Analyzing every SEC team’s WR commitments for the Class of 2017
Once a hard-nosed and physical conference, the SEC is now home to some of college football’s top perimeter playmakers.
As the game becomes more pass-oriented, receivers are more important than ever.
With an eye toward next season, we’re analyzing the SEC recruiting commitments for each position in the Class of 2017. Today’s focus is the incoming group of wide receivers. Twelve of the nation’s top 50 receivers are committed to the SEC, according to the 247Sports Composite Rankings.
Jerry Jeudy (5-star, No. 4 WR): Another pure-bred receiver headed to Alabama, Jeudy is a smooth receiver in the mold of Amari Cooper. He should step into the fold and be ready to contribute heavily in his first season.
Tyrell Shavers (4-star, No. 15 WR): With a height and speed combo that should frighten opposing defenses, Shavers gives Alabama a tremendous weapon moving forward. The 6-foot-6 receiver has clocked a sub-4.4-second 40-yard dash and gained 803 yards with 13 touchdowns in his junior season.
Chadarius Townsend (4-star, No. 8 ATH): Townsend has drawn positive comparisons to ArDarius Stewart, and he could become the same type of player for the Crimson Tide. Townsend’s versatility was apparent in high school; he ran for 1,481 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior while also throwing for 1,245 yards and another 13 scores.
Brandon Martin (4-star, No. 2 JUCO): One of the top offensive JUCO talents in this class, Martin is a much-needed deep threat for the Razorbacks. Sporting a 4.37-second 40-yard dash time, he can run past defenders as easily has he can use his strength to go through them.
Maleek Barkley (3-star, No. 87 WR): Barkley is another versatile addition for the Razorbacks. Barkley is a skilled receiver and deadly with the ball in space. As a senior, Barkley ran for 1,336 yards and 17 touchdowns and gained 613 yards with 7 touchdowns as a receiver.
Koilan Jackson (3-star, No. 101 WR): Jackson continues his family tradition of playing for the Razorbacks, and he will get plenty of chances to contribute. A smooth route runner, Jackson had a stellar senior season, catching 57 passes for 1,206 yards and 12 touchdowns.
De’Vion Warren (3-star, No. 60 ATH): Warren played quarterback in high school, but he is an electric athlete whose skill-set should translate to receiver. In nine games as a junior, Warren accounted for 2,388 yards and 27 touchdowns.
Jonathan Nance (3-star, No. 19 JUCO): Nance was Martin’s teammate at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, and he will join him at Arkansas next season. Nance can play in the slot or on the outside, and he caught 31 passes for 400 yards and 3 touchdowns last season.
Noah Igbinoghene (3-star, No. 50 WR): Auburn made receiver a priority in last year’s recruiting class, but the Tigers’ lone commitment at the position for 2017 is a playmaker. Igbinoghene totaled 1,710 all-purpose yards as a senior and scored 18 touchdowns. He can be used all over the field in this offense.
Daquon Green (4-star, No. 26 WR): The Gators may add another receiver or two in this class, but they will be hard-pressed to find one better than Green. In his junior and senior seasons, Green combined to catch 72 passes for 1,373 yards and 19 touchdowns. He has a strong work ethic and could see the field early at Florida.
Jeremiah Holloman (4-star, No. 19 WR): Holloman is already on campus for the Bulldogs, and he could be the go-to option Georgia desperately needs in the passing game. The 6-foot-2 receiver has a strong blend of size and speed, and Holloman is already a polished route runner.
Mark Webb (4-star, No. 20 WR): The cousin of fellow UGA commit D’Andre Swift, Webb offers tremendous upside as a deep threat for the Bulldogs. His junior season demonstrated just how good he is at gaining yards in bunches, as he caught only 15 passes for 510 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Trey Blount (4-star, No. 39 WR): Blount may not be ranked as highly as some of the nation’s top receivers, but he’s deserving of the same type of recognition. He has very soft hands and will rarely let a ball hit the turf, which is something that couldn’t be said of Georgia’s receivers last season.
Matt Landers (3-star, No. 97 WR): Landers brings some much-needed height to Athens at the receiver position. Landers is 6-foot-5 and has the speed to beat defenders downfield and leap over them to attack the ball in the air. He’s relatively inexperienced, but Landers could make a name for himself at Georgia.
Lynn Bowden (4-star, No. 5 ATH): Bowden is one of Kentucky’s top commitments, and he should be used heavily on offense next season. This hybrid player is extremely elusive in the open field, and he will become a fan favorite pretty quickly.
JaVonte Richardson (4-star, No. 31 WR): One of the biggest commitments for Kentucky in 2017, Richardson should be a true weapon for the Wildcats’ offense. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound receiver is a smooth route runner, has soft hands and will fight for the ball.
Joshua Ali (3-star, No. 54 ATH): Ali is another fluid receiver, and he held several impressive offers prior to committing to the Wildcats. During his junior season, Ali caught 56 passes for 865 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Clevan Thomas (3-star, No. 102 WR): Thomas looks to be a future slot receiver for the Wildcats, and he’s physical enough to thrive over the middle in the SEC.
Isaiah Epps (3-star, No. 145 WR): As a senior, Epps caught 59 passes for 1,209 yards and 12 touchdowns. He’s a tall receiver who can operate well in space, but isn’t a polished player just yet.
Stephen Guidry (4-star, No. 1 JUCO): It’s been an interesting journey for LSU and the nation’s top JUCO receiver, but Guidry is back in the fold for the Tigers. Guidry should make an impact from the get-go for LSU, and his fluid style will be a welcome addition in the receiving corps.
Mannie Netherly (4-star, No. 37 WR): Netherly did a little bit of everything his senior year, and he should be a nice weapon for the Tigers moving forward. In his final high school season, Netherly accounted for 3,314 yards of total offense and 46 touchdowns.
Austin Williams (3-star, No. 107 WR): Williams has the size to compete in the SEC, and he was productive in his high school career. The 6-foot-3, 202-pound receiver caught a combined 104 passes for 1,626 yards and 20 touchdowns in his junior and senior seasons.
Daron Davis (3-star, No. 22 ATH): Davis is a fast-rising prospect in this class, and he’s easily one of the fastest. He doesn’t have much experience as a receiver, but he’s a nightmare with the ball in his hands and he could become a future playmaker in the SEC.
Jafar Armstrong (3-star, No. 70 WR): Armstrong was an incredibly productive receiver in high school, and he may have the highest floor of any Missouri receiver commit. In high school, Armstrong caught 172 passes for 3,744 yards and 45 touchdowns.
Elijah Gardiner (3-star, No. 169 WR): Listed at 6-foot-5, Gardiner will provide a big target for quarterback Drew Lock.
D.D. Bowie (4-star, No. 12 WR): Bowie’s commitment to Ole Miss isn’t the most solid at the moment. He’s already admitted he would accept an offer from Florida State if one is extended, and he may jump ship if the Rebels’ fate with the NCAA isn’t made clear. He’s a great talent, and the Rebels certainly don’t want to let him get away.
OrTre Smith (4-star, No. 18 WR): Smith was the top in-state player for 2017, and he is a major part of the Gamecocks’ recruiting class. An early enrollee, Smith has the natural size and athleticism to become a big contributor in his first season if he can gain the trust of the coaching staff.
Shi Smith (4-star, No. 11 ATH): The second Smith in this class, he is a very good route runner who can leave defenders tripping over themselves as he races towards the end zone. Smith caught 50 passes for 1,300 yards and 17 touchdowns as a junior, and he should be a contributor in the return game as well.
Chad Terrell (3-star, No. 56 WR): Another big body for South Carolina’s budding receiving corps, Terrell will provide strong upside and nice depth. In his senior season, Terrell gained 1,236 yards with 17 touchdowns on 64 receptions.
Jordan Murphy (3-star, No. 53 WR): Murphy has earned a reputation for playing bigger than he actually is. A savvy route runner with great hands, Murphy can create separation or outjump a defender to catch the ball at its highest point.
Princeton Fant (3-star, No. 121 WR): Not much is known about Fant’s ability to produce on the field, but he’s got plenty of untapped potential. An ACL injury cost Fant his junior season, and his doctors weren’t pleased with how it was healing and elected for another surgery just one game into his senior season.
Jacquez Jones (3-star, No. 128 WR): Jones may not be the biggest player on the field but that won’t matter if defenders can’t catch him. The 5-foot-11 receiver is as elusive as they come, and Jones had a productive senior season, gaining 1,248 total yards with 14 touchdowns.
Jhamon Ausbon (4-star, No. 10 WR): One of the top commitments for the Aggies, Ausbon sharpened his teeth against some of the nation’s top players as a member of IMG Academy. Most importantly, Ausbon should have great chemistry with quarterback Kellen Mond, who was his roommate at IMG.
Hezekiah Jones (4-star, No. 27 WR): Boasting elite speed, Jones will help Texas A&M stretch the field vertically. Jones gained 675 yards on 36 catches and grabbed 14 touchdowns in his final high school season.
Camron Buckley (3-star, No. 51 WR): Buckley won’t jump out immediately to anyone who watches him play, but he has a smoothness and consistency to his game that should help him contribute as a part of the Aggies’ rotation.
Roshauud Paul (3-star, No. 60 WR): Paul is a winner, plain and simple. As his high school’s starting quarterback, Paul compiled a 47-0 record, won three state championships and earned the recognition as “Mr. Texas Football.” There will be a learning curve for Paul at receiver, but he is an electrifying player and fun to watch.
James Bostic Jr. (3-star, No. 237 WR): Bostic is a big, physical receiver who could line up at tight end in a pinch. He’s got plenty of areas in which he can improve, but Bostic has a lot of natural talent and upside.
All rankings courtesy of the 247Sports Composite