It’s that time again! The summer months are upon us and our favorite way to pass the time is by speculating on how specific positions will shape up in the Big 12. The Heartland Sports writers give their take on each position group, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.
The consensus rankings come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 10 points, second place is 9 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.
|Heartland Sports Consensus Receiver/Tight End Rankings|
|1. Oklahoma State||40|
|3. Iowa State||32|
|5. Texas Tech||23|
|8. West Virginia||13|
|10. Kansas State||6|
Unanimity – For the second position group in a row we’ve agreed that Oklahoma State will enter the 2020 season at the top. We unanimously gave the Pokes the top spot in the running back rankings and now we’re doing it with pass catchers.
Almost Agreed – We were pretty much on the same page with Kansas State and TCU. The Wildcats only received votes for ninth or tenth place while the Horned Frogs received one vote for eighth to go with two ninth place and one tenth place vote.
All Over The Place – We absolutely don’t agree on Texas Tech. We have the Red Raiders as high as #2 and as low as #8 with two spots in between.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Oklahoma State | The Pokes lead the way at the wide receiver position with Tylan Wallace returning for his senior year. His season was cut short last year due to injury, but he still managed to rack up 903 yards in only 8 games. Wallace will be complimented by Braydon Johnson who managed to bring in 475 yards as a sophomore.
2. Oklahoma | The Sooners will have a solid receiving core in 2020 led by Charleston Rambo. Rambo managed to record 743 yards last season despite being WR2 behind first-round draft pick CeeDee Lamb. The biggest question for the Sooners is whether or not Rambo can get some help from the young core around him.
3. Texas | Brennan Eagles will have big shoes to replace in 2020, but has a promising future coming off of a 522 yard season. With one of the best quarterbacks in the Big 12 throwing him the ball, Eagles is bound to have a great season.
4. Iowa State
7. West Virginia
8. Texas Tech
9. Kansas State | The Wildcats just don’t have a lot of depth at the wide receiver position in 2020. Their leading returning receiver recorded only 397 yards last season. However, it was largely due to injury. That being said, it’s hard to rank Kansas State any higher with the lack of experience at the position.
10. TCU | The Horned Frogs also lack experience at the receiver position. Taye Barber is the leading returning receiver with only 372 yards last season. TCU struggled offensively a year ago, and that might be the case for the 2020 season as well.
1. Oklahoma State Cowboys | With a long standing tradition of excellent receivers, 2020 appears to be a page out of the same book. Tylan Wallace remains one of the top wideouts in the country and possesses experience that is undeniable. Combined with a second option like Dillon Stoner, the offense easily becomes a potent scoring threat.
2. Iowa State Cyclones | On the field, Tarique Milton abused opposing defenses to the tune of 20.6 yards per catch. Clearly able to get behind defenders, the field opens up for the other receiving threat in Charlie Kolar, the tight end. A big and reliable target for the quarterback, Kolar appeared to become a favorite throughout the course of the year. With these two at the forefront of the conversation, ISU is a dangerous team when looking to pass.
3. Oklahoma Sooners | There’s plenty of talent on the roster for the program despite losing a player like Ceedee Lamb to the NFL at the close of the year. However, Charleston Rambo is set to take over the vacated role as a quarterback better suited for throwing the deep ball steps into a starting role.
4. Texas Tech Red Raiders
5. Kansas Jayhawks
6. Texas Longhorns
7. Baylor Bears
8. TCU Horned Frogs
9. Kansas State Wildcats | Although five of the top six targets returned to Manhattan, none caught more than 27 passes. It’s no secret that the quarterback play dictates a lot of those results and numbers. However, it is something to consider in the grand scheme of things and why I’m ranking them so low.
10. West Virginia Mountaineers | A year ago, the program rode the struggle bus as it was labeled a rebuilding year. Several of the top receivers were either freshman or sophomores and the ‘Eers will be looking to establish a new deep threat without George Campbell available due to eligibility.
1. Oklahoma State | Tylan Wallace was in the middle of a monster year before tearing his ACL in practice at the beginning of November, but he is all set to rebound and finish up an incredible career in Stillwater. Next to Wallace will be Dillon Stoner, Landon Wolf, and Braydon Johnson, so Spencer Sanders will have plenty of targets.
2. Oklahoma | Charleston Rambo had a solid sophomore season last year playing behind CeeDee Lamb, but he will be the primary focus in the passing game this season. Next to him is grad transfer Theo Howard, but after those two guys, there are plenty of young guys who could step up and fill some of the void left by Lamb as well.
3. Iowa State | Tarique Milton finished in the top 10 in the Big 12 for receiving yards per game last season, and with Deshaunte Jones graduated, Milton will be the primary target for Brock Purdy. JUCO transfer Xavier Hutchinson will also look to make an immediate impact.
7. Texas Tech
8. West Virginia
9. TCU | The loss of Jalen Reagor to the NFL is going to hurt the Horned Frogs, and Taye Barber is the next man up. Barber is a bit undersized at 5’9″, but he Is TCU’s most experienced receiver.
10. Kansas State | The Wildcats are rarely much of a passing team, and that will likely remain the same this season. There isn’t much experience returning, which is what puts Kansas State at the bottom here.
1. Oklahoma State | We’re ranking from the top down so naturally we have to start with Tylan Wallace and the Cowboys. Before his season ending injury Wallace was challenging Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb as the top receiver in the conference. With Lamb gone to the NFL now, the OSU star is left all alone as the top pass catcher in the Big 12. He also has a sturdy cast around him with Dillon Stoner and Braydon Johnson.
2. Texas Tech | Doubt me if you want to but the Red Raiders return four receivers who ranked in the Top 25 of the Big 12 last season. Among them is Erik Ezukanma who averaged 15.8 yards per reception in 2019, ranking him 10th in the conference. The Red Raiders are the deepest team in the Big 12 in terms of returning talent at the receiver position.
3. Iowa State | If you don’t already know the name Charlie Kolar then you most likely will by the end of the 2020 season. He’ll make an extremely dangerous duo with Tarique Milton who averaged 20.6 yards per reception in 2019.
6. West Virginia
9. TCU | The Horned Frogs return one receiver who ranked in the Top 25 among Big 12 pass catchers in 2019. Junior Taye Barber will be looked upon to lead a new crop of receivers after hauling in 29 passes for 372 yards last fall.
10. Kansas State | The only team in the Big 12 to not return a player who ranked in the Top 25 among pass catchers in 2019, the Wildcats are pushing the reset button on the receiving corps for 2020.
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