Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em, Trade ‘Em: Analyzing Texas FBS Wide Receivers

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Last week, we asked if you would start, sit or trade select Texas FBS quarterbacks. Your votes have been tallied: Shane Buechele, Jalen Hurts, Baker Mayfield and Dalton Sturm all made the “starting” cut.

Fans were confident enough in what they saw last year to give these quarterbacks the starting nod.

TCU starter Kenny Hill was voted to “sit”. The transfer quarterback saw an up-and-down first season with the Horned Frogs, ranking third for the best passing in TCU history, but also leading the Big-12 in turnovers. TCU signees Grayson Muehlstein and Shawn Robinson seem to be the preferred quarterbacks in Fort Worth.

This week, we will examine Texas FBS wide receivers.

As we get closer to the illumination of the Friday Night Lights, we want YOU to decide the futures of your favorite teams and players.

Put on your GM caps for a moment and select whether an athlete should sit, start or be traded. Obviously, NCAA rules prohibit trades, but you get the overall idea.

Voting results will be revealed a week after publication. Leave your comments below to analyze, discuss and debate this week’s batch of players.

Linell Bonner — Dekaney, Houston

The Houston Cougars are the biggest question mark in the Texas FBS heading into next season. After a 22-4 stint with uptempo wizard coach Tom Herman, the reigns of the Cougars were handed to Major Applewhite, who promptly lost the Las Vegas Bowl. With a plethora of transfers, Houston is unlikely to meet the NCAA-maximum 85-man scholarship limit when the season starts Sept. 2.

This has been a hindrance, especially at the quarterback position.

Receiver Linell Bonner was the nineteenth player to eclipse 1,000 yards in school history last year, catching 93 passes for three total scores. The redshirt junior has the hands and speed to continue to make an impact for the Cougars, but who will throw to him?

Texas A&M transfer Kyle Allen seems to be the front-runner, while other top candidates have been sidelined by injury.

Houston was only one of six programs with three players grabbing over 650 yards. Most of that was attributed to stud quarterback Greg Ward Jr., who averaged 300 yards passing per game.

Who will be his successor is a dilemma coach Applewhite has to resolve over the offseason, or Bonner will be running around aimlessly while the Cougars faithful chant for the first-year coach’s resignation.


Collin Johnson — UT

No one on the Longhorns receiving corps. surpassed 500 yards or scored over three touchdowns last season. Blame that stat on stud running back D’Onta Foreman, who notched 12-straight 100-yard games — breaking Earl Campbell’s school record.

At a towering 6’6”, Collin Johnson erupted during the Longhorns spring game, finishing with eight catches for 117 yards and two touchdowns.

During his freshman campaign last season, Johnson showed hints of promise, tallying three touchdowns — second all-time by a freshman. However, his total receiving yardage ranked sixth on the team. Johnson has developed from the previous year, but could he be buried by the depth at the position?


Blake Lynch — Gilmer, Baylor

After a controversial year, the Bears rebounded over the offseason by employing Matt Rhule to a seven-year contract. The hire was a success; Baylor had one of the best classes in years, ranking in the top-40 nationally. The receiving unit may be the most impressive of the bunch: Blake Lynch, Chris Platt and Pooh Stricklin have the experience, but sophomores Jared Atkinson, Tony Nicholson and Denzel Mims are on the precipice of a starting nod.

Despite this, only two receivers saw significant playing time last season: Lynch and Platt, with the prior having a more diverse skill set that could be incorporated in numerous ways within Rhule’s new system.

A state champion with Gilmer, Lynch contributed 404 yards and three touchdowns to a better-than-expected Baylor team last year, before he was sidelined with a broken finger. With his versatile skill set, Lynch also filled in at running back against Oklahoma, averaging less than 10 yards per carry. With KD Cannon and Ish Zamora now employed by the NFL, the lead receiver position is Lynch’s to lose.


Jalen Guyton — Allen, UNT

The Eagles lost three of their top four receivers to graduation.

A winner of the state title in every near with Allen, Guyton was supposed an intrical part of the Notre Dame Irish offense. Instead, he redshirted and was indefinitely suspended from the football program in December 2015. After a stint at JUCO, Guyton joined a thin UNT recruiting class, easily taking the top spot of the third worst class in the Lonestar State.

Personality issues will always be a red flag when it comes to disrupting a team’s cohesiveness, on-and-off the field.

The Mean Green ranked 11th in C-USA in passing. Quarterback Mason Fine has a year of experience, but turnovers doomed the offense to competing in a Bowl bid on the merits of their high APR rating.


KaVontae Turpin — (TCU)

Most fans in Fort Worth anticipated KaVontae Turpin as the team’s leading receiver over Josh Doctson after earning 81 all-purpose yards in TCU’s miraculous Alamo Bowl comeback bid. Instead, Turpin’s production was surpassed by Kyle Hicks as the Horned Frogs’ lead pass catcher.

A running back nabbing more catches than a receiver is never a good look.

Turpin was second on the team with 986 all-purpose yards, but struggled with injuries all season and missed five total games. Through two games, he earned Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week, tallying 236 all purpose yards in the pair, but was injured the following week.

The injury bug can be a reoccurring affliction, especially mentally. Not to mention recent shake-ups at offensive coordinator could affect Turpin’s play: Doug Meacham is heading to Kansas and Sonny Dykes was picked up as an offensive analyst. All six top Horned Frogs receivers should be healthy come this fall for either Kenny Hill or DeSoto freshman Shawn Robinson to spread the field with.  


 

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