Kamdyn Benjamin (Tulsa)

The math here is simple: there’s hardly anybody left besides Benjamin in the WR room, and he finished the 2023 campaign on an incredibly high note, securing four scores in his last three games. The quarterback play is still a question mark, but assuming Kevin Wilson and the boys can figure out how to keep that position healthy this year, Benjamin should be in for a big season. At the very least, he should be a highly targeted player.

Jaden Smith (UTEP)

The FCS transfer from EKU has drawn rave reviews from those who cover UTEP this offseason, and he looks to potentially be the WR1 of that program in 2024.

A third-year player out of Loganville, GA, Smith caught 73 passes for 781 yards and five scores in 11 games last season. Clearly, he must have caught Walden’s eye, as Smith caught a pig-gasmic 11 passes for 130 yards and a score vs. APSU on November 4th. 

Omari Kelly (MTSU)

Courtesy of MTSU Athletics

Kelly led the spring game with six receptions and is playing under an HC and OC whose WR1s have averaged over seven targets per game in each of their play-calling seasons over the last five years. The quarterback, Vattiatio, is also entering his second year as the starter and should be in for a big year; some WR will benefit from that. Signs are pointing towards Kelly.

Omari Hayes (FAU)

In looking to who might replace LaJohntay Wester, the spring game offered some insight. 247 Sports had Hayes at eight receptions:

Redshirt sophomore Omari Hayes was a beast in the short-passing game, catching eight balls for 58 yards and a touchdown. 

Hayes thinks that with LaJohntay Wester departing for Colorado, he “can express how good” he is “and show everybody” what he can do.

While head coach Tom Herman suggested that they’d be using a ‘moneyball’ approach to replacing Wester, Hayes’ spring game performance suggests otherwise.

Robert Freeman (Utah St.)

Everybody wants to know who will replace Terrell Vaughn, and some early signs point to Freeman, a JuCo transfer. The head coach was complimentary of Freeman when he committed, and he continued his buzz in spring practice. The question is whether Freeman can learn the playbook and get up to speed in year one. 

Adrian Norton (Akron)

A beat writer recently highlighted Norton as the next guy to replace Akron’s lead receivers from a year ago. The second-year player didn’t do much last year, however, so I’m taking that note with a grain of salt. 

Chris Bell (Louisville)

Bell had a productive spring game, which in in of itself is not enough evidence to suggest that he’s definitely going to be the next Brohm WR1, but it is a good start. He’s worth a shot late in drafts.

Shazz Preston (Tulane)

It’s more of a long-shot profile here, but a Tulane writer recently said that “Shazz Preston has a real chance to be the best receiver ever to put on a Tulane uniform,” which caught me off guard a bit. The former Alabama player is probably one of the more talented players to come through Tulane, at least, so we’ll see. It’s worth a shot.

Denzel Boston (UW)

The staff is high on Boston, and the spring game confirmed it. He should be the key feature man in the offense this season, but Boston has hardly produced so far in his career. This is a pure projection play.

Chrishon McCray (Kent St.)

Since his breakout game vs. Miami of Ohio last year, McCray was targeted 10+ times every game except his last one, where he got injured. He’s the best player on a team desperate for playmakers. I like McCray to make CFF MAC receivers cool again this year.

For details on spring game performances, follow this link.

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