Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Poll: Pac-12's receiving leader in 2013?
By Ted Miller
We've been reviewing Pac-12 statistical leaders from 2012 who are coming back in 2013. Now it's your turn.
We've already polled you on passing and rushing, with 45 percent saying "Other" for rushing and 42 percent saying Oregon's Marcus Mariota for passing.
Now we move on to receiving.
USC's Marqise Lee is the obvious front-runner. Not only was he a unanimous All-American last year, he led the Pac-12 and ranked second in the nation with 132.4 yards receiving per game.
But he will be playing without QB Matt Barkley and WR Robert Woods, who forced defenses not to commit too many resources to Lee.
The second-leading returning receiver is Oregon State's Brandin Cooks. He ranked fifth in the conference with 88.5 yards receiving a game. He and Markus Wheaton were the conference's only tandem who both went over 1,000 yards receiving. If the Beavers get things straight at quarterback, Cooks could be in for a big year as the Beavers' go-to guy.
The No. 3 returning receiver in the conference is Washington's Kasen Williams, who could be in for a star turn as a junior. He ranked seventh in the conference with 67.5 yards receiving per game in 2012. His candidacy could hinge on whether QB Keith Price gets back on track this fall.
UCLA's Shaq Evans caught 60 passes for 877 yards last year in quarterback Brett Hundley's first year as a starter. Hundley is going to be better, and there's no RB Johnathan Franklin to share the ball with. If you're looking for a good dark horse in the race, Evans might be your man.
"Other" also is a dark horse. It could include Washington State's Gabe Marks, who likely will flourish this year as the Cougars' go-to guy in Mike Leach's "Air Raid" offense. And speaking of pass-happy offenses, that's what both California's Chris Harper and Colorado's Paul Richardson will be playing for this fall, as new coaches Sonny Dykes and Mike MacIntyre like to throw the ball around. A lot.
And you Oregon fans likely will vote "Other" to represent your certainty that a Duck will also dominate this category.