Flip or Flop: FSU’s Wide Receiver Overhaul

by | Jan 11, 2022 | ACC, Analysis, Football, FSU, Sports

Photo courtesy of Oregon athletics

It’s no secret that Florida State’s receiving corps was not up to par in 2021. The team has yet to find that prolific, 1,000-yard receiver since Tamorrion Terry departed two years ago.

The team’s leading receiver, Ontaria Wilson, hauled in just over a third of that mark in 2021.

Now, the lack of production was partly due to a beaten-up offensive line and a run-happy quarterback. However, the receivers did not do their signal caller many favors. Drops, miscommunications, and poorly-run routes were all too common last season.

As a result, head coach Mike Norvell and staff have placed an emphasis on overhauling the receiving corps this offseason. Let’s take a look at the new faces thus far:

Mycah Pittman

2021 PFF Grade: 55.3
Pittman had a rough 2021 season at Oregon as the Ducks shifted focus to a run-heavy offense. The junior transfer tallied just 12 catches for 197 yards with no touchdowns on the year. Luckily, he brings a lot of versatility to the table that gives him high upside at FSU.

Pittman is quick, physical, and a good route runner with good hands. He will likely figure as a slot receiver. As a bonus, he was a punt return specialist at Oregon — something the Seminoles desperately need.

Deuce Spann

2021 PFF Grade: 79.4
Spann is a bit of a gamble, as he was a quarterback coming out of high school and only has five career receptions. Despite the unappealing stat line at Illinois, two of his five catches went for touchdowns. He averaged nearly 25 yards per grab.

At 6-foot-4 and reportedly running a 4.3-second 40-yard dash, he has incredibly high upside. The best news to come with this transfer is Spann has four years of eligibility remaining.

Johnny Wilson

2021 PFF Grade: 63.7
After dealing with a hamstring injury for the majority of the season, Johnny Wilson is transferring to a new home. He ended 2021 with 12 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown. Despite the uninspiring stat line, Wilson brings something to the table you can’t coach: a 6-foot-7, 230-pound frame.

He is also a willing and able blocker, so having him on the field is like having a second tight end. Having only played for one full season at Arizona State, Wilson has three years of eligibility remaining.

Winston Wright, Jr.

2021 PFF Grade: 72.8
Wright is the guy that Seminole fans have been begging for – a proven playmaker. The West Virginia transfer posted 63 receptions for 688 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. That kind of production provides a lot of potential at FSU.

Wright is truly an electric player, with proven route-running and catching ability. In addition, he is a kick return specialist, averaging 26.4 yards per return last season and taking one back for a touchdown. The two-time All-Big-12 selection also has two years of eligibility remaining, but he has made it clear that his goal is to use this year at FSU to make it to the NFL.

Verdict

FSU’s staff has made up for an abysmal Early Signing Day performance at the receiver position. The room has instantly been turned around, as several players with multiple years of eligibility and high upside have been brought in.

Also, the addition of Wright gives the Seminoles a guy who will instantly make an impact and raise the ceiling of the receiving room. These new faces, along with the additions along the offensive line and quarterback Jordan Travis’ continued improvement, provides FSU’s offense with a major upgrade heading into the 2022 season.

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