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August 17, 2011
This is shaping up as college football's year of the receiver.
When Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma's Ryan Broyles and Notre Dame's Michael Floyd decided to stay in school rather than enter the NFL draft, it left college football absolutely loaded at wide receiver.
Each of the four most prolific receivers from the six major conferences is back this season: Blackmon (111 catches, 1,782 yards, 20 TDs), Broyles (131-1,622-14), South Carolina's Alshon Jeffery (88-1,517-9) and Arizona's Juron Criner (82-1,233-11).
Blackmon received the Biletnikoff Award last season as the nation's most outstanding receiver. This list of the nation's best receivers shows that he will have some stiff competition in his attempt for a repeat.
We continue our breakdown of the nation's best players at each position with a look at wide receivers. "Best" doesn't necessarily mean the most pro potential or even the most talent. Instead, it's a mix of what the player has accomplished and how we think the player will do this season. But production does trump potential.
We will look at a position a day until Aug. 29, when we rank all 120 of the nation's quarterbacks. Thursday, we will look at tight ends. Here are the wide receiver rankings.
20. DARIUS JOHNSON, SMU
19. T.J. MOE, MISSOURI
18. DAMARLO BELCHER, INDIANA
17. MARQUESS WILSON, WASHINGTON STATE
16. JERMAINE KEARSE, WASHINGTON
15. GREG CHILDS, ARKANSAS
14. LANCE LEWIS, EAST CAROLINA
13. PATRICK EDWARDS, HOUSTON
12. ERIC PAGE, TOLEDO
11. DEREK MOYE, PENN STATE
10. JAMES RODGERS, OREGON STATE
9. T.Y. HILTON, FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL
8. ROBERT WOODS, USC
7. DeVIER POSEY, OHIO STATE
6. JEFF FULLER, TEXAS A&M
5. JURON CRINER, ARIZONA
4. MICHAEL FLOYD, NOTRE DAME
3. RYAN BROYLES, OKLAHOMA
2. ALSHON JEFFERY, SOUTH CAROLINA
1. JUSTIN BLACKMON, OKLAHOMA STATE
Rankings and player capsules compiled by Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.