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SEC Football: Top 5 receiving targets in 2015

The Southeastern Conference lost its top receiving target to the NFL Draft in Alabama’s wide receiver Amari Cooper, but it returns much talent this fall.

Receivers and tight ends, like running backs, are littered within the SEC. De’Runnya Wilson, Marquez North, Josh Reynolds, Malachi Dupre and Malcolm Mitchell are some of the marquee names that look to make a splash in 2015.

Yours truly of Touchdown Alabama Magazine has compiled a list of the top five receiving targets for next season. Two Alabama players may appear on the dark horse list.


5. Marquez North

  • Team: Tennessee Volunteers
  • Classification: Junior
  • Size: 6-foot-4, 224 pounds

Summary: Tennessee finished 7-6 last season, but a strong performance from Marquez North should help in 2015. He saw action in 10 games, totaling 30 catches for 320 yards and four touchdowns in 2014. North excels at high-pointing the ball and creating separation at the line of scrimmage. The Volunteers return Jason Croom, Von Pearson and Alton “Pig” Howard to work with junior quarterback Joshua Dobbs, but North remains as the primary target. He played in 21 games, accounting for 816 yards and five touchdowns on 68 receptions at Tennessee.


4. Hunter Henry

  • Team: Arkansas Razorbacks
  • Classification: Junior
  • Size: 6-foot-5, 250 pounds

Summary: Tight end Hunter Henry was Brandon Allen’s safety valve last season. He brought in 37 passes for 513 yards and two touchdowns in 13 games. Henry was one of two SEC tight ends that totaled a 100-yard receiving performance in 2014 (Mississippi State, 110 yards).

His 37 receptions and 513 yards were both ranked third among league tight ends. Henry’s appeared in 25 career games, tallying 65 catches for 922 yards with six touchdowns.


3. Laquon Treadwell

  • Team: Mississippi Rebels
  • Classification: Junior
  • Size: 6-foot-2, 229 pounds

Summary: Laquon Treadwell is out for vengeance in 2015. He chimed in with 48 catches for 632 yards and five touchdowns in nine games, prior to breaking his fibula and dislocating his ankle against Auburn. Treadwell put in three 100-yard receiving performances against Boise State, Memphis and Auburn. He is a savvy route runner with top-end speed.

Treadwell has played in 22 career games, collecting 120 receptions for 1,240 yards and 10 touchdowns. Clemson transfer Chad Kelly could be Ole Miss’s quarterback this fall, but whomever is under center needs to look no further than to get Treadwell the football.


2. D’haquille Williams

  • Team: Auburn Tigers
  • Classification: Junior
  • Size: 6-foot-2, 224 pounds

Summary: D’haquille “Duke” Williams is a physical freak. He enrolled at Auburn in 2014, and provided an impact. He saw action in 10 games (seven starts) and caught 45 passes for 730 yards with five touchdowns. Williams is a solid route runner that possess a huge catching radius. He can make receptions in traffic, but excels as a vertical, deep ball target.

Williams put in four 100-yard receiving performances last season against Arkansas, LSU, Mississippi State and Alabama.

Williams became a household name at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College. He brought in 51 passes for 733 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013. Williams was listed as an honorable mention All-American by the National Junior College Athletics Association in 2013.


1. De’Runnya Wilson

  • Team: Mississippi State Bulldogs
  • Classification: Junior
  • Size: 6-foot-5, 225 pounds

Summary: De’Runnya “Bear” Wilson is the most physical receiver returning in the SEC. He ended last season with 680 yards and nine touchdowns on 47 games in 12 games. His nine touchdowns were good for fourth in the conference. 32 of Wilson’s 47 receptions (68.1 percent) resulted in first downs. He had two 100-yard receiving games against Ole Miss and Georgia Tech. Wilson excels at boxing out defenders in deep ball situations (played basketball in HS).

Wilson’s appeared in 25 career games with 11 starts. He’s totaled 73 catches for 1,031 yards and 12 touchdowns. Mississippi State returns Fred Brown, Fred Ross, Joe Morrow and Gabe Myles, but quarterback Dak Prescott will have his eyes on Wilson next season.

SEC receiving targets to watch for: Josh Reynolds (Texas A&M), Malcolm Mitchell (Georgia), Robert Foster (Alabama), Malachi Dupree (LSU) and O.J. Howard (Alabama)


Stephen M. Smith is a staff writer and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine, Pick Six Previews and SB Nation. You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @ESPN_Future.

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