National Signing Day coverage continues as Rivals.com breaks down each position to see which school did the best. Here is a look at which teams loaded up at wide receiver in the 2017 recruiting class.
The Tide continue to recruit some of the best talent in the country at wide receiver and 2017’s haul was quite impressive. The class was headlined by five-star wide receiver Jeudy, a prospect Alabama pulled out of South Florida. Joining him was Louisiana prospect Smith, a Rivals100 wide receiver wanted by schools from coast-to-coast. Add in in-state four-star Ruggs as well as 6-foot-6 Texas product Shavers and it’s easy to see Alabama has such an embarrassment of riches at the position.
Michigan has needed to upgrade talent at the wide receiver position and this year’s class should give Jim Harbaugh and company plenty to work with. Landing an elite playmaker like Peoples-Jones is clearly the biggest piece in the class, but nabbing four-stars Black and Hawkins out of Connecticut also continues the school’s pipeline to the northeast. Collins was wanted by both Georgia and LSU, but chose the Wolverines instead, while Martin seems like a terrific scheme fit in Ann Arbor.
In the pass-heavy Big 12, you can never have too many offensive weapons and the Sooners restocked their supply of talented wide receivers with several big names in the 2017 class. Lamb is the headliner of the class and the tall wide receiver should have a field day with opposing defenses down the road. Like Lamb, Rambo also hails from Texas and the two could make quite the duo in the future. Add in four-stars Brown and Jones and you can see that recruits from around the country are taking notice of the Sooners offense and the success wide receivers have had at the program in recent years.
Georgia’s wide receiver haul isn’t cut and dry, as several of the school’s signees are classified as athletes. Webb is one of the nation’s best wide receivers but versatile prospects like Landers, Blount and Holloman could all play other positions down the road even though they are expected to start out at wide receiver. The same goes for Rivals250 athlete DeAngelo Gibbs, who is expected to play safety in college but was an accomplished wide receiver in high school. No matter which way you slice it, Georgia pulled in a ton of talent capable of making an impact.
5. TEXAS A&M
With so much talent in the state of Texas, it’s not a surprise the Aggies didn’t have to go far to find a trio of prospects that fit their needs at wide receiver. Jones was a one-time Baylor commit who eventually flipped to the Aggies, a major victory that by itself would be an impressive feat. But the Aggies also managed to lure Texas native and IMG Academy star Ausbon away from LSU and some believe that he has the talent to be another Mike Evans in the Texas A&M offense. Add in Buckley and the Aggies quarterbacks should have plenty of options over the next few years.
The Huskers have turned things up a notch in recruiting and wide receiver was a strongpoint in the school’s 2017 class. Former Ohio State commit Lindsey is one of the nation’s most exciting players and his late flip to Nebraska helped cement the school’s spot on this list. McQuitty is another potential star while Johnson, Jr. clearly has the pedigree to justify his spot at a major program. With Riley’s offense evolving under his philosophy, expect the trio to be heavily involved over the next few years in Lincoln.
7. OHIO STATE
Ohio State only took three players at the position in this year’s class, but it’s clear the Buckeyes coaches have identified a particular type of wide receiver to recruit. All three prospects at listed at 6-foot-4 or taller, including the prize of the class, five-star Grimes. What’s most impressive about the class is that the Buckeyes continue to expand their reach nationally and the three signees hail from Florida, Ohio and Texas, three major pipeline states since Urban Meyer arrived in Columbus.
It came down to the wire, but Miami landed the prospects it needed at the wide receiver position when it mattered most. Four-stars Thomas and Harley both announced their commitments on National Signing Day and the two share a lot of similarities in their abilities. Both are big-play threats who are a bit undersized, but have proven their ability to shine against elite competition. Canes fans will also be thrilled so see Njoku in Coral Gables, especially after the success his brother had the program recently.
9. SOUTH CAROLINA
The Gamecocks plan to throw the ball more in 2017 and with the weapons the school added in this year’s class, it should come as no surprise. OrTre Smith was the top player regardless of position in the state of South Carolina and has the chance to make an immediate impact. Meanwhile, Shi Smith is a versatile x-factor type receiver who can be used in a variety of ways, whether it be inside or outside or perhaps even taking handoffs when needed. Terrell is a former basketball star with an impressive leaping ability and will surely be both a third down and red zone target.
After a run to the College Football Playoff, it’s not surprising to see an uptick in talent on the recruiting trail. Bynum was one of California’s best overall prospects and a player Washington fans are hoping has an instant impact. Joining him in the class is high three-star prospects Cook and Jones, the type of players that Chris Petersen and his staff have turned into stars over the past 10-plus years.