Sports

5 College Pass-Catchers Primed to Make Splash in 2022

It’s no secret. College football no longer resembles the rough-and-tumble, “three yards and a cloud of dust” style of play. 

As the campaign nears, make sure to take into account what are the NCAAF odds, in that way you will be updated before the all-season starts.

Young quarterbacks – all the way down to the middle school level – attract more attention than ever before. Wideouts flock to be able to play with special passers. Here are a few receivers who look to have a good chance to dominate on the gridiron this fall.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Ohio State

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If his showing in this past Rose Bowl was any indication, Jaxon Smith-Njigba is going to be a problem for opposing defenses during this coming campaign.

With Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson moving to the NFL, Smith-Njigba is now the premier receiver in a group that also includes the talents of Marvin Harrison Jr. and Julian Fleming. The Buckeyes got a taste of the next wave when Smith-Njigba took the place of the opted-out Olave against Utah in Pasadena.

In that record-shattering performance, he reeled in 15 passes for 336 yards and three scores. With an incumbent triggerman in CJ Stroud and running back TreVeyon Henderson returning to keep defenses honest, Smith-Njigba can cement his place in Ohio State lore.

Kayshon Boutte, LSU

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There’s a reason that Kayson Boutte was a five-star prep pledge.

Now a junior at LSU, Boutte aims to get through a full schedule after being sidelined with an ankle injury. Still, he registered nearly 85 yards per game, along with nine touchdowns in the six games he played.

To round out his freshman season, Boutte recorded three consecutive 100-yard games. That stretch included a single-game conference record of 308 receiving yards against Ole Miss. His newbie campaign earned him freshman All-American honors, leading the Tigers with 735 receiving yards.

Whichever quarterback Brian Kelly settles on to start in the Bayou – among those competing are Myles Brennan, Walker Howard, or Jayden Daniels – will have an effective weapon in Boutte.

Xavier Worthy, Texas

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After stepping up in an injury-laden Longhorns receivers room a year ago, Xavier Worthy will get to work with the newly-arrived Quinn Ewers in Austin.

The speedy Worthy eclipsed the century mark on four occasions, including an otherworldly showing in a Red River Rivalry loss to Oklahoma. In that one, he pulled in nine passes, going for 261 yards and a pair of scores.

While Ewers hasn’t yet thrown a collegiate pass, there’s a lot of buzz around the blue-chippers talents. He and Worthy could be a dangerous duo.

Mario Williams, USC

Mario Williams watched his head coach and quarterback head out to sunny Southern California this offseason. He decided to follow suit.

You can’t really blame him, either. With the Trojans, he’ll again act as a target for Caleb Williams, who he built a rapport with at Oklahoma last season.

He’s a consistent pass-catcher, as he was one of five wideouts in a Power Five league to be thrown a minimum of 40 times and not drop any. He managed 35 receptions as a backup, his best performance coming against Texas Tech at the end of October. He had 100 receiving yards on five grabs.

With Pitt transfer Jordan Addison demanding some attention on the other side, things might open up for Williams.

Quentin Johnston, TCU

Johnston followed up a freshman season in which he received an All-Big 12 honorable mention with a first-team all-conference nod in 2021.

He paced the Horned Frogs with 634 receiving yards and six touchdown catches, all while sitting out three games with an injury. His best day as a collegian came against Oklahoma when he pulled in seven footballs for 185 yards and three touchdowns.

No TCU player had pinned up three receiving scores in one game since KaVontae Turpin in 2016. If Johnston’s production stays linear, watch for a breakout effort this fall.

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