|Willie Quinn scored two big touchdowns for Southern in the SWAC Championship Game. (Natchez Democrat photo)|
Willie Quinn, Southern
When last season started, all the talk for Southern was about the Dray Joesph/Lee Doss combination. Rightfully so, as those two hooked up for over 1,100 yards and 11 touchdowns while helping lead Southern to the SWAC Championship. But Quinn was arguably the best receiver on the field in the SWAC Championship Game as he caught seven passes for 142 yards and two big touchdowns.
It wasn’t just the championship game…the diminutive wide receiver from Miami had a big impact all season, catching 57 passes and scoring seven touchdowns in his first year in blue and gold. He also averaged a heady 29 yards per kick return. With Doss gone, Quinn will be the unquestioned top target for the Jags. The question is, with Joseph gone, will he get the ball enough to continue his progress.
|(Dallas Morning News photo)|
Chester Rogers, Grambling
Saying last year was a tough year for Grambling would be a huge understatement. Rogers was one of the few bright spots, catching 48 passes (15.8 yards per catch) and five touchdowns for the Tigers.
If he gets consistent quarterback play this season, look for the big-play receiver to add more 100 yard-plus games to his resume as a junior.
Montarius Smith, Alabama A&M
Alabama A&M had a weak year passing-wise, finishing near the bottom of the SWAC in passing offense and efficiency. But that didn’t stop Smith from posting career-high numbers in receptions (55), yards (771) and touchdown passes (7). He was at his best late in the season, when he caught 12 passes for 238 yards and three touchdowns in his final two SWAC contests.
|(Mississippi Valley State photo)|
Julian Stafford, Mississippi Valley State
As bad as the overall passing game was for Smith and Alabama A&M, it was even worse for Stafford at Mississippi Valley last year. Valley’s quarterbacks completed just 45 percent of their passes, but Stafford still managed to snag 52 passes on the season. Add in his return abilities, and he remains one of the conference’s biggest all-purpose threats.
DeMario Bell, Alabama State
Bell has the least amount of catches on this list (30) but no one did more with their receptions on this list. The 6’3, 180 pound receiver averaged a ridiculous 19 yards per catch as a sophomore in a run-first offense with a first-year starting quarterback.