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August 13, 2010

Preseason unit rankings: Receivers

Here is part two of our national unit rankings.

We are unveiling one unit per day and will end next Thursday with overall coaching staffs.

The rankings take into account what the players have accomplished, how we think the players will do this season and sheer talent. But production does trump potential.

Here are the receiver rankings, which includes tight ends. Next up: offensive line.

RECEIVER UNIT RANKINGS

1. HOUSTON
BUZZ
: The Cougars had three 1,000-yard receivers last season, and all three -- Tyron Carrier, James Cleveland and Patrick Edwards -- are back. The trio combined for 280 receptions and 27 TDs.

2. ARKANSAS
BUZZ
: Greg Childs doesn't get enough notice; he should be a 70-catch guy this season. Joe Adams and Jarius Wright round out the starting trio of wide receivers, a trio that combined for 19 TDs last season. D.J. Williams is a solid tight end.

3. TEXAS A&M
BUZZ
: Three returning receivers had more than 40 catches in '09 and combined for 17 touchdown catches. Depth is good, too.

4. MIAMI
BUZZ
: Leonard Hankerson, LaRon Byrd and Travis Benjamin give Jacory Harris a trio of talented targets, though the dismissal of Thearon Collier cuts into the Hurricanes' depth.

5. BOISE STATE
BUZZ
: The starting wide receiver duo of Austin Pettis and Titus Young is tremendous. Pettis has great size (6-3/201) and knows how to get open; he has 29 TDs in his career, the most for any active player. Young is one of the most explosive players in the nation. He had 79 receptions last season, with 10 going for scores. He had one catch of at least 20 yards in 10 games and of at least 40 yards in seven games. There is a solid group of tight ends, too.

6. CINCINNATI
BUZZ
: Armon Binns and D.J. Woods combined for 112 catches for 1,528 yards and 15 touchdowns last season on a team that had star Mardy Gilyard last season. While Gilyard is gone, USC transfer Vidal Hazelton will be added to the mix. TE Ben Guidugli is a weapon, too.

7. SOUTH CAROLINA
BUZZ
: Sophomore Alshon Jeffery is a rising star. Tori Gurley and Jason Barnes should be able complements, and perhaps the light finally will go on for senior TE Weslye Saunders.

8. NOTRE DAME
BUZZ
: WR Michael Floyd and TE Kyle Rudolph form the best wide receiver/tight end duo in the nation. The Irish will miss Golden Tate, but Floyd -- who missed five games last season but still had nine TD receptions -- has 100-catch potential. True freshman Tai-ler Jones had a big spring and will make an impact this fall. There also is a nice group of sophomore receivers,

9. WASHINGTON
BUZZ
: Speedy Jermaine Kearse heads a deep and talented receiving corps for the Huskies. Devin Aguilar and James Johnson are the other starters at wide receiver, and there is a solid group of tight ends, too.

10. TEXAS TECH
BUZZ
: Red Raiders receivers will put up big numbers. So what else is new? The top five wide receivers from last season are back, and that quintet combined for 28 TDs.

11. SAN DIEGO STATE
BUZZ
: DeMarco Sampson and Vincent Brown caught a combined 107 passes for 1,629 yards and 14 touchdowns last season even though Brown missed five games with an injury. Brown is a big-time deep threat. Alston Umuolo arguably is the MWC's top tight end.

12. GEORGIA
BUZZ
: Junior A.J. Green is one of the most talented receivers in the nation. While there is no established No. 2 receiver, there are numerous options. TE Orson Charles should have a big season.

Don't overlook these 5: East Carolina, Hawaii, Oklahoma, Penn State, TCU

(Rankings by Rivals.com staffers Olin Buchanan, Tom Dienhart, David Fox, Mike Huguenin and Steve Megargee.)



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