Outlier seasons and freshmen contributors

Phil Steele takes a look at how much freshmen wide receivers played the last two seasons.  If you figured the results for 2020 and 2021 would look different, you’d be right.  Steele explains:

… Now 2020 was an odd year as with no spring practice, the true frosh WR’s could not benefit from being in early for the spring. With some conferences cancelling their seasons and then starting them up again that put them even further behind. Now in 2020 technically every WR redshirted as 2020 did not count against their eligibility so coaches were more likely to play them.

… My original thought was that Wide Receivers do have to learn route concepts and be in tune with the QB so they may have a little less play as true frosh than the RB’s. The top WR in 2020 was Kayshon Boutte of LSU who had 735 receiving yards and five TD’s. Quentin Johnston of TCU was second with 487 yards and an impressive 22.1 ypc. Jermaine Burton of Georgia was #3 with 404 yards receiving (15.0). Only 22 WR’s had more than five receptions and overall 32 WR’s had at least one catch which was 64% or 8% below the RB’s.

Now let’s look at the 2021 True Freshmen. I know that technically all of 2020’s true frosh were still true frosh, but I will just look at the ones that were in their first year on campus. We will just look at the 2021 signing class of WR’s and how much they played.

With everyone back from Covid and unlike in 2020 if a player played more than 4 games the player would lose a year of eligibility you would think that less true frosh WR’s would play. One advantage the 2021 true frosh had was being able to be on campus for spring if they enrolled early. The uninterrupted summer probably helped the WR’s gain cohesion with their QB’s.

In the end,

In 2020 the top 50 true frosh WR’s combined for 4051 yds rush, 24 td and 13.2 ypc.

In 2021 the top 50 true frosh WR’s combined for 5849 yds rush, 96 td’s and 14.1 ypc.

That TD differential really jumps out at you.  I would assume ’22 will look more like ’21 and ’20, for obvious reasons.



Filed under Phil Steele Makes My Eyes Water, Stats Geek!

8 responses to “Outlier seasons and freshmen contributors

  1. muttleyagain

    Aside from averages, wouldn’t the two years’ totals have to be adjusted for the different number of games played?


  2. ‘22 will look more like ‘21 than ‘20?

    Liked by 2 people

  3. W Cobb Dawg

    Were Williams and Metchie injured all through ’20?

    Liked by 3 people

  4. MGW

    Clicked through for the full lists. Ladd and AD would be 3 and 4 on that 2021 list if they were ranked as top 50 recruits.


    • MGW

      Which is nice but doesn’t really mean anything. Incredibly unreliable statistic.

      Type of offense, players already on the roster, etc. etc.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. Kevin’s Missing Pinky

    Didn’t realize receivers were racking up so many rushing yards. Must have missed all of the jet sweeps.