Holmon Wiggins – University of Alabama

FootballScoop is proud to announce that Holmon Wiggins is the 2020 FootballScoop Wide Receivers Coach of the Year presented by AstroTurf as selected by prior winners.

Alabama lost two first-round wide receivers off its 2019 team, and its wide receiving corps got significantly better.

The Tide’s 2020 receiving corps started, of course, with DeVonta Smith. The senior led the nation with 117 receptions, 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns. Despite his season being cut two games short due to the pandemic, Smith still set SEC single-season records for receiving yards and touchdowns and came eight grabs shy of setting the conference’s single-season catches record, while playing one fewer game than the record holder (Amari Cooper, 124 catches in 14 games in 2014).

Smith was at his best when it mattered most. He caught 13 passes for 164 yards and a touchdown in a 63-48 win over Ole Miss, 11 for 167 and two scores in a 41-24 win over Georgia, seven for 171 and two touchdowns in the Iron Bowl, eight for 231 and three scores versus LSU and 15 receptions for 184 yards and two touchdowns in a 6-point SEC Championship win over Florida. He shined in the College Football Playoff, recording seven grabs for 130 yards and three touchdowns, all in one half, in a 31-14 Rose Bowl semifinal win over Notre Dame, and then ended the year by hauling in 12 receptions for 215 yards and three touchdowns in a 52-24 destruction of Ohio State in the national title game.

In all, Smith topped the 100-yard mark nine times in 13 games (and went over 200 three times), hit double-digit catches five times, caught at least one touchdown in 10 games and snared multiple scores an eye-popping eight times, led by a 4-touchdown showing against Mississippi State. He recorded a trifecta of 10+ catches, 100+ yards and at least one touchdown on five separate occasions.

But the Heisman Trophy winner — the first wide receiver in 30 years to bring home the most prestigious individual award in American sports — was far from the only threat among Alabama’s wideouts.

Sophomore John Metchie III finished second on the club with 55 grabs for 916 yards and six touchdowns. He caught five passes for 181 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-24 win over year-end No. 4 Texas A&M and brought in seven balls for 151 yards in a 48-17 blowout of Tennessee.

Junior Jaylen Waddle also flashed in the early part of the season. In four healthy appearances, Waddle caught 25 passes for 557 yards and four touchdowns. He began the year with an 8-catch, 134-yard, 2-touchdown effort in a 38-19 defeat of Missouri, and began the year with a string of four straight games of at least 120 yards, while averaging at least 20 yards per reception in the final three.

As a team, Alabama ranked third nationally in passing offense (358.2 yards per game), first in yards per attempt (11.0), and second in touchdowns (42). The Tide ranked second nationally in completions of 10+ (190) and 20+ yards (72) and third in connections of 30+ yards (33).

In addition to winning the Heisman, Smith was named the the SEC Offensive Player of the Year, the AP College Football Player of the Year, the Maxwell Award, the Biletnikoff Award and was a unanimous First Team All-American.

Wiggins recently completed his second season as Alabama’s wide receivers coach. The New Mexico graduate was a three-year starter at running back for the Lobos, then entered coaching at UNM. He moved on to coach running backs at Illinois State and Tulsa, then switched to wide receivers at Memphis and Virginia Tech.

The FootballScoop Coaches of the Year awards presented by AstroTurf are the only set of awards that recognize the most outstanding position coaches in college football. The finalists (Pete Bennett [South Alabama], Keary Colbert [USC], Grant Heard [Indiana] and Wiggins) were selected based off of nominations by coaches, athletic directors, and athletic department personnel. The prior winners selected this year’s winner.

Previous winners of the Wide Receivers Coach of the Year award are Bobby Kennedy (Texas, 2008), Zach Azzanni (Central Michigan, 2009), Brent Pease (Boise State, 2010), Ted Gilmore (USC, 2011), Matt Lubick (Duke, 2012), Lawrence Dawsey (Florida State, 2013), Rusty Burns/Doug Meacham (TCU, 2014), Tate Wallis (Baylor, 2015), Todd Fitch/Joe Sloan (Louisiana Tech, 2016), Kasey Dunn (Oklahoma State, 2017), Tyron Carrier (West Virginia, 2018), and Jeff Scott (Clemson, 2019).

keystats

2nd Nationally – Passing Offense           Two 100-YPG receivers
3rd Nationally – 30+ Yard Catches           Heisman Trophy winner

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.