With the high powered offenses that West Virginia has boasted over the last few seasons, many have begun to refer the Mountaineers as the new Wide Receiver U. It’s not easy staking claim to a title that schools like Ohio State, LSU, and Miami have held, but WVU may finally be in a position to end any doubt that they are the frontrunner.
|WVU PLAYERS DRAFTED TO NFL TEAMS|
|2013||1||8||Tavon Austin||St. Louis Rams|
|2013||3||92||Stedman Bailey||St. Louis Rams|
|2015||1||7||Kevin White||Chicago Bears|
|2015||7||238||Mario Alford||Cincinnati Bengals|
|2017||5||166||Shelton Gibson||Philadelphia Eagles|
It’s no secret that Dana Holgorsen has excelled at developing wide receivers. Since his arrival at WVU, he has already seen 5 of his receivers drafted into the NFL. From 2013 on, WVU is tied at 2nd in the nation with Clemson for the number of receivers drafted. All this talent in Morgantown has seen many of WVU’s receiving records broken with several players putting up near NCAA record seasons.
While 2017 is not the first time WVU has seen a player on the Biletnikoff Watchlist – an annual award given to the most outstanding receiver – it is unique in that West Virginia now has multiple players on it. WVU, along with Oklahoma State, is one of the only schools with 3 active players on the watchlist. (Gary Jennings, David Sills V, KaRaun White)
|2017 WVU RECEIVING STATISTICS|
|David Sills V||51||793||15.5||75||16|
The talent at the position is unmatched. Gary Jennings has been the most consistent, leading the team in catches with 69 and 823 yards. David Sills V is the nation’s leader in TD receptions (16) and has molded into an elite red zone target. Ka’Raun White has shown some deep threat potential with his 8 touchdowns with 739 yards. (And while not on the watchlist yet, Marcus Simms has added 513 yards and 5 Tds.)
On a team that hasn’t put up a 1000 yard receiver since 2014, WVU is on the verge of having three with four games remaining on the schedule. The closest WVU has come to that has been in 2012, when Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey combined for 2800 yards.
Behind all-star quarterback Will Grier, WVU’s receiving corps has put up one of the most prolific passing games in the NCAA this year, and perhaps the best in school history. With 3 players on the Biletnikoff watchlist and with at least 4 future draft picks at the position, there can be no doubt that WVU is the new and true Wide Receiver U.