Monday, June 3, 2013
Big Ten's 1,000-yard receivers in 2013
By Brian Bennett
We've taken a look at the potential 1,000-yard rushers and 3,000-yard passers in the Big Ten this season. That leaves just one major statistical milestone on the offensive side of the ball: the 1,000-yard receivers.
Wide receiver wasn't the strongest position group in the league in 2012, and just one player reached quadruple digits a year ago: Penn State's Allen Robinson, who finished with 1,013. Robinson is still only a junior, so he's the best bet to do it again this year, though he'll be catching passes from an inexperienced quarterback to start the season.
Who else might join Robinson in that 1k club? Let's take a look at some candidates in order of likelihood:
1. Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin (837 receiving yards in 2012): Abbrederis posted 933 receiving yards in 2011 and still had good numbers last year despite being banged up early in the season, having little help elsewhere in the wideout corps and dealing with three different starting quarterbacks. Wisconsin should be stronger in the passing game this year, and Abbrederis will once again be the top target whenever the Badgers look to throw downfield.
2. Kenny Bell, Nebraska (863): Bell really wants to be the first 1,000-yard receiver in Huskers history, and he was on pace for a while last year before slowing down in the final weeks. He's got all the talent to achieve the milestone, but Nebraska will have to throw the ball a little more for it to happen.
3. Cody Latimer, Indiana (805): The Hoosiers are as deep at wideout as any Big Ten team, so that may make it harder for any one guy -- whether it's Latimer, Kofi Hughes, Shane Wynn, etc. -- to get to 1,000. But Latimer has the best hands of the group and could do enough to make it, especially if the Hoosiers can reach a bowl game.
4. Jeremy Gallon, Michigan (829): The Wolverines' passing game took off last year once Devin Gardner became the full-time quarterback, and having in there for a whole season should really help Gallon. He's not a big guy in stature, but he makes big plays. Gallon could be targeted even more with Roy Roundtree no longer around.
5. Corey Brown, Ohio State (669): Brown looked like little more than a possession receiver early last season but became more of a playmaker as the season wore on. The Buckeyes will look to greatly improve the passing game this year, and Brown figured to be the biggest beneficiary of that.
Others to watch: Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa; Aaron Burbridge, Michigan State; Devin Smith, Ohio State; Kyle Carter, Penn State; Christian Jones, Northwestern