2008 Stats: 31 Receptions 520 Yards 3 Touchdowns
Gilreath showed to have some spark in 2008. Defenses always had to keep one eye open for Gilreath who also returned punts, kickoffs, and was always an option for an end-around runnning play. Gilreath racked up 285 yards on the ground, doing just that. At only 5'11", Gilreath isn't going to 'go up and get' too many balls against talented corners but he does use his speed effectively.
2008 Stats: 36 Receptions 679 Yards 3 Touchdowns
Dell seemed to be Michigan State's answer to the replacing Devin Thomas, after a nine catch 202 yard and one touchdown performance against Cal in the opener. He slowed down a bit from there, never again topping the 100 yard mark in a game. Bell, a junior-to-be, will need to play a big role in 2009 and will be instrumental in helping MSU break in a new quarterback.
2008 Stats: 44 Receptions 639 Yards 3 Touchdowns
Johnson-Koulianos found himself on the outside looking in when the spring two deeps were announced earlier this month. But, I suspect DJK will be the starting, and premier, WR for the Hawkeyes once September rolls around. Johnson-Koulianos has shown steady improvement over his first two years at Iowa. In 2009, Johnson-Koulianos should show more of a knack for the endzone, after having 82 career receptions and 1,100 plus yards but only five career touchdowns. DJK was rolling at the end of 2008 regular season, coming off a career high 181 yard performance against Minnesota. He should take that momentum into 09. I expect the Iowa offense to mature under second year starter Ricky Stanzi, which should make for a break-out season for Johnson-Koulianos in 2009.
Benn showed to be explosive with his 15.7 yards per reception average. He also proved that he can be effective against the leagues best defenses by garnering 65, 96, and 110 yards against Ohio State, Iowa, and Penn State repectively. With Benn and four year starting quarterback Juice Williams returning in 2009, the Illinois offense has the potential to be special in 2009. But, it also had this potential in 08, so we'll just have to wait and see. Regardless of the Fighting Illini's success this season, both Williams and Benn should put up lofty statistics.
Decker was the Big Ten's leading receiver in 2008, and he should be right near the top again in 09. Decker, at 6'2" and 215, has shown to have impressive physical talents. The Minnesota offense will run through Decker this season, and the Weber-Decker connection will give defenses fits as Minnesota tries to build on their 7-6 season. In order for the Gophers to be successful, Decker, and Minnesota in general, will need to be dominate against both the cupcakes and the tougher opponents this season. Both Arrelious Benn and Decker could have claimed the top spot, but Decker gets the nod for his slightly better stats in 2008.
Gilreath photo from Getty Images, all others from the Associated Press