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SEC football rankings: Wide receivers and tight ends

 

1. Arkansas: The Razorbacks lost star tight end D.J. Williams to the draft, but return the best receiving corp in the Southeastern Conference. The senior trio of Joe Adams, Jarius Wright, and Greg Childs will give junior quarterback Tyler Wilson plenty of options through the air. Childs hauled in 46 catches for 659 yards and six touchdowns before injuring his knee late last season. Adams and Wright combined for over 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. Junior tight end Chris Gragg has the task of filling the large shoes left behind by Williams.

2. LSU: Gone is Terrance Toliver but junior Ruben Randle looks ready to step in and become the number one receiver for the Tigers. Randle had over 500 yards receiving and three touchdowns as a sophomore and will be one of the conference’s best in 2011. Junior Russell Shepard, a converted quarterback had 33 catches last season and continues to improve at the position. Highly touted recruit Kadron Boone is expected to play well in his second season at receiver. Senior DeAngelo Peterson has 16 receptions at tight end last season.

3. South Carolina: The Gamecocks have the best overall receiver in the conference and one of the best in the country in junior Alshon Jeffrey. In 2010, Jeffrey caught 88 passes for over 1,500 yards and nine touchdowns. Tori Gurley made the ill-advised choice to head to the NFL draft, so South Carolina will need junior D.L. Moore and sophomore DeAngelo Smith to step up. Junior tight end Justice Cunningham has the talent to be a threat in the passing game.

4. Georgia: Georgia must replace star A.J. Green, but have recruited well and have a good amount of talent waiting in the wings. Tavarres King had over 500 yards receiving and three touchdowns and will play flanker. Junior Marlon Brown hasn’t put it all together yet but hopes are high this is the year he does. The Bulldogs return the best pass catching tight end in the conference in junior Orson Charles, who has two touchdowns and 400 yards a year ago.

5. Tennessee: A duo of highly touted sophomores will lead the Volunteers receiving corp in 2011. Justin Hunter burst on to the scene as a freshman with seven touchdowns and over 400 yards receiving. Da’Rick Rogers averaged over 15 yards a catch last year and is a tough matchup at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds. Highly touted recruit DeAnthony Arnett will be counted on to produce early. Junior tight end Mychal Rivers has the tough task of replacing Luke Stocker.

6. Alabama: The Crimson Tide lose Julio Jones, but return a talented pair of seniors in Marquis Maze and Darius Hanks. The duo combined for over 1,000 yards and six touchdowns in 2010. Ohio State transfer Duron Carter, the son of Chris Carter, causes matchup problems at 6-foot-5 and could be counted on this season. Junior Michael Williams gets the first shot at replacing Preston Dial at tight end.

7. Florida: The Gators lack size at wide receiver but have plenty of speed and athleticism. A switch to a more pro-style offense under offensive coordinator Charlie Weis means junior Frankie Hammond Jr. and senior Deonte Thompson will have plenty of chances to make plays. Sophomore Quinton Dunbar will contribute as well as freshman JaJuan Story. Sophomore Jordan Reed had only six catches last year and will be pushed by incoming freshman A.C. Leonard at tight end.

8. Mississippi State: Junior Chad Bumphis has shown flashes of his gamebreaking ability but still needs to become more consistent in 2011. Fellow juniors Chris Smith and Arceto Clark will also start and combined for over 600 yards and four touchdowns. Junior Brandon Heavens and sophomores Michael Carr and Ricco Sanders will play as well. Freshman Joe Morrow could also step in this season. Junior Marcus Green will likely start at tight end.

9. Auburn: Junior Emory Blake and redshirt freshman Trovon Reed will step in and replace Darvin Adams and Terrell Zachary. Blake had over 500 yards receiving and eight touchdowns last season and Reed looks ready after redshirting last season. Junior DeAngelo Benton is one to keep an eye on as well. Tight end Phillip Lutzenkirchen is one of the best around and will have a big junior year.

10. Ole Miss: Junior Melvin Harris will be counted on to lead the group as he recorded over 400 yards receiving and three touchdowns last season. Sophomore Ja-Mes Logan proved to be the Rebels’ most dependable receiver in 2010. Redshirt freshman Vince Sanders showed why he was highly touted recruit in the spring. A trio of talented freshman will be counted on to contribute early in Nick Brassell, Tobias Singleton, and Donte Moncrief. Junior college transfer Jamal Mosley will give Ole Miss their first legitimate pass catching threat at tight end in the past few seasons.

11. Vanderbilt: Junior John Cole and sophomore Jonathan Krause combined for over 500 yards last season and will be counted on to produce even more in 2011. Senior tight end Brandon Barden led the team in receiving in 2010 with over 400 yards and three touchdowns.

12. Kentucky: The Wildcats have to replace Randall Cobb and Chris Matthews who were highly productive players during their time in Lexington. 6-foot-4, 204-pound junior La’Rod King had almost 500 yards and five touchdowns last season as a sophomore and will be the team’s top target this season. Senior Matt Roark and sophomore Brian Adams will also contribute. Sophomore tight end Jordan Aumiller is slotted start at tight end.