College Football Player Rankings 2023: Top-10 Best NCAAF Wide Receivers

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College football has always been a breeding ground for young talent, a place where future stars get their start. The 2023 season is no different. Among the many positions on the field, the wide receiver stands out as one of the most exciting, blending a mix of speed, agility, and raw power. This year, the competition is fierce, with many athletes vying for the title of the best. So, who are the top wide receivers lighting up college football in 2023?

Whether you’re a seasoned college football aficionado or a newcomer to the scene, our comprehensive guide will walk you through the cream of the crop in the wide receiver category in the 2023 college football season. Skip ahead to read in-depth about each player or jump directly to the one you’re most interested in from our list below:

Top-10 Wide Receivers in NCAA Foootball in 2023

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10. Zachariah Branch, USC Trojans

At number 10 on our list of the best receivers in college football in 2023 is freshman Zachariah Branch. The Trojans are buzzing with excitement about their latest addition, the number one wide receiver recruit for 2023. At 5-10 and 175 lbs, Branch may not be the most imposing figure on the field, but his play is nothing short of electric.

In his senior year in high school, at Bishop Gorman, he racked up 753 yards on 45 receptions with 11 touchdowns.

His enrollment at USC sets him up to catch passes from none other than the Heisman winner, Caleb Williams. Branch is not just a gifted football player; his track record, literally, is incredible, with a 10.4 seconds 100 meters, and 21.1 200 meters to his name.

Reports out of training camp are positive. “Zach Branch is an explosive little dude,” according to Caleb Williams. “High energy, high effort. He has all the physical tools.” Meanwhile, receivers coach Dennis Simmons says that Branch is “special.”

USC could look to get this freshman the ball in space in 2023. He is one to watch.

9. Joshua Cephus, UTSA Road Runners

Joshua Cephus, a towering presence at 6-3 and 185 lbs, is the archetype of a possession receiver. After Zakhari Franklin’s transfer from UTSA to Ole Miss, Cephus is set to have a breakthrough season. His 2022 campaign was nothing short of impressive, capturing 87 passes for a total of 985 yards, and finding the end zone six times.

His early-season form, where he surpassed 100 receiving yards in three of the initial four games, suggests a player at the peak of his abilities. Cephus’s talents have earned him a spot on the Biletnikoff Award watch list and recognition as a Second-Team All-Conference USA selection.

8. Xavier Worthy, Texas Longhorns

From Fresno, California, Xavier Worthy has made a mark on Texas football like few before him. In his brief career spanning just 25 games, he’s amassed 1,741 receiving yards and an impressive 21 touchdowns. These accomplishments have elevated him to third all-time in Texas Football history for career touchdown receptions.

Despite a slight dip in his sophomore year with 760 yards and nine touchdowns, Worthy’s consistent ability to catch a pass in all his career games cements his place as one of UT’s best. His numerous accolades, from being named the 2021 Big 12 Offensive Freshman of the Year to securing spots on various All-Big 12 and All-American teams, hint at the immense promise this young player holds.

Worthy can count himself a little unlucky not to be a bit further up the list of the best WRs in college football in 2023.

7. Malachi Corley, Western Kentucky Hilltoppers

The football landscape at Western Kentucky has been redefined by the dazzling Malachi Corley. Despite his compact 5-11 stature, his 2022 stats are explosive: 1,016 yards from 83 catches and a commendable nine touchdowns. But the numbers only tell part of his story.

Corley ranked fourth nationally in receiving yards, and his agility post-catch is unparalleled, leading the nation in yards after catch with a staggering 975. His unmatched skill of forcing 40 missed tackles only amplifies his dominance. From multi-touchdown games to breaking the 100-yard mark six times, Corley is redefining college football receiving.

6. Malik Nabers, LSU Tigers

Standing at 6’0″ and weighing 200 lbs, Malik Nabers solidified his reputation as a dominant force for the LSU Tigers. His junior year was nothing short of spectacular, pulling in 72 receptions for an impressive 1,017 yards and netting 3 TDs. These numbers made him a leader in the SEC, notably capturing the top spot for receptions and being a close runner-up in receiving yards.

Nabers made history, becoming the 10th player at LSU to cross the 1,000-yard receiving threshold. This feat was crowned when he showcased his skills against Purdue in the Citrus Bowl, subsequently earning MVP honors for his performance. His consistency on the field is evident, boasting an 18-game streak of catching at least one pass.

Nabers is a game-changer. Teams always have to account for him – and for a good reason. This electric receiver promises to shine even brighter in 2023.

5. Jalen McMillan, Washington Huskies

The first Washington wide receiver in our top ten list is Jalen McMillan, a 6-1, 192 lb dynamo. In 2022, he made a substantial mark with 79 receptions, racking up 1,098 yards and clinching 9 TDs. These achievements place him among the elite, with his yardage being the seventh-most in a season for the Huskies.

Accolades have rightly followed McMillan. He’s featured on the 2023 Biletnikoff Award Preseason Watch List and has garnered multiple preseason All-America and All-Pac-12 honors. McMillan doesn’t just rack up yards; he moves chains. With 54 combined receiving first downs and touchdowns, he’s a dependable weapon for the Huskies.

His partnership with Rome Odunze has been pivotal, with pundits suggesting they’re among the top receiving duos in college football. Together, they’re set to spearhead one of the most potent aerial attacks in the nation, further complemented by QB Michael Penix Jr.

4. Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State Buckeyes

Standing at 6-1 and weighing in at 206 lbs, Emeka Egbuka represents a potent blend of skill and physicality at the wide receiver position. With a whopping 1,151 receiving yards in 2022, Egbuka positioned himself as the ninth-best receiver in the nation.

The stats speak for themselves: 74 receptions, 10 touchdowns, and six 100-yard games which rank him fifth in Ohio State’s illustrious history. This standout receiver isn’t just making waves locally; his performance on the national scene saw him recognized as a finalist for the Paul Hornung Award.

As the Big Ten’s third-best in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, and his second-team all-Big Ten honors, Egbuka is well-poised to make 2023 another year of accolades.

3. Rome Odunze, Washington Huskies

Washington’s Rome Odunze is on a trajectory toward stardom. Measuring 6-3 and 215 lbs, his 2022 performance was jaw-dropping with 1,145 yards from 75 receptions and seven touchdowns. These stats catapulted him to leading the Pac-12 in receiving yards. Additionally, his four consecutive games exceeding 100 receiving yards set a historic precedent for UW.

His position on the 2023 Biletnikoff and Maxwell Award Preseason Watch Lists shows that he is being recognized nationwide. Earning spots on numerous All-America and All-Pac-12 teams, Odunze is not just a Husky highlight but a national sensation.

2. Zakhari Franklin, Ole Miss Rebels

A tour de force at 6-1 and 185 lbs, Zakhari Franklin has made the leap from UTSA to Ole Miss. His 2022 season was monumental, with 1,136 receiving yards and an exceptional 15 touchdown receptions.

These figures didn’t just resonate within UTSA but reverberated nationally, tying him for second in touchdown receptions. With an impressive array of accolades, including multiple All-Conference USA recognitions and an All-America honorable mention, Franklin is poised to leave an indelible mark on college football in his new home at Mississippi.

1. Marvin Harrison Jr., Ohio State Buckeyes

Our best receiver in college football in 2023 is Marvin Harrison Jr. Hailing from a lineage of football excellence, Harrison Jr., at 6-3 and 205 lbs, is not just living up to the Harrison name but setting his own benchmarks. His 1,258 receiving yards in 2022 rank him fourth in Ohio State’s history.

His consistency is unparalleled: 92 receptions (an OSU sophomore record), 12 touchdowns, and breaking the 100-yard receiving mark in eight games. On the national stage, Harrison Jr. shines brilliantly. He led the nation in receptions for 10+ yards (68) and 40+ yards (10) while being recognized as a first-team All-American.

Few receivers possess the combination of size, skill, and pedigree that Harrison Jr. brings to the table. His exploits on the field mark him as a talent of a generation.

TSD Commentary

“Diving into the stats and watching the highlights, it’s astounding to see the depth of talent in this year’s lineup,” muses Nick Raffoul, Lead Editor of The Sports Daily.

“When you’ve got young guns like Zachariah Branch – a freshman – making waves, is a glimpse into to the ever-evolving nature of college football. And on the flip side, Marvin Harrison Jr.? Well, he’s not just a chip off the old block, he’s carving his own legacy with every game.

“This mix of fresh talent and seasoned performers is what makes college ball so captivating. I’ve got a feeling 2023 is going to be remembered for these wide receivers.”

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