The Big 12 is a conference at an interesting moment in its history. It is in the middle of change with two teams leaving in the coming years and four more entering. The league just went through another NFL Draft without a first-round pick, but it is not without talent. This is especially true at the wide receiver position. Here at Last Word on College Football, we have been looking at the best returning players for the 2022 season. We now look at the best Big 12 returning wide receivers.
Best Big 12 Returning Wide Receivers
#3: Marvin Mims, Oklahoma
2021 was not the season the Sooners had hoped, that saw both Spencer Rattler and Caleb Williams play at quarterback. Sophomore Marvin Mims showed flashes of being of the very best receivers in the conference. On the season he caught 32 passes for 705 yards and five touchdowns. His two biggest performances came against rival Texas and Texas Tech. Against the Longhorns he caught five receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns. He was key in the 55-48 comeback victory for Oklahoma. In the Sooners’ 52-21 win over Texas Tech, he caught four passes for 135 yards and two touchdowns. In those contests, he showed great big playability, but in other games, during the season he did disappear. Consistency will be key to becoming the best receiver in the Big 12. With new quarterback Dillon Gabriel on campus, he will have a nice weapon to get things going early in the season for the Sooners.
#2: Xavier Worthy, Texas
After a tremendous freshman season, Xavier Worthy was named to the All-Big 12 Team in 2021. He broke Texas records with 981 yards and 12 touchdowns. Those were records previously held by Roy Williams after the 2000 season. In that year, Williams had 809 yards and eight touchdowns. He also had a record-breaking performance against the Sooners. In the 48-55 loss, Worthy caught nine passes for 261 yards with two touchdowns. He was key in building the early lead for the Longhorns that they were not able to hang on to. Worthy had three other games of 100 yards or more against Texas Tech, Baylor, and Kansas. Those big games did not help with the losses down the stretch though. The Longhorns were 1-3 in the games mentioned despite the great performances by Worthy. He is a good offensive centerpiece for head coach Steve Sarkisian going into year two.
#1: Xavier Hutchinson, Iowa State
The Iowa State Cyclones lost a lot of offensive talent after the 2021 season. They will be having to replace veteran signal-caller Brock Purdy and running back Breece Hall. That talented backfield is now in the NFL. They also lost a lot at receiver and the favorite target for Purdy in tight-end Charlie Kolar. One playmaker that will be returning though is All-Big 12 performer Xavier Hutchinson. The former junior college transfer has played at the level the previous two seasons. In 2020 he was also Big 12 Offensive Newcomer of the Year. Hutchison returns as the top returning receiver with 83 catches for 987 yards and five touchdowns in 2021. He tallied four 100-yard games last season against UNLV, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and TCU. Against UNLV and Oklahoma State he caught 10-plus catches and two touchdowns in each game. His 12 catches against the Cowboys keyed a 24-21 upset victory over the then eighth-ranked team in the country. Look for Hutchinson to be the main focus for the 2022 Iowa State Cyclones.