Another season in the rearview means another batch of the top talent in college football has graduated, is off to the NFL, or both. This also means that for those who remain, another group is primed to climb the talent totem pole.
Two examples of this can be found on the Forty Acres, as Sports Illustrated ranked the top 100 players for the 2018 season based on projected production and value. Texas wide receivers Collin Johnson and Lil’Jordan Humphrey made the list.
Johnson was the more highly ranked of the two, coming in at No. 64 overall.
“Lil’Jordan Humphrey was the offensive star of Texas’s spring workouts, but Johnson is the most proven member of the Longhorns’ receiving corps, having led the team with 725 receiving yards last season,” Sports Illustrated’s Chris Johnson said. “Regardless of whether Sam Ehlinger or Shane Buechele is under center this fall, Texas will need Johnson to produce to elevate a passing game that ranked ninth in the Big 12 in yards per attempt and efficiency last season.”
While Texas will need to find a consistent option behind center for Johnson to be as impactful as possible, it also will benefit either Ehlinger or Buechele to have not only Johnson on the field, but Humphrey, who Sports Illustrated ranked No. 81 overall.
“He scored just twice as a sophomore while serving a utility role within Tom Herman’s first offense in Austin, but the 6’4”, 220-pound Humphrey is in line to make a leap — along with towering leading receiver Collin Johnson — if the Longhorns can straighten out their quarterback situation,” Sports Illustrated’s Eric Single said. “Herman would be best served getting the ball in Humphrey’s hands in a wide variety of ways.”
It’s no secret that the Longhorns passing attack wasn’t exactly the most formidable last season, but the receivers on hand weren’t as highly regarded as they will be this time around. Johnson entered 2017 as a potential breakout candidate, and Humphrey was hardly expected to even cement a place within the rotation. Fast forward one year and Johnson looks the part of one of the Big 12’s most talented pass catchers, and Humphrey has provided flashes of earning similar praise.
Per usual, though, the question that must be answered at Texas is, which quarterback can get them the ball?