It’s time, once again, to work our way through the summer with our Big 12 position rankings. With these posts we give our opinions on each of the offensive and defensive position groups and rank them from first to worst. We only defend our top three and bottom two in the rankings and while we’re sure to say something that’s out of this world crazy it’s also a great way to get football conversations going. So, enjoy and make sure to sound off with your opinions in the comments section below.
This time around the Heartland Sports writers give their take on the receivers/tight ends across the conference, ranking them from first to worst. Then they are asked to defend their top three and bottom two rankings.
The consensus rankings below come from a points system. A first place selection is worth 14 points, second place is 13 points, and they continue in descending order with tenth place equaling 1 point.
Heartland Sports Consensus Receiver/Tight End Rankings
|2. Texas Tech||37|
|6. Oklahoma State||29|
|11. Iowa State||12|
|11. Kansas State||12|
|14. West Virginia||4|
Unanimity – Once again, we agreed at the top (Texas) and in the middle (UCF). Beyond that, we didn’t agree across the board on anything else.
Almost Agreed – We were really close on seven different programs only to have one of us throw off the mojo.
All Over The Place – We didn’t agree at all on where Houston, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, and TCU belonged.
Individual Thoughts And Rankings
1. Texas | Xavier Worthy is one of the best wide receivers in the country. He will lead the way for the Longhorns along side Jordan Whittington who was second in receiving yards for Texas last year with over 600 yards. The Longhorns have a third weapon in tight end JaTavion Sanders who just might be the best tight end in the Big 12. If Texas is going to live up to expectations in 2023 it will be through this receiving group.
2. Texas Tech | Texas Tech doesn’t quite have the talent to make it to the top spot, but they come in at a close second due to the amount of experience they have at the receiver position. They are returning their top five receivers from a year ago. Jerand Bradley is a name to get familiar with. He led the Red Raiders in receiving last season as a freshman.
3. Kansas | It might seem a little surprising to see Kansas this high on the rankings but they also return a ton of experience from a year ago. Their top four receivers are coming back after the Jayhawks had one of their best offensive seasons in over a decade. Three of the returning receivers ranked in the top 20 in the Big 12 last season. The Jayhawks offense will be tough to stop once again in 2023.
4. Oklahoma State
10. Iowa State
11. Kansas State
13. Cincinnati | Cincinnati lost their top seven receivers from last year. They did get a couple of transfers in Dee Wiggins and Donovan Ollie. Those guys will bring in a bit of talent, but with limited time in the program you have to wonder how quickly they will be able to come in and make an impact.
14. West Virginia | The Mountaineers needed to replace some talent as well so they brought in Kole Taylor from LSU and Devin Carter from NC State. Both guys were ranked as high transfer prospects, but their on the field experience is limited.
1. Texas | The Longhorns are overwhelmingly the top group when it comes to pass catchers. Xavier Worthy was an All-Big 12 Second Team selection a year ago, and he is a Preseason All-Big 12 First Team selection this season. He’s probably the best receiver in the conference, perhaps the country, and he’s got a lot of other talent in the group as well.
2. Texas Tech | Jerand Bradley is a Preseason All-Big 12 First Team selection,
3. Oklahoma | Marvin Mims leaves some big shoes to fill after his departure to the NFL, but the Sooners have what it takes to get back on the winning track in their final season in the Big 12 with some high potential in their pass catchers. Drake Stoops is a fan-favorite who is as consistent as they come, but all eyes will be on Jalil Farooq to be the next big receiver in Norman.
4. Oklahoma State
11. Iowa State
12. Kansas State
13. West Virginia | The Mountaineers will look completely different this year in their receivers group after losing a lot of their top producers. NC State transfer Devin Carter is a solid pickup in Morgantown, however, so he could be primed for a big final season of college football.
14. Cincinnati | The Bearcats are at the bottom for one reason, really: lack of experience. They have a few transfers that could turn out to be nice, but right now, their receiving group is a giant question mark.
1. Texas | Not only do the Longhorns return the top three receivers from 2022 (Xavier Worthy, Jordan Whittington, and Ja’Tavion Sanders), they also added transfer wideout AD Mitchell (Georgia) and five-star freshman Johntay Cook.
2. Kansas | It’s crazy seeing the Jayhawks so high on the list but the Kansas offense was no joke last year and it returns the top eight pass catchers from 2022. Lawrence Arnold, Quentin Skinner, and Luke Grimm combined for 1,779 receiving yards last fall and will cause some restless nights for defensive coordinators again in 2023.
3. TCU | Losing Quentin Johnston, Taye Barber, and Derius Davis from a team that made the College Football Playoff Championship game last season is going to be a challenge. That said, the Frogs were able to snag receivers JoJo Earle (Alabama) and John Paul Richardson (Oklahoma State), as well as tight end Jack Bech (LSU) from the transfer portal. This group is still deep and still talented.
4. Texas Tech
8. Oklahoma State
10. Kansas State
12. Iowa State
13. Cincinnati | The Bearcats lost nine of their top ten pass catchers from 2022. They’ll look to transfers Xzavier Henderson (Florida), Dee Wiggins (Louisville), and Braden Smith (Louisville) to produce immediately in 2023.
14. West Virginia | Gone are the top four pass catchers from a season ago, resulting in the Mountaineers looking to transfer receivers Devin Carter (NC State) and Ja’Shaun Poke (Kent State), as well as tight end Kole Taylor (LSU) to carry the passing attack.
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