Here’s the list of receivers in Auburn football history to have had at least 1,000 yards receiving.
- 1999 - Ronney Daniels (1,068)
- 1970 - Terry Beasley (1,051)
That’s it. That’s the list.
Darvin Adams fell just 3 yards shy of joining that list in 2009 and came close again in 2010 with 963 yards. But it’s been 21 years since an Auburn receiver crossed the 1,000 yard mark. For comparison, both Alabama and LSU had two receivers last season with at least 1,000 yards.
But that could change in 2020. Chad Morris has produced seven 1,000 yard receivers in his career and inherits Auburn’s three leading receivers from last season. Could this finally be the year we see that drought end? The braintrust at C&M are here to answer that very question.
I am all in on this 2020 Auburn passing offense. I already explained why I believe Bo Nix crosses the 3,000 yard mark this season. Doing so makes it very likely an Auburn receiver reaches 1,000+ yards. Given Nix’s penchant for targeting Seth Williams, boundary wide receivers in Chad Morris offenses putting up 1,000 yard seasons and Seth Williams’s elite ability, I feel pretty confident we are going to see an AU receiver end the drought this fall.
Like most people following the Auburn Football program, I am ridiculously high on what Seth Williams could do in 2020. I’ve gone on record saying that I believe with the help of Bo Nix and Chad Morris, Williams will put together the best receiving career from an Auburn player ever. Throughout last season, fans saw the timing between Nix and Williams improve game after game. With another offseason under their belt, the next step they take will be a big one.
We’re turning to history here in an effort to provide the context for Chad Morris’ offense and what it can do for Auburn’s passing attack. Since Morris took over at Clemson in 2011, here are the leading receivers each year there, at SMU, and at Arkansas (even though that might not matter as much):
Clemson 2011: Sammy Watkins - 1,219 yards, 82 catches, 12 touchdowns
Clemson 2012: Deandre Hopkins - 1,405 yards, 82 catches, 17 touchdowns
Clemson 2013: Sammy Watkins - 1,464 yards, 101 catches, 12 touchdowns
Clemson 2014: Mike Williams - 1,030 yards, 57 catches, 6 touchdowns
SMU 2015: Courtland Sutton - 862 yards, 49 catches, 9 touchdowns
SMU 2016: Courtland Sutton - 1,246 yards, 76 catches, 10 touchdowns
SMU 2017: Trey Quinn - 1,236 yards, 101 catches, 13 touchdowns
Arkansas 2018: La’Michael Pettway - 499 yards, 30 catches, 4 touchdowns
Arkansas 2019: Trevion Burks - 475 yards, 29 catches, 0 touchdowns
I’m tossing out the Arkansas years, since he had a team with minimal talent and a zero match as far as personnel to run his system. Chad Morris has had a prolific receiver nearly every season. Seth Williams is as talented a guy as Auburn’s had recently, and even if he doesn’t quite reach the effectiveness of a Sammy Watkins or a Deandre Hopkins, he could hit the 70-catch, 1,000 yard plateau with relative ease. I think we’re going to see the record books fall at Auburn this season across the board on offense.
I’d love to sit here and be as optimistic as everyone else seems on this particular statistic. There’s no doubt Seth Williams is the best threat to break the 21-year drought and cement his name in the Auburn record books with a season we have rarely ever seen. I’m excited to see what Morris can do with Bo Nix in a more pass-happy scheme, especially with Nix’s penchant for targeting Williams. I do believe a 1,000 yard season is possible. And you know, at Auburn funny things happen in year 1 of a revised offensive system.
We’ve seen undefeated seasons with Terry Bowden assisting his brother Tommy, Hugh Nall and Steve Ensminger fail to run someone else’s offense because apparently the head man thought it was just about calling a playbook (!), Al Borges prove why he is truly gorgeous, Tony Franklin telling the media that he deserved to be fired because of being so miserable being surrounded by a group that wanted nothing to do with his offense, Gus Malzahn set passing records with Chris Todd, [name redacted] do whatever you want to call that offense in 2012, Gus Malzahn take a Georgia DB to an SEC Championship from the QB position, and Chip Lindsey do wonders for an offense that saw an SEC West title with the guy that ran Tom Brady out of New England.
So yeah, I’m optimistic about Morris. But I can’t go so far as to predict a 1,000 yard season for Seth Williams. Why? Well for one I don’t want to jinx it! Two, unknowns along the offensive line and Bo Nix needing to show steady improvement, both without the benefit of spring ball to input some of the finer points of an evolved passing attack. All of this, plus the unknown around if we’re going to play a 12-game season due to COVID-19 give me pause for predicting records being broken in 2020. That being said, give me 2021 as a year where we see this thing out in full force and observe what could be something truly special for the Auburn offense as a whole.
Verdict: I ain’t jinxing it.
Seth Williams is a supremely talented receiver, and Auburn will hopefully have the kind of updated passing offense that will result in more production from the receiver group, but I’m just not willing to go there yet. Honestly my hope is that Seth Williams ends up with around 950 yards, but the combination of Eli Stove, Anthony Schwartz, John Samuel Shenker (yeah, I said it), Shedrick Jackson, and Harold Joiner add up to somewhere around 2,000 yards. That would certainly get Bo that 3,000 yard mark discussed a few weeks ago.
Verdict: No, but because the production will be spread out.
Son of Crow
I love Seth Williams. I think he has the most NFL ready game of any receiver Auburn has had in a long time. I think he wasn’t helped out much last season by the offense, his qb, or the other receivers. This season, I think he will get as many chances to touch the ball as he wants. I really see him being a focus of the offense considering we don’t have an established bell cow runner returning. I don’t really know what I’m talking about but I just proved anyone can talk football. Give me....
Verdict: YES. Seth Williams will get 1k in 2k20.
Last year, Seth Williams had 59 catches for 830 yards, averaging 14 Yards Per Catch. If Seth Williams averages 14 YPC this season, it means he would have catch 72 passes to get over 1,000 yards. With the offense poised to be seemingly more pass-reliant this year, it’s certainly doable. Put me down for Seth getting 75 catches, 1,050 yards and 9 TDs.
Let’s be clear - it’s Seth Williams or bust with this question. With a healthy 2019, Seth Williams is going to go down as a the second best receiver the school has ever seen. With 70+ receptions, 920+ yards, and 6+ touchdowns, he would be second all-time in each category for Auburn. Those numbers seem likely, again assuming a clean bill of health.
The question is how the Auburn passing game will be melded with Chad Morris’s schemes. While plenty of people look at Seth and see comparisons to Clemson products Sammy Watkins and Deandre Hopkins, I think Courtland Sutton, who played for Chad Morris all three seasons at SMU, might be the better comp.
Over three years with Morris running the show, Sutton caught 193 balls for 3,200 yards and 31 touchdowns. He was a big bodied receiver (6’3”, 218 lbs at the NFL Combine), with respectable (but not elite) speed and leaping ability to make plays down the field (4.54 40-time, 35.5” vertical). Scouts loved him for his physicality on smaller defenders, and for his ability to win contested catches and track difficult back shoulder balls.
I see a lot of the same in Seth Williams. The Tuscaloosa product is similar in stature, coming in at 6’3” 224 lbs, and his measurables coming out of high school weren’t that far off Sutton’s at the NFL Combine (4.53 40-time, 34” vertical). It’s easy to assume those numbers have only improved after three years in an SEC weight room.
But again, the question is if Seth can get to 1,000 yards. The optimist in me says Seth meets all the criteria to get him to #2 on the Auburn stat leader boards, but the realist says no, he doesn’t get to 1,000 yards. It’s Auburn, we have 1,000 yard receivers about as often as we win in Baton Rouge.
Verdict: No, but barely. Somewhere between 920-1,000 yards.
Now what say you dear readers? Will Auburn FINALLY have another 1,000 yard receiver this season?
Will Auburn have a 1,000 yard receiver this season?
This poll is closed