With one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the country, and entering a new conference, SMU will face a level of talent they haven't experienced under the June Jones era, and their may not be a position group better than the wide receivers the Mustangs will face in 2013.
Here are the top five wide receivers SMU will go up against this season.
5. Brandon Carter (TCU)
After losing talented receivers like Josh Boyce and Skye Dawson, Carter becomes the go-to guy at receiver for the Horned Frogs. Carter played much better last season early on, when Casey Pachall was leading the charge, but after his suspension, and with Trayvon Boykin taking over at the helm, Carter's production diminished.
But with Pachall likely to win his job back, Carter should be able to regain his form, and be the leading receiver for TCU. With Boyce and Dawson gone, Carter should see more than his share of balls come his way and could very well go for over 1,000 yards this season.
4. Deontay Greenberry (Houston)
One of the most hyped freshmen in all of Conference-USA entering last season, Greenberry's year could be described as a success. A five-star recruit, who was committed to Notre Dame for months, shocked the recruiting world when last minute, he declared for Houston.
In his freshman season, the first in years for Houston without Kevin Sumlin at the helm and Case Keenum throwing darts, Greenberry was still able to manage a productive season with new leaders around him, hauling in 57 catches for 569 yards and three touchdowns.
This season, with a year's worth of chemistry with quarterback David Piland, and last year's leading receiver Dewayne Peace declared ineligible, Greenberry will be the number one man at the receiver spot and should have a great shot at eclipsing the 1,000-yard mark.
3. Brandon Coleman (Rutgers)
Entering his junior season, Coleman has been the model of stability for Rutgers over his first two seasons. As a freshman, Coleman caught just 17 passes, but for an astonishing 552 yards, averaging more than 32 yards per catch. A year later, Coleman saw more balls come his way, and it paid off for the Scarlet Knights, as he caught 43 balls for 718 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Standing at a mammoth 6-6, 230-pounds, Coleman is a matchup nightmare for any defense and a constant red zone threat. Selected as a third team All-American this season, Coleman has the talent, size, and maturity to put up monster numbers this year and have his name join the likes of Marquise Lee, Sammy Watkins, and Amari Cooper as the one of the best receivers in college football.
2. Mike Evans (Texas A&M)
While Johnny Manziel received all the attention last year for his remarkable play, Evans, a fellow freshman, flew quietly under the radar for the Aggies. In his first season of play at the collegiate level, Evans played nothing short of spectacular, catching 82 passes for well over 1,000 yards.
While some of the credit should go to Manziel for his historic play, Evans, standing at 6-foot-5, 225-pounds was a terror for opposing defenses to matchup against. Too fast for linebackers, and too big for defensive backs, Evans seemingly always had a mismatch wherever he was lined up on the field.
In 2013, it could be difficult for Evans to put up similar numbers, with so much uncertainty at the quarterback position, and the arrivals of two studs, Jaquay Williams, and the nephew of Eric Dickerson, Ricky Seals-Jones, who was one of the top receivers in the country last season at the high school level.
1. Eric Ward (Texas Tech)
It was a battle at the top spot, but ultimately the senior Ward, who put up similar numbers as Evans without the Heisman trophy winner throwing to him, takes the cake. It is not often that in the Big 12, a conference known for its passing prominence, only one 1,000-yard receiver returns, but that is the case for Ward. This past season, he joined Michael Crabtree as the only Red Raider's receivers to catch 11 touchdowns in back to back seasons.
This year, with a new starter at quarterback, Ward will be relied on heavily to help make the transition as smooth as possible for the incumbent. At 6 foot, 205-pounds, Ward uses his incredible speed in the open field to turn an average play into a game changer.
With facing Ward in the first game of the season, the SMU secondary will not have any time to get accumulated for the new season or else they could end up getting burned by Ward, much like what the Baylor receivers did to SMU a season ago.
Breaking Down The Top 5 WRs SMU Will Face
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