Has Nebraska ever had this fine a group of receivers?
I don't think so.
You could point to individual receivers throughout Nebraska's history; Irving Fryar, Johnny Rodgers, Matt Davison, Nate Swift, but you're not going to come close to an overall group like this.
Taariq Allen, Jamal Turner: Graduation
Lane Hovey: Transferred to Montana
|3||Lavan Alston||WR||6-0||175||RFr.||Oxnard, Calif. (St. Bonaventure)|
|33||Christian Bailey||WR||6-0||205||Jr.||San Clemente, Calif. (San Clemente)|
|40||Ty Betka||WR||5-7||165||Sr.||Superior, Neb. (Drake)|
|43||Brett Classen||WR||6-2||205||Jr.||Medina, Minn. (Winona State) (Wayzata)|
|25||Blake Holtmeier||WR||6-2||200||So.||Kearney, Neb. (Kearney Catholic)|
|82||Alonzo Moore||WR||6-2||195||Sr.||Winnfield, La. (Winnfield Senior)|
|8||Stanley Morgan Jr.||WR||6-0||185||So.||New Orleans, La. (St. Augustine)|
|26||Brady Pelzer||WR||5-11||180||So.||Bellevue, Neb. (Bellevue East)|
|15||De'Mornay Pierson-El||WR||5-9||185||Jr.||Alexandria, Va. (West Potomac)|
|48||Gabe Rahn||WR||6-1||190||Jr.||Le Mars, Iowa (Le Mars)|
|87||Brandon Reilly||WR||6-2||195||Sr.||Lincoln, Neb. (Southwest)|
|45||Bryan Reimers||WR||6-5||210||So.||Lincoln, Neb. (Lincoln East)|
|1||Jordan Westerkamp||WR||6-0||195||Sr.||Lombard, Ill. (Montini Catholic)|
|31||Conor Young||WR||42522||170||RFr.||Cozad, Neb. (Cozad)|
|Ty Chaffin||WR||6-5||200||Fr.||Burwell, Neb. (Burwell)|
|Derrion Grim||WR||6-0||195||Fr.||Stockton, Calif. (Ronald E. McNair)|
|Todd Honas||WR||5-11||200||Fr.||Aurora, Neb. (Aurora)|
|JD Spielman||WR||5-9||180||Fr.||Eden Prairie, Minn. (Eden Prairie)|
|Keyan Williams||WR||5-10||190||So.||New Orleans, La. (Fresno State) (Lusher)|
Keyan Williams is Nebraska Receiver coach Keith Williams' son, who will sit out the 2016 season transferring from Fresno State. There is the possibility of a hardship waiver so that he doesn't have to sit out the year.
2015 Receiving Statistics
|Stanley Morgan Jr.||WR||13||25||304||12.16||3||1.9||23.4|
Westerkamp, Reilly, Moore, Carter, and Stanley Morgan Jr.
Those are the top five receivers (including Carter the tight end obviously) from last season and they all return. Add in DeMornay Pierson-El, and is it any wonder Danny Langsdorf would want to call pass pay after pass play?
Nebraska didn't get its first 1,000 yard receiver in 2015, although Westerkamp came close and was only 24 yards away from setting the single season receiving record. His 65 receptions were the most for a receiver in school history, although it's a lot easier setting offensive records when you're playing more games per season. I wouldn't expect one a 1,000 yard receiver in 2016 either. It won't be for lack of offensive production, it will be because of the ability to spread the ball around.
Westerkamp is the clear leader and coming into his final year with the program. It is unlikely you will find him in anyone's Top 25 of receivers in the 2017 NFL Draft; if he is to improve his lot it will be by being more consistent. Westerkamp has already made some circus-like catches (the behind-the-back catch against 2014 Florida Atlantic that was ESPN's College Football Play of the Year), but this season he has a shot at becoming Nebraska's best receiver in school history. He is 52 receptions and 741 receiving yards behind Kenny Bell from setting career records in both categories. Achieving those records along won't give him the designation of greatest; perhaps being the school's first 1,000 yard guy will.
Westerkamp is in danger of being out shown by his counterparts Moore and Morgan Jr this season. Moore came around and started becoming a solid all-around and dependable player while Morgan showed that he could stay on the same stage despite being the underclassman. Perhaps the two should move in with Tommy Armstrong in hopes that they get more receptions this season.
Often overlooked is Reilly, whom like Westerkamp has had moments of excellence (Michigan State!) but must step it up a notch this next season if he's to improve his shot at the NFL. Reilly needs a little more consistency in catching the ball. It will also be interesting to see how Nebraska can use his speed in the run game.
The obvious question about Pierson-El is whether he can return to form from the injury suffered in 2015.
That leaves us the newcomers. Who might see the field this season? Whomever is the first to understand that if you're going to play receiver at Nebraska, you're going to have to block consistently in the run game.
Nebraska will lose Westerkamp, Reilly and Moore after this season. Those are three better receivers than the Huskers have had across the board in a while. As I stated before, can you really blame Langsdorf for wanting to utilize them as much as possible?