Yards Per Catch: College Football’s 10 Big-Gain Wide Receivers

In the grand scheme of college football offense, it’s all about scoring, gaining yards in big chunks, and wearing down an opponent’s defense. The upcoming 2010 season is certainly not lacking in regards to the number of big-play, big-gain wide receivers.

A talented wide receiver may be tainted by skewed numbers due to short routes, the player’s number of catches on the season, or an offense that doesn’t throw the deep ball. Additional yards per catch credit is determined by the competition, and a player’s number of receptions and one’s overall receiving yards during the 2009 season.

Here are 10 returning college wide receivers with better than mediocre yards per catch averages during their collegiate careers.

Uzoma Nwachukwu, Texas A&M

A Texas native, Nwachukwu was one of the lone bright spots during last year’s disappointing 6-7 season for the Aggies. As a freshman, he managed to catch 40 passes for 708 yards with a 17.7 yards per catch average. The 6-1, 189-pound wide receiver recorded four pass catches over 40 yards in distance to go along with his six touchdowns receptions on the season.

Michael Floyd, Notre Dame

Entering his junior season, Floyd has often been overlooked due to the strong play offormer Irish receiver Golden Tate. Due to an injury, the 6-3, 220-pound target missed five games in 2009, and still managed to catch 44 passes for 795 yards, 9 touchdowns and an impressive 18.1 yards per catch average.

It will interesting to see how his numbers will be affected due to the absences of Jimmy Clausen, and Golden Tate in 2010. Last season, the Irish receiver made three receptions over 40 yards and eclipsed the 100 yards receiving mark in five of seven games.

Marvin McNutt, Iowa

At 6-4′, 215 pounds, the Hawkeye junior possesses a great blend of size and speed. McNutt broke through with a strong sophomore campaign that helped his team post a 11-2 record and a Orange Bowl victory.

In 2009, he caught 34 passes for 674 yards, and 8 touchdowns. McNutt exploded for three plays of 40 yards or more including a 92-yard reception at home against Indiana. The Iowa athlete finished 2009 with an amazing 19.8 yards per catch average on the season.

Chris Owusu, Stanford

Last season, the 6-2, 201-pound Cardinal reaped the benefits of playing along side RyanWhalen, Toby Gerhart, and Andrew Luck. The 2010 campaign could be impressive for Owusu given that defenses will key on Whalen. In 2009, he caught three passes over 40 yards on his way to 37 receptions for 682 yards at a 18.4 per clip average on the season.

Jonathan Baldwin, Pittsburgh

Perhaps the most impressive part of Baldwin’s 2009 season is the fact he caught so many balls while still maintaining a yards per catch average of 19.5.

As a sophomore, the 6-5, 225-pound receiver turned eight catches into plays of 40 yards or more. The Pennsylvania native finished last season with 57 receptions for 1,111 yards and eight touchdowns.

Jarrett Boykin, Virginia Tech

The upcoming season will prove if Boykin can remain a consisted “big gain” receiver for the Hokies. The 2008 season saw Boykin catch 30 passes with a 14.7 yards per catch average only to be followed last season with 40 receptions and a 20.9 yards per catch average.

Entering his junior year, the 6-2′, 215 pound Hokie will be relying on strong play from senior quarterback Tyrod Taylor. Boykin recorded 40 catches for 835 yards, and five touchdowns in 2009.

Leonard Hankerson, Miami (Florida)

While Hankerson isn’t notorious for really deep plays (only two receptions breaking forty yards in 2009), he was very consistent in producing plays between 20 and 30 yards for the Hurricanes.

The 6-3, 215-pound Florida native finished the 2009 season with 45 receptions for 801 yards with six touchdowns and a 17.8 yards per catch average on the season.

Owen Spencer, North Carolina State

In 2009 as a junior, Spencer led the NCAA with a yards per catch average of 25.5 just ahead of former Georgia Tech star Demaryius Thomas. Certainly not a one season wonder, the 6-3, 185-pound receiver also posted a 22.3 yards per catch average on 31 receptions in 2008. Last season, he posted five receptions over 40 yards on 30 catches with 765 yards and six touchdowns for the Wolfpack.

Niles Paul, Nebraska

Perhaps the most explosive offensive player on the Cornhusker offense, Paul will be needed for the squad to make a run at a BCS appearance in 2010.

A native of Nebraska, the 6-1′, 215 pound receiver impressed during his junior season with 40 catches for 796 yards and four touchdowns. Paul broke free for five catches over 40 yards, and finished the year with a 19.9 yards per catch average.

Greg Childs, Arkansas

Childs could be considered a beneficiary of the Razorbacks offensive scheme, and the strong play of quarterback Ryan Mallett.

Regardless of these notions, the 6-3, 217-pound Arkansas native posted impressive statistics in 2009. As a sophomore he caught 48 passes for 897 yards, and seven touchdowns, Childs broke free for the receptions over 40 yards and finished the season with a 18.7 yards per catch average.

Honorable Mention: Go a Little Deeper

Kevin Fogler, Air Force – In 2009, the 6-5, 205-pound Falcons recorded 25 receptions, for 567 yards with an average of 22.7 yards per catch.

Maurice Shaw, Idaho – The 2009 season saw Shaw break free for five pass receptions over forty yards. The Vandal receiver finished the season with 32 receptions for 666 yards and a 20.8 yards per catch average.

Joe Adams, Arkansas – Playing alongside Greg Childs, and Ryan Mallett the 2010 juniorcaught 29 passes for 568 yards at a clip of 19.6 yards per catch in 2009.

Carlton Mitchell, South Florida – During his junior season of 2009, Mitchell caught 40 passes for 706 yards, four touchdowns and posted a 17.7 yards per catch average.

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~ by philip d. on July 19, 2010.

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