For a quarterback, there’s nothing like having a reliable target to throw to.
Regardless of what type of coverage a defensive back provides, these wideouts have the speed and athleticism to break away from defenders, and catch frozen rope passes over the middle. Some are possession receivers, while others do their damage from the slot or out on the edge, but they all can stretch the field on opposing defenses.
Several skills tie into being an effective pass catcher, including vision, blocking and soft hands. These 20 players have the experience and production to capitalize on their successful campaigns a year ago.
20. Tahj Washington, USC: The Texas native hauled in 50 passes for 786 yards last season. Washington caught seven balls for 118 yards and two touchdowns at Arizona, which were both season-highs. Not to mention he had seven receptions for 112 yards, and a score in the victory over California. Washington also generated a touchdown catch in wins over Colorado and Notre Dame. The former three-star prospect recorded six catches for 93 yards, and a touchdown against Utah in the Pac-12 Championship Game. Washington followed up that performance, with five catches for 109 receiving yards against Tulane in the Cotton Bowl. His production should increase this fall.
19. Keon Coleman, Michigan State: The former four-star prospect played basketball for the Spartans early in his career. Coleman finished sixth in the Big Ten in receiving yards last season. The Louisiana native caught four balls for 84 yards, and a touchdown in the season-opening win over Western Michigan. Coleman generated nine catches for 116 yards, and two scores at Washington. The six-foot-four, 215-pounder also caught two touchdowns in the victory over Wisconsin. Not to mention he had a season-high, 155 receiving yards at Michigan, plus 107 against Indiana. Coleman caught 20 passes for 224 yards over Michigan State’s final three games, and earned third-team, All-Big Ten honors.
18. Dominic Lovett, Georgia: The Illinois native led Missouri in receptions and receiving yards last season. Lovett generated seven catches for 132 yards, and two touchdowns in the victory over Abilene Christian. He caught five balls for 102 yards at Auburn. Lovett’s 10 catches for 148 receiving yards in the win over South Carolina, were both season-highs. The former four-star prospect also went over the century mark in receiving yards against Arkansas. Lovett hauled in six catches against Georgia, and had a touchdown reception against Tennessee. For his heroics, Lovett earned second-team, All-SEC honors. The 5-foot-10, 185-pounder was a great addition by the reigning National Champs.
17. Jeremiah Hunter, California: The former four-star prospect finished fifth in the Pac-12 in receiving yards last season. Hunter averaged 87.7 receiving yards per game, which ranked third in the league, and 20th in the FBS. He caught six passes for 78 yards, and a score in the season-opener against UC Davis. The Californian hauled in six passes for 109 yards at Washington State. Hunter also went over the century mark in receiving yards in three of California’s last four games. His eight catches for 153 yards and two touchdowns against the Bruins, were all season-highs. Hunter finished strong down the stretch, with 30 receptions for 517 yards over the Golden Bears’ final five conference games.
16. Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky: The former two-star prospect finished fourth in the FBS with 1,295 receiving yards, and earned first-team, All-C-USA last season. Corley averaged 7.2 catches per game, which ranked sixth in the nation. Not to mention he was 13th in the nation in receiving yards per game. The Florida native caught three touchdowns in the season-opening victory over Austin Peay. He generated 123 receiving yards and two touchdown receptions in the win over Florida International. Corley stockpiled 131 receiving yards aganst UTSA, 100 against Middle Tennessee, 162 against Charlotte, 127 against Florida Atlantic and 114 against South Alabama.
15. Will Sheppard, Vanderbilt: The Louisiana native ranked second in the SEC in receiving yards last season. Sheppard got off to a hot start, and remained consistent throughout the year. Not to mention Sheppard had eight touchdown receptions through the Commodores’ first six games. He caught two touchdowns apiece in victories over Hawaii, Elon, and Northern Illinois. Sheppard’s 171 receiving yards, and two scores against the Huskies were a season-high. In back-to-back games against South Carolina and Kentucky, Sheppard combined for 11 catches and 183 yards. The former four-star prospect has caught 103 balls for 1,353 yards and 13 touchdowns over the past two seasons.
14. Johnny Wilson, Florida State: The Californian’s stature is intimidating, and he uses his six-foot-seven, 235-pound frame to create mismatches all over the field. Wilson constantly stretched the field on opposing secondaries. After all, he ranked second in the ACC, and fifth in the FBS in yards per catch last season. Wilson caught three balls for 111 yards and a touchdown in the victory at Georgia Tech. He also had a touchdown reception against Wake Forest and Syracuse. Wilson left a lasting impression, with eight catches for 202 yards in the bowl victory over Oklahoma. He’ll be Jordan Travis’ top target again this fall, considering the gunslinger has arguably the best safety net in the ACC.
13. Ladd McConkey, Georgia: The former three-star prospect tied for first on the team with seven touchdown catches last season. McConkey caught five balls for 73 yards and a touchdown in the season-opening victory over Oregon. He put together a strong three-game stretch, with a touchdown catch against Florida, Tennessee and Mississippi State. McConkey also had a receiving score against LSU in the SEC Championship Game. The Georgia native left a lasting impression after he hauled in two touchdown passes against TCU in the National Championship Game. The cherry on top for McConkey, was capping off the season with second-team, All-SEC honors.
12. Isaiah Williams, Illinois: The former four-star prospect is a a converted quarterback, who led the Fighting Illini in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches last season. Williams finished second in the Big Ten, and 15th in the FBS in receptions per game. Coach Bret Bielema uses the wideout in a variety of ways out of the slot, including jet sweeps, screens and reverses. He caught nine passes for 112 yards and a score at Indiana. Williams had nine receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown against Chattanooga. The St. Louis native also hauled in nine passes in victories over Minnesota and Nebraska. Williams’ 10 catches for 120 yards in the Reliaquest Bowl were both season-highs.
11. Jacob Cowing, Arizona: The former two-star prospect ranked fourth in the Pac-12 with 1,034 receiving yards last season. Cowing has generated back-to-back 1,000 yard receiving campaigns at UTEP and Arizona. He averaged 7.1 receptions per game in 2022, which ranked first in the conference and seventh in the country. The Arizona native generated eight catches for 152 yards and three touchdowns in the season-opener at San Diego State. His 12 catches for 180 yards in the victory over Colorado were both season-highs. Cowing also eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards against UCLA and California, plus he had a touchdown catch against North Dakota State and Mississippi State.
10. Ja’Corey Brooks, Alabama: The former five-star prospect led the Crimson Tide in touchdown receptions, and tied for second in the SEC in that category. Brooks averaged 17.3 yards per catch, which ranked second in the SEC West. He generated 117 receiving yards and and two touchdowns against Vanderbilt, which were both season-highs. The Miami native also caught six balls for 79 yards and a score at Tennessee. Brooks racked up a season-high, seven receptions for 97 yards and a touchdown against LSU. Not to mention Brooks hauled in a touchdown pass in four of Alabama’s final five games, including victories over Ole Miss, Auburn and Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.
9. Jalen McMillan, Washington: The California native finished third in the Pac-12, and 15th in the FBS in receiving yards last season. McMillan was consistent, and averaged 6.1 receptions per game, which was third-best in the conference. He caught two touchdowns in the season-opener against Kent State. The following week McMillan recorded 127 receiving yards and a score in the victory over Portland State. Not to mention he caught eight passes apiece against California, Oregon, Colorado and Texas. McMillan racked up a season-high, 150 receiving yards in the win at Washington State. The former four-star prospect caught a touchdown in six of the Huskies’ final seven games.
8. Troy Franklin, Oregon: The Californian tied for first in the Pac-12 with nine touchdown receptions last year. Franklin also capped off the season with second-team, All-Pac-12 honors. The former four-star prospect hauled in a season-high, 10 passes for 84 yards and a touchdown against Eastern Washington. He caught five balls apiece, including a touchdown, and eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards against Washington and Washington State. Franklin had eight catches for 132 yards and two scores in the victory over UCLA. Not to mention he caught a touchdown against Utah, Oregon State and North Carolina. Franklin scored in each of the Ducks’ final four games.
7. Antwane Wells, South Carolina: The wideout had no stars behind his name out of high school, but still earned first-team, All-SEC honors in 2022. Wells finished third in the almighty SEC in receptions per game, and fifth in receiving yards. He caught eight balls for a season-high, 189 yards and a score at Arkansas. Wells had seven receptions apiece against South Carolina State and Missouri. The former James Madison Duke recorded 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns in the win at Vanderbilt. Wells had a season-high, 11 catches for 177 yards and a rushing score in the victory over Tennessee. The Virginia native dominated against Clemson, with nine catches for 131 yards and two touchdowns.
6. Dorian Singer, USC: Last season at Arizona, he finished second in the Pac-12, and 14th in the FBS in receiving yards. Singer ranked second in the conference, and 15th in the nation in receiving yards per game. Not to mention he capped off the season with second-team, All-Pac-12 honors. Singer hauled in eight passes for 103 yards at California. He caught nine passes for 163 yards and a touchdown against Colorado. The Minnesota native caught a season-high, three touchdowns against USC. Singer raised eyebrows with another season-high, 176 receiving yards against Washington State. Now Singer will have the reigning Heisman Trophy winner throwing him balls this fall.
5. Malik Nabers, LSU: The former four-star prospect finished second in the SEC with 1,017 receiving yards last season. Nabers ranked fourth in the conference in receptions per game. He caught six passes apiece against Mississippi State, New Mexico, Tennessee and Alabama. Nabers generated seven catches for 129 receiving yards in the victory over UAB. The six-foot, 195-pounder also recorded seven receptions at Texas A&M. Nabers had a stellar performance in the SEC Championship Game, with 128 receiving yards and a score. The Louisiana native was named the Citrus Bowl MVP after he caught nine balls for 163 yards, which were both season-highs. Nabers currently has a pending firearm charge.
4. Rome Odunze, Washington: The Las Vegas native finished first in the Pac-12, and 10th in the FBS in receiving yards last season. Odunze averaged 6.2 catches per game, which ranked second in the conference, and 17th in the nation. His 95.4 receptions per contest led the league, and was ninth-best in the country. Odunze capped off his stellar campaign with third-team, AP All-America honors, plus he earned first-team, All-Pac-12. The six-foot-three, 201-pounder had two receiving touchdowns apiece against Kent State, UCLA and Arizona. Odunze’s nine catches for 169 receiving yards against the Wildcats were both season-highs. Odunze went over 100 yards receiving in six games.
3. Xavier Worthy, Texas: The former four-star prospect ranked first in the Big 12 with nine touchdown receptions last season. Worthy led the Longhorns in receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches. Not to mention he capped off the season with second-team, All-Big 12 honors. He caught five passes for 97 yards against Alabama. Worthy hauled in seven passes for a season-high, 119 yards and two touchdowns against West Virginia. The Californian also had two receiving scores against Iowa State and Kansas State. Worthy caught a touchdown against Oklahoma and Texas Tech. No doubt he’s been stellar for the past two seasons, with 122 receptions, 1,741 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns.
2. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State: The former five-star prospect lived up to his billing last season. Egbuka ranked third in the Big Ten, and ninth in the FBS with 1,151 receiving yards. He was third in the league, and tied for 13th in the nation with 10 touchdown catches. Egbuka got off to a hot start, with 26 receptions for 442 yards and five touchdowns through the Buckeyes’ first four games. The Washington native had a season-high, 143 receiving yards in the victory at Michigan State. Egbuka also eclipsed the century mark in receiving yards and scored against Michigan. The six-foot-one, 205-pounder left a lasting impression with eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown against Georgia.
1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State: He’s the son of a NFL Hall of Famer, and looked like a man among boys on the gridiron in 2022. Harrison dominated and made everything look effortless. His 1,263 receiving yards ranked second in the Big Ten, and sixth in the FBS. He led the conference with 14 touchdown receptions. For his heroics, Harrison was named the league’s Receiver of the Year, and captured first-team, AP All-America honors. The Philadelphia native caught three touchdowns apiece against Arkansas State and Michigan State. He even had 106 yards receiving and two scores in the Playoff semifinals. Harrison and Egbuka might be a better tandem than Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson.
Jermaine Burton, Alabama: The Californian led the Crimson Tide in receiving yards last season. Burton caught two touchdowns in the season-opener against Utah State. His seven catches for 128 yards against Austin Peay were both season-highs. He hauled in a touchdown pass against Texas A&M, Ole Miss and Kansas State.
Taylor Morin, Wake Forest: The Virginia native tied for fourth in the ACC, with nine touchdown receptions in 2022. Morin caught two touchdowns apiece in wins over Boston College and Missouri. He had a season-high, 106 receiving yards against North Carolina. Morin and Jahmal Banks will be one of the best receiver tandems in the ACC.
Caleb Ducking, Transfer Portal: The former Mississippi Bulldog tied for second in the SEC in touchdown catches last season. Ducking hauled in seven touchdown passes through the Bulldogs’ first six games. He had two receiving scores apiece in victories over Bowling Green and Arizona. Ducking will be a great addition wherever he lands.
Jalon Calhoun, Duke: The South Carolina native led the Blue Devils in receptions and receiving yards last season. Calhoun caught six balls for 108 yards in the victory at Northwestern. He had 11 catches for 174 yards against Wake Forest, which were both season-highs. Calhoun also caught a touchdown against Kansas and Virginia.
Tetairoa McMillan, Arizona: The Hawaii native finished fourth in the Pac-12 in touchdown catches last season. Tetairoa caught seven balls for 132 yards and two touchdowns at Washington, which were both season-highs. He had a touchdown reception in five other conference games, and ranked second in the league in yards per reception.
Jahmal Banks, Wake Forest: The former three-star prospect hauled in nine touchdown catches through the Demon Deacons’ first eight games last year. Banks had a season-high, 141 receiving yards, and two touchdowns against Clemson. He also generated two touchdown receptions apiece in victories over Liberty and Boston College.
Tre Harris, Ole Miss: The former three-star prospect generated 935 receiving yards, and 10 touchdown catches at Louisiana Tech last season. Harris also earned first-team, All-C-USA honors. He went over 100 yards receiving against UTEP, North Texas and Middle Tennessee. His three touchdown receptions against Rice were a season-high.