As we prepare for the 2013 football season, we’re taking a look at the best returning HBCU players at each position. Today, we check out the top receivers in the SWAC. Tomorrow, we will scout the CIAA.
Lee Doss, Southern
//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js Ladarius Eckwood, UAPB
As the leading receiver on the conference champs, it’s easy to see why Eckwood makes this list. The 6’1, 185 pound receiver came up with several huge games for UAPB, finishing with over 100 yards receiving in three games. He led the team with 52 catches, 787 yards and six touchdowns. If he keeps playing like that, he may follow in the footsteps of his uncle Jerry Eckwood, a former pro running back.
Julian Stafford, Mississippi Valley State
Simply put, Julian Stafford was the Mississippi Valley State passing game. Stafford accounted for nearly half of the team’s receptions (53 of the team’s 122 completions went to him), over half of its passing yardage (833 yards out of 1,343) and almost all of its touchdown catches-he had six of the team’s seven passing touchdowns. He was also a dangerous kick returner, averaging nearly 30 yards per return while bringing two kicks all the way back. Just imagine what he could do with some help.
Anthony McGhee, Grambling State
There weren’t many bright spots for Grambling last season, but Anthony McGhee was one of them. The UTEP transfer had a solid season his first year as a Tiger, finishing second on the team in receptions (42) and receiving yards (561), while tying for the lead with six touchdowns. McGhee flashed big play ability several times in 2012, including a 32 yard touchdown run in the season opener and a 70 yard reception near the end of the season. If Grambling’s quarterback play improves this season, McGhee should see all those numbers go up in 2013.
Montarius Smith, Alabama A&M
Smith was a solid, and at times spectacular, target last season. Smith had two 100 yard receiving games in 2012, and was solid in several others. With the departure of running back Kaderius Lacy, last season’s leading rusher in the SWAC, Smith should see an increase in production (49 receptions, 4 touchdowns).