Turel's Big 10 Position Rankings: WRs

In an upcoming issue of GoBlueWolverine the magazine, Josh Turel ranks the top players at each position in the Big Ten conference. These preseason forecasts are subject to change, but here is his outlook in things heading into the 2006 season. In this segment, Turel breaks down the wide receivers. Ohio State's Ted Ginn leads the way.

Wide Receivers
#1-Ted Ginn Jr.-Junior-Ohio State
#2-James Hardy- Sophomore- Indiana
#3-Dorien Bryant-Junior-Purdue
#4-Deon Butler- Sophomore- Penn State
#5-Ernest Wheelwright-Junior-Minnesota
#6-Mario Manningham-Sophomore-Michigan
#7-Derrick Williams-Sophomore-Penn State
#8-Shaun Herbert-Senior-Northwestern
#9-Jerramy Scott-Senior-Michigan State
#10-Matt Trannon-Senior-Michigan State
#11-Steve Breaston-Senior-Michigan
#12-Anthony Gonzalez-Junior-Ohio State
#13-Logan Payne-Senior-Minnesota
#14-Kyle Ingraham-Senior- Purdue
#15-Jordan Norwood-Sophomore-Penn State

Also Watch For:
Roy Hall-Ohio State
Herb Grigsby-Iowa
Greg Orton-Purdue
Devin Thomas-Michigan State
Adrian Arrington-Michigan
Kyle Hudson-Illinois
Paul Hubbard-Wisconsin
Marcus Randle El-Wisconsin
Derrick McPhearson-Illinois

Ted Ginn still obviously has some refining to do on his game, but he is the best playmaker in the Big Ten and is a threat to score any time he touches the ball. Ohio State will find plenty of ways to get the ball in his hands, and he should continue to develop into one of the best offensive players in the nation; as well as a possible Heisman candidate.

Indiana's James Hardy has gotten himself into legal troubles but on the field, he proved he is legit big play guy. As a freshman last season he tallied 61 catches for 893 yards (14.6 average) and 10 touchdowns. His 6-7 height makes him a very tough match-up for smaller defensive backs and he also has deceptive speed.

Dorien Bryant is latest feature receiver in Joe Tiller's pass happy offense at Purdue. Bryant isn’t overly big or strong but in terms of quickness and speed, he can gain separation very well and could quickly become a star in this conference. He does what the system calls for, which is catch the ball in space and make plays. Bryant caught 80 passes for 960 yards and four touchdowns last season. Expect him to continue his productivity under the projected most improved Big Ten player (write this down) quarterback Curtis Painter.

Penn State's Deon Butler is much in the same mold as Bryant. He is very undersized but once he gets the ball, he makes the most of it. Butler is the Lions returning receptions leader with 37. He also scored nine touchdowns last year and tallied 691 yards receiving.

Ernest Wheelwright comes in at number five but still needs to become more consistent. There’s no question with his 6’5 frame and his set of "wheels", he can break a game open at any moment. This young man has the talent be higher up this list and is one of the best kept secrets in the country. Greater consistency and a few more balls thrown in his direction will let folks outside of Minneapolis in on what kind of player he is.

At number six is Michigan's Mario Manningham. After a stellar freshman season, he is now counted on to be an every down player for the Wolverines. He still has to improve his route running and polish other areas of his game but his incredible playmaking ability warrants a high selection here. He is another player whose stock will rise if he can show that he the every-down receiver Michigan needs him to be.

Penn State's Derrick Williams showed his electric skills last season before being decommissioned for the rest of the year with an injury against Michigan. He's back and reportedly healthy. If this young man truly is 100%, expect him to continue to flourish and move near the top of the list.

Shaun Herbert would be higher on this list if he was a better athlete. Putting him at number eight shows just how deep this group is. Herbert is the ultimate possession receiver and fits the Wildcats style of offense. He had a very productive 2005, catching 79 passes for 862 yards and six touchdowns. His production may fall off with the loss of Brett Basanez though.

Jerramy Scott is a standout in the Spartan offense and could be the most complete receiver on the team. He has ability to run after the catch and has turned into the number one receiver in East Lansing.

Matt Trannon needs to become more consistent but he is a big play waiting to happen when he hold onto the ball. He has excellent size at 6'6 and his production has steadily increased. Last year Trannon grabbed 40 passes for 573 yards and four touchdowns.

The Wolverines are counting on Steve Breaston to have a breakout senior season. Breaston has the athletic ability to be a star, but just hasn't matched it with production the last two seasons. He had a great spring and it will be interesting to see if he can now carry it onto the field as a top target in Michigan's passing attack.

Another player I really like is Ohio State's Anthony Gonzalez. He has deep speed and a knack for getting open over the middle. His hands are reliable and I expect him to be very productive this season.

Minnesota's Logan Payne isn't a great athlete but he finds a way to be productive.

Kyle Ingraham needs to improve his grades to be reinstated on the team. If he makes it, he is a great target at 6-9.

Penn State's Jordan Norwood is another playmaker type that is an excellent complement to teammates Derrick Williams and Deon Butler.


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