Ranking the SEC's top 10 wide receivers of 2014
Wide receiver: the most glamorous position on the football field. This year’s crop of SEC receivers was led by a player who defies the diva stereotypes, and the rest of the hard-nosed players on this list follow suit.
Who were the SEC’s best wide receivers this season?
SEC’s top players of 2014
10. Demarcus Robinson, Florida
The Gators didn’t have much of a passing offense in 2014, but Robinson accounted for a huge chunk of it, with more than a third of Florida’s receiving yards. Considering the lack of success for Jeff Driskel and Treon Harris, Robinson’s game log makes a little more sense. The sophomore had four games with 100 or more yards and six with 50 or fewer yards. Having Jim McElwain take over the offense should give him a boost next year.
9. Travin Dural, LSU
Early in the season, Dural looked like a star in the making. The home-run threat had 18 catches, 494 yards and four touchdowns in LSU’s first four games and topped the country in yards per catch. As LSU’s passing offense went off a cliff, Dural disappeared from the box scores. The Tigers found other ways to get the sophomore involved later in the season, but he finished with only 37 catches, 758 yards and seven touchdowns after his blistering start.
8. Sammie Coates, Auburn
After an impressive sophomore season, Coates was up and down as a junior. He dealt with an assortment of injuries and didn’t seem fully healthy until late in the season. Still, he’s a physical force when at full strength, which he showed in his 206-yard, two-touchdown performance against Alabama, and could be a first round draft pick this spring after announcing he’ll be leaving school early.
7. De’Runnya Wilson, Missisippi State
Speaking of physical forces, Wilson might be the most physically dominant receiver in the SEC. The former basketball star is able to go up over anyone and rip down jump balls. Wilson developed into more of a well-rounded receiver as the season went along, setting his career high in catches twice late in the year. Wilson finished with 38 catches, 575 yard and seven touchdowns, but had 16 grabs over his final two games.
6. Josh Reynolds, Texas A&M
While the Aggies offense sputtered at times in the second half of the season, Reynolds stood out as the team’s most consistent receiving option. The junior college transfer put up 47 catches for 762 yards in his first year in College Station, and proved to be a scoring threat from all ranges, finishing second in the conference with 12 touchdowns. Reynolds improved in handling the press coverage teams try to throw at Texas A&M as the season progressed.
5. Bud Sasser, Missouri
Sasser might be the least spectacular wide receiver on this list, but he was among the most consistent. The senior set career highs across the board for the back-to-back East champs, finishing the season with 70 catches, 935 yards and 10 touchdowns. Sasser scored in four of Mizzou’s final six games, and Maty Mauk always looked his way in crucial situations.
4. Laquon Treadwell, Ole Miss
The Rebels’ star receiver would be higher up had he not suffered a nasty leg injury against Auburn, ending his season a few weeks early. Treadwell went from very good as a freshman to a star as a sophomore, serving as the fulcrum of Ole Miss’ offense before his injury. Treadwell was on track to push 1,000 yards before his injury, and had he not been injured crossing the goal line late against Auburn, fumbling as a result, the Rebels’ season may have turned out very differently.
3. D’haquille Williams, Auburn
Duke, a junior college transfer, was one of the best newcomers in the SEC this year, and the health issues Coates had leave fans wondering how potent Auburn’s offense could have been had the two been healthy together all year. Williams suffered a knee injury late in the season, missing two-plus games, but was also on track for 1,000 yards before getting dinged up. At 6-foot-2, 216 lbs. Williams has the size and speed to dominate any defensive back.
2. Pharoh Cooper, South Carolina
Thanks to No. 1 on this list, South Carolina’s Cooper wasn’t even the best player with his last name in the conference. Still, the sophomore exploded in 2014, far surpassing even the wildest expectations for him. Cooper was a do-it-all threat, an All-SEC performer as an all-purpose player and wide receiver. He hauled in 60 catches for 966 yards and eight touchdowns, also rushing for 198 yards and two more scores. He’s a halfway decent passer as well, for what it’s worth. If South Carolina can rebound next year, he could get some dark horse Heisman buzz.
1. Amari Cooper, Alabama
Could it be anyone else? The Crimson Tide’s superstar smashed records left and right in his junior season, setting SEC and Alabama single-season records for catches, yards and touchdown, as well as several Alabama career records. Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award as the country’s best receiver and was a Heisman finalist, earning the second-most first place votes. Cooper was the best player in the SEC this year, regardless of position.