Intro

Mike-alicoius, definition make them darts go loco.
They want my picks, so they get their pleasure from my gimmicks.
You can read these, you cant snipe me’s.
These ain’t slipping,
I ain’t tripping.
I got reasons why I tease ’em.
Darts come and go like seasons.
Mike-alicious.

In this series of articles, I will be highlighting dart throws I am personally giving the ‘Mike-alicious’ stamp of approval and picks I’m making in my drafts. I don’t know why I’m sharing because I’m not leaving without my guys. The following freshmen have landed a premium opportunity. We will be looking at players outside of the top 20 247Sports composite and players not going to the top programs such as USC, Alabama, Georgia, and Ohio State. All these prospects go to a high-volume passing offense, with some exceptions. 21 QBs last year passed for over 3,000 yards, and 17 are returning. As a Devy contributor at C2C, I prefer to focus on freshmen that I believe can be day 1-2 NFL draft prospects. If they have future NFL upside, then they have CFF production upside as well. Take a gander at some under-the-radar 4-stars as well as dart throws I’m excited to make.

Photo by Sam Spiegelman

Matthew Golden

  • Commit: Houston
  • Rating: 4 Stars
  • Rank: WR25
  • HT/WT: 6’0 / 190lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 21.4 MPH

Houston’s offense had a breakout this last season by finishing first in the AAC. Houston lost a few key defensive players, but the offense returned. It’s not a P5 offense, but Houston will start making a name for themselves. The only current receiving option is Nathaniel Dell, a similar player to Calvin Austin. Dell is too small to be considered a devy option, but Golden is turning into a C2C darling. Clayton Tune is coming off a breakout season with a 68% completion percentage and a 26/8 TD to INT ratio. He also finished three of his last five games passing over 300 yards. Tune is going to find a new favorite target in Golden. My boy is golden (explosive) off the line, has excellent start/stop ability, and is a savvy route runner. He already has the NFL size, not afraid of playing the physical game either. He competed at a high level of the competition based on the area. Golden can take over this WR core and potentially be an NFL Talent. 

Photo by Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

Germie Bernard

  • Commit: Michigan State
  • Rating: 4 Star
  • Ranking: WR34
  • HT/WT: 6’2″ / 195lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 21.1 MPH

Michigan State’s QB, Payton Thorne, is entering his third season. Thorne had a slow finish down the stretch, but Michigan State will have to develop the passing game more without Kenneth Walker on the field. Thorne was not afraid to throw it deep last year, and they lost Jalen Nailor to the draft but retained their WR1 in Jayden Reed. MSU surprisingly threw for almost 3,300 yards last year. Bernard is not a burner but explosive in short areas. He excels at the physical play and already has NFL size. MSU has a shallow depth chart, and Bernard could see the field early and operate on short and intermediate routes while Reed takes the deep routes. 

Photo by Brian Dohn/247Sports

Wesley Grimes

  • Commit: Wake Forest
  • Ratings: 4 Star
  • Ranking: WR50
  • HT/WT: 6’2″ / 180lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 21.3MPH

Wake Forest has not been shy of starting in starting freshmen. Jaquarii Roberson heads the draft leaving behind A.T. Perry and Donovan Greene, who is returning from a season-ending injury. Both returners are fourth-year players, and the depth chart gets thin behind these options. Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman is entering his fifth year and coming off a 4,200yd passing season. Grimes has the opportunity to step in and immediately start as the WR3. Grimes averaged 122yds and two TDs per game his senior year and is a fluid route runner with borderline NFL size. He has excellent hands and does not show that he’s the target until the last second snatching the ball out of the air. Grimes is a threat at every level of the field, runs quick, explosive routes, and has the speed to take the top off a defense. He needs to bulk up; his size sits at a very slim 180 lbs. Grimes a very refined product entering the NCAA into a high-volume offense.

(Rick Hickman / American Press)

Curtis Deville

  • Commit: Purdue
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Rank: WR61
  • HT/WT: 6’1″ / 180lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 21.8 MPH

Purdue has put two high-profile wide receivers in the draft for the last two years and demonstrated that they aren’t afraid to start a freshman WR. Purdue’s offense finished last year strong, putting up 4,600 passing yards. Deville is underrecruited because he did not play at a big high school. He shows great concentration when catching the ball, great contact balance in RAC, and he has burners. Deville did not demonstrate the ability to consistently separate against the level of competition he played against in high school, which is a concern. Deville has the body control, ball tracking, hands, and athleticism to succeed. He will need to be coached to become a more polished route runner, but the tools are there to go along with NFL size. This is a proven program in developing underrated talent.

Photo courtesy of Ole Miss Athletics

Larry Simmons

  • Commit: Ole Miss
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Ranking: WR81
  • HT/WT: 6’2″ / 185lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 20.4 MPH

QB Jaxson Dart joins Ole Miss and brings college teammate TE Michael Trigg with him. The current Ole Miss WR core is depleted, and hard to identify which player will step up as WR1. Ole Miss is a top SEC program that knows how to develop WR talent. It is baffling that more players did not choose to commit. However, Dart was a late add, making Ole Miss a hot destination for receivers to change their commitment during the off-season. Simmons chooses Ole Miss over other programs such as Alabama or Oregon. Primarily utilized on deep routes and looks like a straight line runner that lacks creativity. Simmons played QB/RB/WR during his time in high school. When he is not just blowing by defenders with his speed, he exhibits route running ability and some explosive lateral agility. Simmons is a solid receiver, but the lack of diversity in route running is probably a result of play calling. He has the athletic tools and YAC ability to be worth a shot with the opportunity in front of him. 

Photo by Nick Lucero/Rivals.com

De’Andre Coleman

  • Commit: Coastal Carolina
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Rank: WR83
  • HT/WT: 6’2 / 200lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 20.8 MPH

Coleman is Coastal Carolina’s second highest-rated recruit ever at any position. Coastal Carolina also has Grayson McCall at the helm for one more year, and he lost his top two pass-catching options in Jaivon Heliegh and Isaiah Likely to the draft. This receiving room is wide open with a very productive quarterback. Coleman was a dual-sport athlete in high school, playing basketball, running track, and Football. He was utilized as a gadget player in high school, earning twenty rushing attempts across his final season. Coleman has some serious speed and is primarily used as a deep threat. He excelled at contest catch situations and consistently showed reliable hands. 

Photo by Brian Perroni/247Sports

CJ Nelson

  • Commit: Houston
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Ranking: WR113
  • HT/WT: 6’0″ / 175lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 20.8 MPH

That’s right, another Houston commit. CJ Nelson is a three-sport athlete and saw playing time all over the field as QB/WR/DB/KR. Nelson was utilized as a gadget player during his senior season, primarily playing QB. However, he did post his first 1,000-yard season in 2020. He’s an explosive player with open-field elusiveness and decent contact balance for his size. Primarily used as a deep threat in high school, but there’s proof that Nelson has some quick twitch ability with his route running ability. Houston’s offense will have quite the offense for years to come. 

Photo Courtesy of TheWolfpackCentral

Terrell Timmons

  • Commit: NC State
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Ranking: WR153
  • HT/WT: 6’2″ / 180lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 20.5 MPH

NC State lost their leading receiver to the draft and leading RB. This is a pass-heavy team with QB Devin Leary that threw for over 3,400 yards. Timmons’ tape showcased multiple kicks returned for a TD. He had decent YAC ability with open-field elusiveness, but I have not seen his sharp cuts in his routes, and the defenses he played against were nothing to brag about. Timmons also runs a 4.4 40-yard dash; athletic on paper and saw enough on tape to feel intrigued. Might be solely a CFF contributor, but the opportunity is there.

Photo by Chris Brooks/247Sports

Chris Bell

  • Commit: Louisville
  • Rating: 3 Star
  • Ranking: WR124
  • HT/WT: 6’2 / 220lbs
  • Top Game Speed: 21.3 MPH

Louisville is a program not afraid of starting putting a freshman on the field. Chris Bell already has NFL size and could lose some weight to improve in some athletic categories. Bell is a size/speed freak, reaching 21.3 MPH but only 17 years old. Louisville has a dual-threat QB in Malik Cunningham, who threw for 2,900 yds last season. Bell should offer a large target in the red zone. He faced easy competition in high school and was rarely brought down after first contact. He’s a tank with the ball in his hands, playing in the P5. We won’t find corners as easy to win the physical game against. Bell is a raw route runner, but the athletics combined with the size are promising.

Outro

This wraps up the Mike-alicious late-round targets. If these candidates bust, I won’t be claiming any affiliation; this was all Matt or Felix’s idea. I did get input from some of the other members in C2C. There definitely were not any recommendations from Matt (@bigWRguy) on any of these freshmen. I will be taking all the credit if they’re hits. *queue the outro*

My picks stay vicious
I be up in the composite just working on foresightedness
Austins my witness
I put my queue on auto-lock lock
And readers be scrolling down the mock
Just to watch what I got.

Get Our Newsletter

Get notified periodic notifications about our content and future subscription deals.

You May Also Like

2022 Preview: Pac-12 South

The Campus2Canton writing staff will cover all of the conferences from now…

Top 10 College Coaches/Offenses for NFL Running Back Projection

The thing that makes Campus2Canton leagues so much fun is the same…