Top 5 impact freshmen: WR/TE edition

It's not easy for a true freshman to come in and play at any position. But the first-year guys on this list, as of now, have a chance to make an impact right away. Take a look at our impact freshman wide receivers and tight ends.

Editor's note: Each Tuesday from June 5 to July 17, we'll pick out a position and identify the five incoming freshmen who we think might make the biggest impact -- for better or worse -- on the field for their college teams given their current situations. Today, we look at the wide receivers and tight ends. Which guys will be hauling in touchdown catches this fall?


Check out our series on impact freshmen for the 2012 season:

June 5: Quarterbacks
June 12: Running backs
June 19: Receivers/Tight ends
June 26: Offensive linemen
July 3: Defensive linemen
July 10: Linebackers
July 17: Secondary

Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Missouri

The Tigers will need all the firepower they can muster in their first year in the SEC, and there may be no better way to make a splash than to showcase Green-Beckham, Scout's No. 1 overall recruit for the class of 2012. The 6-6, 220-pound wide receiver from Springfield, Mo., should factor into Missouri's offensive plans immediately.

Green-Beckham, who is being compared to other big wide receivers like Calvin Johnson, should be all over the field for Missouri right away and is an early candidate for the most impactful freshman overall. A talent like his won't sit on the bench.

Only two Tigers caught 50 or more passes last year, and one of them -- tight end Michael Egnew -- is gone to the NFL. T.J. Moe, last year's leading receiver remains, but there is a clear opportunity for Green-Beckham to step in and transform the receiving corps.

Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland

Stefon Diggs

The five-star talent decided to stay in-state and join the Terps over schools like Auburn, Ohio State, and Florida on his impressive offer list. Maryland was a miserable 2-10 last season -- all the more reason the versatile Diggs should get on the field right away.

"He is an impact player who brings a playmaking ability that will enhance our team and certainly helps us offensively," Maryland head coach Randy Edsall said in a statement after his commitment. "He's a great competitor and a team player who loves to work every day and win."

And if wide receiver isn't what the Terps have in mind for him, Diggs has the skills to be a top safety or return man as well. One way or the other, he should get on the field plenty for Maryland this season. Throw in the star power surrounding Diggs on campus -- students chanted his name at a Maryland basketball game during a campus visit -- and there's no way to keep this potential program-changer benched.

Trey Metoyer, WR, Oklahoma

Trey Metoyer

Metoyer enrolled early and had an absolutely lights-out spring. He made it all the way through practices and the Sooners' annual Red-White game reportedly without dropping a pass.

"I can't remember a competitive play where he didn't make the catch this spring," Oklahoma offensive coordinator Josh Heupel told "He's a guy that can be a big-time impact on us offensively."

The Sooners return a host of receivers with experience, led by Kenny Stills, who snagged 61 catches for 849 yards and eight touchdowns in 11 games. But if Metoyer can continue to impress, he could quickly become the elite pass-catcher at the top of the heap.

Devin Funchess, TE, Michigan

Devin Funchess

It has been quite some time since Michigan has had a great tight end, and it might be the position of greatest need on the 2012 roster. Enter Funchess, a four-star talent who stayed in-state to join the Wolverines.

The 6-5, 220-pound Funchess is a pass-catching playmaker who coaches already have their eye on to fill the tight end void left by the departed Kevin Koger.

"Devin Funchess is going to make an impact in our offense sometime soon I think," Michigan tight ends coach Dan Ferrigno told our Michigan site.

Kent Taylor and Colin Thompson, TEs, Florida

Kent Taylor

Taylor and Thompson were the top two tight ends in Scout's 2012 rankings, and that alone makes them intriguing players to watch for the 2012 season.

Florida returns Jordan Reed, who did a little of everything on offense as a "tight end" in 2010 but was used exclusively as a receiver last year. Taylor and Thompson almost certainly will be competing to share the spotlight with him.

But anything could be possible under new offensive coordinator Brent Pease, hired away from Boise State to revive the stagnant Gators offense. Look for Pease, who was instrumental in recruiting Taylor and Thompson, to give long looks at all the talent available to him.

Honorable mention: Shaq Roland, WR, South Carolina

With Alshon Jeffery off to the NFL, there will be a hankering in Gamecock country for another big playmaker wide receiver. A big downfield threat with good hands, Roland should compete for early playing time.

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