VT: A Good Choice for Natural Receivers

Four wide receivers from Virginia Tech have played in the NFL during the ACC era. Two more are likely headed to the league this April. What do they all have in common? They all came to Blacksburg as natural wide receivers out of high school.

If I’ve learned anything since the Hokies joined the ACC, it’s that to be an effective receiver these days in college football, especially early in your career, you need to have played wide receiver in high school. Today we’re going to look at the six most prolific receivers of the ACC era, who all played wide receiver in high school, and compare them to Dyrell Roberts , Marcus Davis and D.J. Coles . Then we’ll tie it all in together with the 2012 recruiting class, which will sign next week.

Leading Receivers, ACC Era
PlayerCatchesYardsTDsDraftedNFL Career
Jarrett Boykin1842,88418??
Danny Coale1652,6588??
Josh Morgan1221,817166th RoundNFL Starter
Eddie Royal1191,778122nd RoundNFL Starter
David Clowney931,37365th RoundFormer NFL Player
Justin Harper831,33897th RoundFormer NFL Player

We don’t know where Boykin and Coale are destined to go in the NFL Draft, but they both will at least get an opportunity to play on Sundays. Those guys started at Virginia Tech from day one. Josh Morgan, Eddie Royal, David Clowney and Justin Harper were all contributors early in their careers as well. Morgan and Royal have gone on to start for the 49ers and Broncos, respectively, while Clowney and Harper were both drafted. Harper was a raw player who unfortunately didn’t have the benefit of a redshirt.

Each of those guys played wide receiver in high school, and they were all advanced enough to contribute very early in their respective careers. Of the players listed above, only Danny Coale took a redshirt in college. Granted, a guy like Justin Harper probably would have redshirted had there been enough wide receiver depth in the 2004 team, but the point still stands. Those guys were ready to play out of high school, for the most part.