There are 10 FBS players who have recorded at least 1,000 yards receiving so far this season. Three of them hail from the Power 5 conferences.
The lone representative from the ACC: Syracuse’s Amba Etta-Tawo.
One of the most entertaining surprises of the 2016 ACC football season has been the breakout performance of Syracuse’s Etta-Tawo. This isn’t Etta-Tawo’s first run through the ACC; in 2013, he recorded 31 catches for 500 yards as a freshman at Maryland. But he’s back now as senior transfer, and he’s starred during his second run though the league.
Etta-Tawo leads the ACC with 1,158 receiving yards — 404 more yards than second place (Mike Williams). He’s also No. 1 in the conference with 75 receptions.
Where does Etta-Tawo land in terms of efficiency when stacked up against the other 1,000-yard pass-catchers? The accompanying table includes the 10 receivers who have more than 1,000 yards through the air in 2016. As it turns out, Etta-Tawo easily holds his own.
|Player||Team||Yards||Targets||Receptions||Catch Rate||Yards Per Target|
|Trent Jones||La. Tech||1318||121||98||81%||10.9|
|Carlos Henderson||La. Tech||1168||94||59||62.8%||12.4|
|Corey Davis||W. Michigan||1011||87||61||70.1%||11.6|
*Target data courtesy of Football Study Hall
East Carolina’s Zay Jones has stayed busy: 127 receptions on an absurd 171 targets (19 per game). Trent Jones of Louisiana Tech leads the nation with 1,318 receiving yards, and he’s first in this group with a catch rate of 81 percent. Dede Westbrook has had quite the season for the Sooners — 14.4 yards per target is an incredible number for a high-volume receiver.
The ACC’s best receiver in 2016 stands his ground with all of those guys. Etta-Tawo is one of just three 1,000-yard receivers to catch at least three out of every four passes slung his direction. He’s averaging 11.9 yards per target, which is third-best in this elite group. He’s also one of only three 1,000-yard receivers to average more than 11 yards per target.
Syracuse needs to win two of its next three games to become bowl eligible. That will be a tricky proposition to navigate with all three of those opponents coming inside the top 45 of the S&P-plus rankings. However, there’s no questioning the prolificness of Etta-Tawo, who has become one of the best receivers in America while playing in Dino Babers’ veer and shoot offense.
AET has already set the single-season receiving yards record at Syracuse — jumping Marvin Harrison’s long-held record of 1,131 yards in the 1995 season.