Who's the NCAA's top WR this year?
The list that follows is the top 5 Wide Receivers most likely to make the most headlines this year. Not necessarily in order of best pro football potential, but instead the best potential to put up Heisman-worthy stats and turn the most heads:
5. KEENAN ALLEN, California
The 6’3”, 210-pound Junior has all the tools to be an elite receiver at both the college and pro level. Last year, Allen finished second in the Pac-12 with 98 receptions and 1,343 yards (USC’s Robert Woods led in both). This year, quarterback Zach Maynard returns for his senior season, so Allen should be primed to improve on those numbers. The main highlights of Allen’s game are his excellent hands and ball control along with his surprising speed. You wouldn’t expect a 6’3” guy to have the kind of breakaway speed Allen does, but that’s what makes him such a dangerous threat down the field.
4. TAVON AUSTIN, West Virginia
You’ve got to love a receiver that you can effectively run out of the backfield or toss screen passes to when you need big plays, and Tavon Austin is exactly that. At 5’9” and 174, Austin is so low to the ground that he’s difficult to find behind the line of scrimmage and even tougher to catch up to. Matching up with him on the outside can be a big concern if you don’t have top-flight speed to match him. Ask Clemson which receiver they’d most want to avoid facing this year, and I’d be shocked if Austin wasn’t their answer. In last season’s Orange Bowl, West Virginia trounced Clemson by a score of 70-33, as Austin compiled 123 receiving yards, 46 rushing yards, 117 kick return yards, while scoring 4 touchdowns. This year, West Virginia’s first in the Big 12, Austin will be up against some of the NCAA’s best, so if he can improve on his 101 receptions, 1,186 yards, and 8 touchdowns last season, we may have him pretty high on our Heisman watch.