Ranking the ACC's Wide Receivers

With the addition of Miami to the fold, a team that it seems almost invented the forward pass, you can expect the talent at wide receiver to go up tremendously. Do the Hurricanes have the best wide receivers? Can the current Tiger wideouts continue to draw national praise? We take a look around the ACC to answer these and many other questions about this year's wide receivers.

1. Miami: The top ranked wide receiver group is indeed the Miami Hurricanes. If speed kills, then opposing cornerbacks should beware. Five of the Hurricane's wide receivers also compete in the 100 meters event on the track team. Included in this bunch are Devin Hester and Terrell Walden who posted times as fast as 10.42 and 10.43 respectively in the 100 meters.

The most dangerous of the group is Roscoe Parrish, who when healthy has shown a knack for the big play and is a threat to take it all the way any time the ball is in his hands. Parrish could be the most exciting player in the ACC and will surely make opposing teams hold their breath whether he's returning a kick or just catching a screen pass.

Parrish will be joined by his lethal counterpart Ryan Moore, who had over 40 receptions last year. The backups are just as talented and include speedsters Devin Hester and Sinorice Moss, who the coaches are very high on.

2. Florida State: Were it not for injuries that held a number of the Florida State wideouts out of spring drills, this group would have been #1. In Craphonzo Thorpe the Seminoles return the top returning wide receiver from the 2003 season. In Thorpe the Seminoles have the 2003 ACC sprint champion and a good nucleus to build their unit around.

Battling it out for the other starting position will be Chauncey Stovall, Chris Davis, Dominic Robinson and Willie Reid, all of which could probably start for any other team in the ACC. Also worthy of mention is the participation in the spring by DeCody Fagg, who really impressed the Noles coaches and could have an immediate impact. Of those competing for the starting job, look for Senior Chauncey Stovall to take the job, but it is Chris Davis who is probably the most talented wide receiver on campus.

3. North Carolina State: Even with Jerico Cotchery leaving, the Pack returns a number of playmakers and burners at the wide receiver position. The top returner is Tramaine Hall who caught 69 passes for almost 800 yards, but the leader of this group in 2004 could be Brian Clark, who had the most consistent spring including four receptions for 74 yards in the Pack spring game.

Richard Washington is a speed merchant and returns after scoring 6 touchdowns and racking up 44 receptions and 500 yards a year ago.

4. Clemson: Even with the losses of Kevin Youngblood and Derrick Hamilton, this group will be one of the ACC's best. Tommy Bowden has stockpiled talent at the position in recent years in order to run his wide-open attack. Leading the group is senior Airese Currie who could be the nation's fastest football player. When healthy, Currie was the Tiger's best receiver last year. Even though he was often injured Currie still managed 43 receptions for 560 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Beside Currie will be Kelvin Grant who had the most impressive spring of the group. Grant is Clemson's most talented receiver. Combining a 6'2 frame with 4.4 speed and some of the best hands in the league, Grant has what it takes to become an All ACC performer if he can take care of his off the field issues. Chansi Stuckey is an extremely gifted athlete that has seemingly made the transition from quarterback to receiver without any problem.

5. North Carolina: Jawarski Pollock caught 71 passes a year ago and will be back to lead an experienced group of talented wide receivers. North Carolina's talented sophomore trio of Mike Mason, Jesse Holley and Adarius Bowman, who is 6'4, return and should all contribute in a major way. All three are talented and will compete with each other for a starting job. Holley had a good spring and along with Mason could be primed for a breakout season.

6. Virginia: Although considered a tight end, Heath Miller is one of the top pass catchers in the league. He often times lines up at the wide out position causing big time match-up problems for smaller corners and slower linebackers.

It is possible that Miller will not be relied on as much with the return of Michael McGrew who missed last season, but was the Cav's big play man in 2002. Also returning to the starting lineup is Ottowa Anderson who had 33 receptions last year.

7. Wake Forest: The Deamon Deacons return what could be the best wide receiver in the ACC this year in Jason Anderson. The 6'3 senior used a physical style and sure hands in 2003 to average 17.3 yards a catch! Willie Idlette is the fastest of the group and is very dangerous as a return man.

8. Maryland: The Terps have a great leader and playmaker in Steve Suter. Suter will challenge Roscoe Parrish for the most exciting player in the ACC. He is more recognized for what he has done as a return man, but seems to step up to make the big plays in the big games. Joining Suter will be Derrick Fenner who averaged 27.8 yards a catch last year in limited action!

9. Georgia Tech: Nate Curry is a very reliable receiver, but due to lack of experience, depth and their top player of a year ago Jonathan Smith, who received 1,100 of Reggie Ball's 1,900 passing yards, Georgia Tech sits here at #9.

Georgia Tech fans hope help is on the way in the form of true freshmen Calvin Johnson, who has star written all over him. Johnson will have some growing pains this year though and will be tough to rely on for consistent production as a true freshmen. Darius Bilbo is a big, strong athlete and could be a major source of production for this unit.

10. Virginia Tech: Tech will try to replace Vince Wilfork, who was the first Hokie receiver to ever have 50 receptions in one season. In 2004, the Hokies will have Justin Hamilton, who with 23 catches last season was second on the team in receptions. Other contributors will be David Clowney and Richard Johnson. Both have had little time on the field to this point and do not look to be the type to pick up the slack left by the departure of Wilfork.

11. Duke: Lots of possession receivers with no real game-breaker. Duke will probably turn early to true freshman Chancellor Young to provide a play maker.

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