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Top 5 Atlantic Coast Conference Wide Receivers

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Robert Reinhard of Blogger so Dear, Mark Rogers of MarkRogersTV, and I got together and discussed the top five receivers in the ACC. Spoiler: Some were from Clemson.

Honorable Mentions

  • Stacey Coley (Miami)
  • Hunter Renfrow (Clemson)
  • Jamari Staples (Louisville)
  • Mack Hollins (North Carolina)

5. Ryan Switzer (North Carolina)

Ryan Switzer is an elite slot receiver and dynamic punt returner with seven career punt return TDs. In the Heels biggest win of the season, a Thursday night showdown against Pitt for control of the Coastal Division, Switzer broke off a 71 yard TD to finish with 126 receiving yards in the seven point Tar Heel victory. On the season, he had 55 catches for 697 yards. He also returned 24 punts for an average return of 12.6 yards!

Switzer isn't just a gimmicky punt return man or undersized college athlete. He is projected as a top five slot receiver in this upcoming NFL draft.

The ACC Coastal should be much improved this year with new regimes beginning in VT and Miami, and Ryan Switzer gives the Tar Heels an elite slot receiver and punt man to help them defend their title. Just look at this ridiculous punt return from earlier in his UNC career.

4. Travis Rudolph (Florida State)

Rudolph led Seminole receivers with 59 receptions, 916 receiving yards, and 7 TDs. He tallied a large portion of those stats against Syracuse and Houston, against whom he totaled 392 receiving yards and 4 TDs. Nevertheless, he took a step forward from his freshman year and looks to do so again as Florida State's offense is loaded and looking for a target to balance out an attack led by arguably the best running back in college football -€” Dalvin Cook.

3. Mike Williams (Clemson)

Mike Williams is the perfect complement to a wide receiver corps that already includes Aravis Scott. Mike Williams is taller 6'4" and provides the Tigers a dangerous deep threat. When he injured his neck in the first game of last season, the Tigers struggled to replace his ability to win jump balls thrown downfield.

In 2014, he tallied 57 receptions for 1,030 yards. That's only 61% of the receptions that Scott had in 2015, but it still exceeds Scott's 2015 yardage (901 yards). That's because while Scott is running screen plays, jet sweeps, and in routes, Mike Williams is going deep. That's how Williams averaged 18.1 yards per reception in 2014. The talented duo, along with Hunter Renfrow, Deon Cain, Trevion Thompson, and a handful of very talented redshirt and true freshmen (Bell, Overton, Powell, and Chase) give the Tigers the best WR corps in the conference, if not the country.

2. Aravis Scott (Clemson)

Scott played through a meniscus tear for the five games before the College Football Playoff. He had it repaired after the ACCCG and then contributed in two playoff games. Despite the injury, he managed to lead the ACC in catches with 93. For what he lacks in height (5'11") he has in shiftiness and strength (190 lbs) -€” and obviously toughness.

With Mike Williams returning from injury, and the infusion of talent at WR, he may not be relied upon quite as heavily in 2016, but he nevertheless is an elite WR deserving of recognition.

1. Isaiah Ford (Virginia Tech)

Ford was the Hokies best receiver by a wide margin in 2015. He hauled in 75 receptions -€” a Virginia Tech record. He turned those into 11 receiving TDs -€” another VT record. All that work totaled 1,164 receiving yards which (sad as it may be) makes him the only Hokie to eclipse the 1,000 mark (also the only 1,000 receiver in the ACC last season). No other receiver on Virginia Tech had more than 600 yards and only two others had over 300, one being TE Bucky Hodges (Clemson had six players with over 300 receiving yards).

Making it all the more impressive he has played alongside mediocre offenses led by OC Scott Loeffler and QBs Michael Brewer and Brenden Motley. Now, Justin Fuente takes over the helm as the new head coach and has JUCO transfer Jerod Evans lined up to play under center. Expect Isaiah Ford to play a huge role in VT's revamped attack.