The breakout star of last season at the wide receiver position, Robinson opened many eyes after leading all Big Ten wide receivers in receptions (77), yards (1,013) and touchdowns (11). The lone 1,000-yard receiver in the conference, Robinson posted two games of double-digit receptions and three touchdowns. He has the capability of overmatching his opponent with his 6-3, 211-pound frame, which is why head coach Bill O’Brien plans to use him all over the field to create mismatches.
After hauling in a school-record for receptions, there will be much more attention paid to Robinson by opposing defenses. Last season, Penn State was the biggest question mark in the nation. No one knew what to expect from them, and because of that, there were a lot of times they caught their opponent off-guard. This won’t happen in 2013, so Robinson will have to have the same drive he had as a sophomore in order to replicate past seasons numbers.
Out of all the receivers on this list, Bell may have the most to offer. From a numbers perspective, he ranked within the top five in the Big Ten in yards (863), touchdowns (8) and receptions (50). He also is the most dangerous deep threat on this list, leading the conference with 17.1 yards per catch (among WRs with 30+ catches). Being the top receiver on the No. 1 rushing offense in the Big Ten, Bell has become one of the nation’s best blockers at his position, just ask Wisconsin’s Devin Smith (who fell victim to a bone-crushing block by Bell in the Big Ten Championship Game).
Barring an injury, there’s no reason Bell shouldn’t surpass his yardage from a year ago and make a run at 1,000-yards.
Perhaps the best receiver no one has ever heard of, Latimer finished second behind Allen Robinson in yards (805) while collecting six touchdowns on 51 receptions. He was at the forefront of the surprisingly No. 1 pass attack in the conference with 311.2 yards per game. A practical clone of Robinson at 6-3, 215-pounds, Latimer has some of the best set of hands in the conference and can utilize his big frame in the redzone.
Once again, Indiana will rely on its passing game in 2013, which means Latimer will have plenty of opportunities to make big plays. While not the biggest name at his position, Latimer will have a legitimate shot at cracking the 1,000-yard mark in his junior season.
My darkhorse pick to lead the Big Ten in receiving, Gallon fell victim to playing in an offense catered to Denard Robinson and his dual-threat ability. Now, though, he’ll have a better passer throwing his way in Devin Gardner. Once the Detroit-born quarterback took over midway through 2012, Gallon saw his numbers drastically improve. He caught three of his four touchdowns from Gardner and had five or more receptions in four of his game games, including nine catches for 145 yards and two scores in the Outback Bowl.
Michigan fans would love to see the duo of Gardner-Gallon continue to blossom and evolve into what Matt McGloin and Allen Robinson were for Penn State in 2012.
Despite playing with a mediocre quarterback, Abbrederis had an impressive junior season with 837 yards and five touchdowns on 49 receptions. The senior has continued to shine even with Wisconsin being a run-first offense. Over the past two years, Abbrederis has racked up over 1,750 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Because of inconsistent play under center, the Wisconsin native saw his numbers decline as the season progressed. In the first half of 2012, Abbrederis had three consecutive games of 110 or more yards, including two straight 140-yard outings. He also caught all of his touchdowns in the first six games. If the Badgers can receive more consistency from its quarterbacks, Abbrederis could easily surpass 1,000 yards for the first time in his career.
*** Posted by Josh Harvey***