the NFL Draft. He’s now the obvious No. 1 receiver in Austin, taking that role over from Lil’Jordan Humphrey. Johnson had nearly 1,000 receiving yards last season with 985 yards and seven touchdowns. Devin Duvernay, the team’s No. 3 receiver last season, is also back for his senior campaign. Then there’s the massively untapped potential of former four-star prospects like Brennan Eagles, Al’Vonte Woodard and Joshua Moore, who either redshirted or played sparingly last season. Jake Smith is in tow as a four-star prospect and the No. 8 WR in the Class of 2019, along with fellow four-star true freshman Marcus Washington. Last season Sam Ehlinger ended up throwing the ball to his running backs a lot out of the backfield, but with all his options at wide receiver and a nice mix of veterans and youngsters, his options are unlimited.
5. TCU Horned Frogs
For starters, TCU has the best wide receiver, and player, in the Big 12 in Jalen Reagor. Behind him are guys with potential, but no one who has yet to prove their a solid No. 2 to take some of the pressure off the star. Taye Barber is a nice player who finished second in the team with 32 receptions, but he’s more of a slot guy and is undersized at 5’9’’. Height doesn’t always matter, ask Marquise Brown, but it factors in. Trevontae Hights adds some depth, but he’s entering his senior season and has never been relied upon as a go-to guy. The sophomores will make or break this unit. There’s John Stephens Jr. who played in eight games last year with two catches and came out in the Class of 2018 as the No. 1 athlete in Louisiana, Te’vailance Hunt, a 6’3’’, 200-pounder who played in nine games last season with four catches and was a four-star prospect as the No. 4 WR in the Class of 2018 and JUCO transfer Mikel Barkey, who was the No. 11 JUCO WR in the Class of 2019, picking TCU over Utah and UCLA.
6. Texas Tech Red Raiders
Antoine Wesley is gone after over 1,400 receiving yards, but T.J. Vasher should fill the No. 1 spot with relative ease after 54 catches for 687 yards and seven touchdowns. He may be the most underrated receiver in the conference. Seth Collins earned a significant role and should be a solid contributor in his senior season. I would also expect a bigger role for KeSean Carter after getting to Tech as a true freshman and producing right away, with 12 games played and one start, wrapping up the season with 26 catches for 238 yards. Also, let’s not forget about the top two prospects from the Class of 2018, Erik Ezukanma and Myller Royals, who were four and three-star prospects, respectively, are hoping to play a larger role this season. Ezukanma had a couple catches last season, while Royals played in three games and received a redshirt.
7. West Virginia Mountaineers
David Sills, Gary Jennings and Marcus Simms are all gone. That’s a combined 2,600 receiving yards and 30 touchdown grabs out the door. But there is still talent in Morgantown, it just needs to be groomed. T.J. Simmons is the most productive returning player after 28 caches for 341 yards and a touchdown last season. Then there’s Tevin Bush, who made the move from running back and a 5’6’’ is more of a slot player. He had 14 catches last season but showed some big-play ability. After that’s it’s anyone’s guess who will step up. There were some 2018 recruits who could step up, notably Bryce Wheaton, Sam James and Randy Fields, along with sophomore Ricky Johns. But there are a lot of unknowns around the rest of the unit.
8. Iowa State Cyclones
Here’s the question in Ames: How good can Deshaunte Jones and Tarique Milton be without all the focus being on Hakeem Butler(who is now playing for the Arizona Cardinals)? I don’t know the answer, but Matt Campbell and Brock Purdy sure hope they can handle the No. 1A and No. 1B spots well. Iowa State is not going to have that top stud, but they can have a lot of really good receivers if things click right. Landen Akers is a nice player, but Iowa State needs that high-end, young talent to step up. Their top two recruits in the 2018 class were Joseph Scates and Sean Shaw Jr., who are both receivers and stand at 6’3’’ and 6’6’’, respectively. They both redshirted last season. La’Michael Pettway is a big body transfer from Arkansas (6’2’’, 220), who played fairly well in Little Rock and hopes he can really break out in Ames. That would be a blessing for Brock Purdy.
9. Kansas State Wildcats
This unit has more questions than answers. The team’s top receiver from 2018, Isaiah Zuber, transferred this offseason. Then Hunter Rison left the program after legal troubles. That leaves Dalton Schoen, the classic Kansas State overachiever, who had 32 catches for 520 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. The only other players with more than 10 catches last season who is returning is redshirt freshman Malik Knowles. Chabastin Taylor is an ideally-sized WR at 6’4’’, 223, who had a great 2018 spring game, but the hype didn’t translate to the field last year. Hopefully it will this season. Wykeen Gill looks to be a player who will get more looks this fall, but he has seven career catches, all last season. There’s definitely some searching being done by the staff with this unit.
10. Kansas Jayhawks
As if the quarterback situation wasn’t tough enough to figure out, Kansas also has questions at wide receiver. Daylot Charlot is the Alabama transfer who has yet to live up to expectations during his time in Lawrence, recording just 12 catches for under 200 yards last season. However he still is probably the best option right now. Quan Hampton and Stephon Robinson could step up and be good options as well. Also, three-star transfer Andrew Parchment was a top 10 JUCO WR in this year’s class who will have an opportunity to make his presence felt right away.
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