The 2023 football season is less than three months away and it has us salivating about who will be the best at each respective position in the Big Ten. At wide receiver, some talented Big Ten players left for the NFL Draft such as Charlie Jones and Ronnie Bell, but there’s loads of returning talent.
Here are the top five receivers in the Big Ten for 2023.
5. Cornelius Johnson — Michigan
Johnson’s total of 32 receptions last season can be improved upon, but when the ball was in his hands he made a good chunk of big plays. Johnson’s 15.6 yards per catch tied Ohio State’s Emeka Egbuka for No. 4 in the conference and his six touchdown scores tied for No. 8. With another season together with QB J.J. McCarthy, Johnson should be in line for an uptick in all statistical categories and could become a bonafide WR1.
4. Tyrese Chambers — Maryland
A transfer from Florida International, Chambers had a prolific season back in 2021, setting FIU single-season records in receiving yards (1,074) and touchdown receptions (9). Chambers also ranked second nationally with 23.87 yards per reception. Now Chambers has a much better quarterback throwing to him in Taulia Tagovailoa and will be a player that could jettison up draft rankings with a steady 2023 campaign.
3: Isaiah Williams — Illinois
Williams was a quarterback for his first two collegiate seasons but had a somewhat seamless transition to wideout. Williams has been a nice security blanket in the Fighting Illini offense and hauled in an impressive 82 receptions last year for 715 yards and five touchdowns. While Williams’ 8.7 yards per catch isn’t eye-popping, there’s no doubt he’s a go-to target on third-down and in clutch situations.
2: Emeka Egbuka — Ohio State
The Buckeyes know how to scout receivers with the best of them, and Egbuka is another example of that. Egbuka caught 74 passes for 1,151 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and he’s a Top 20 wideout in all of College Football and certainly among the best in the Big Ten. The speedy and aggressive wideout looks like a surefire first-round pick.
1: Marvin Harrison Jr. — Ohio State
His father is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but the 6-foot-4 Harrison Jr. is taller and more physical than pops. Harrison Jr. was dynamite for Ohio State last season, recording 77 receptions, 1,263 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns. Harrison’s skill-set is a mixture of Julio Jones and Randy Moss and he’ll be one of the first players off the board in the 2024 NFL Draft.