Pac 12 Recruiting - Wide Receiver

We've hit the lull in the recruiting calendar that happens in early July, so we figured we'd start a new series where we look at each position and update where each conference school is at with regards to commits, offers and progress. Today we look at the receivers, a spot that has many moving parts for each program...

Washington - The Huskies nailed down their three wideouts early -- Terrell Bynum, Alex Cook and then they stole Ty Jones from Utah to wrap it up. As long as Washington can keep all of them from flipping, they are done at wide receiver.

Oregon State - Arex Flemings, smallish, but super-quick with good hands; Kolby Taylor is a solid looking slot prospect and Quantino Allen is the biggest of the bunch. OSU will take one more wideout and Bryan Thompson, Carmoni Green and Corey Reed are all prospects they are after.

Oregon - No wideouts committed yet, but Oregon is in the mix for Joseph Lewis, Tyjon Lindsey, K.J. Hamler and Lynn Bowden are all receiver targets that the Ducks are after. It is believed that they will take three wideouts in this class, but that number is fluid. Hamler, an IMG prospect, is likely headed to a school like Michigan or Notre Dame, so Oregon will need to continue to expand their target list.

USC - The Trojans took four wideouts in the 2016 class and two more prospects from that same class could project to wideout, so it appears they may be finished with the commitments of Randal Grimes and Marlon Williams although they would make room for a prospect like Lindsey who is a difference-maker. USC has offers out to a couple of other recruits, but Lewis is really the only one they are actively recruiting.

UCLA - The Bruins took five wideouts in the 2016 class so they aren't expected to take very many wideouts in the upcoming class. Word is that UCLA has backed off and is not pursuing Lewis anymore. Many thought that the Bruins were the odds-on favorite, but that is no longer the case. St. Brown is the top wideout prospect with a UCLA offer that is still on their board, but most think he's headed to Notre Dame to play with his brother. Tarik Black is still on their board and, in time, they may make an offer Jamire Calvin.

Colorado - Colorado is doing very well on the wideout recruiting front with one three-star -- Maurice Bell -- and two four-stars -- Laviska Shenault Jr. and Jaylon Jackson -- already in the boat. With five being taken in the 2016 class, it's very likely the Buffaloes are done at receiver. 

Utah - Utah had Jones, the top in-state wideout they wanted, but Washington came in and stole him away, so they are still working on their list of top wideout targets. Shamond Greenwood, Green and Thompson are all prospects who they are after hard.

Arizona State - The Sun Devils are probably only after two wideouts in the class. Calvin is high on their list and Thompson is another prospect they have a decent shot at although there could be some other names that pop up soon.

Arizona - Darrian McNeal, Warren Jackson and Brian Casteel are already in the boat and Drew Dixon, another commit, also projects to wide receiver as well. From the outside looking in, it appears the Wildcats are done unless someone like Lewis wants to jump on board.

Washington State - The Cougs typically take at least five receivers in a class and this year will likely be more of the same although some think they may settle on just four. Isaiah Hodgins was a huge coup for the WSU as he had a ton of options including Washington, Michigan and Oregon. Tyquez Hampton was a great pickup from the Lonestar State and he's got the size to play outside line Hodgins. Calvin and Thompson are also on their list of targets and they have a decent shot at the latter.

Stanford - The top player on Stanford's board right now appears to be Black and the Cardinal appear to have a good shot with him although they have some tough competition -- Notre Dame, Michigan, Alabama and UCLA. 

California - Cal took seven wideouts in the 2016 class, so they are being very selective with their offers to wideouts. Michael Onyemaobi and Jeremiah Hawkins have both committed and word is they have a decent shot with Lewis and that Calvin is very high on the Golden Bears. 


New Faces, New Dynamics

There are several new faces among Pac 12 wide receiver coaches.

Dave Baldwin (inside) and Brent Brennan (outside) at Oregon State, JaMarcus Shephard (inside) and Dave Nichol (outside) at Washington State, Jay Norvell at Arizona State, Guy Holliday at Utah, Darrin Chiaverini at Colorado and Bush Hamdan at Washington are all new to their positions.

The early returns on several of them, at least on the recruiting front, have been very positive.

Hamdan reeled in one of the top wideouts on the West Coast in Bynum while Chiaverini, seen as one of the up-and-coming recruiters in the country, has grabbed two four-star wideout prospects in his first seven months in Boulder.

While Utah is without a wide receiver commit, word from Salt Lake City is that he has already proven to be a huge upgrade from the previous coach on the recruiting front.

Both Nichol and Shephard have already to proven to be solid as a recruiting tandem, hauling in a four-star prospect in Hodgins.

One Size Fits All?

Over the past couple of years, a vast majority of the top wideouts have been under 6'2" and that remains true today.

Lewis is the exception to the rule and he's the top wideout on pretty much everyone's board.

Most Pac 12 schools run three receiver sets on a majority of their offensive plays and they want different body types to fit different roles.

The "X" receiver (split end) needs to be strong enough to get off the jam since he is typically right on the line of scrimmage and does not go in motion. He also needs to have the speed and quickness to get separation down the field. Typically, the "X" is the best receiver, depending on the offense you are running. Most "X" receivers are in the 6'1" to 6'3" range, although there are many that are smaller than that, and they typically weight between 190 and 210 pounds.

The flanker or "X" receiver is usually a bigger receiver that has speed, but also the ability to go across the middle. He is typically lined up off the line of scrimmage and that allows him to go in motion, setting him up with mismatches vs. slot corners as well as safeties and linebackers.

The slot receiver is typically the quickest wideout with the ability to find open spots in the secondary. The biggest thing he needs to be willing to do is going across the middle. In pro style offenses, slot receivers typically work the middle of the field and in spread offenses, they do that too, but they can also go in motion and work the outside areas and zones as well.

These are generalizations, but they are pretty accurate.

Top Receivers Out West

Lewis is the number one receiver according to Scout and he sure looked it at The Opening last weekend. While he's looking at a few Pac 12 schools, Oklahoma and Nebraska are both favorites as well.

Lindsey could go almost anywhere in the country and he's on the short list for several Pac 12 schools. Right now, his recruitment looks like it could come down to a battle between Oregon and Ohio State and some think the Buckeyes look like the team to beat.

With St. Brown, USC is in the mix, but he appears to be headed to either Notre Dame to play with his brother or Michigan.

Keyshawn Johnson, the son of the former USC star, chose Nebraska early on in the process.

Bynum is the only one of the top five wideouts out west to choose a Pac 12 school, at least so far.

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