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2013 Preseason Player Rankings - Returners
Oregon KR/PR De'Anthony Thomas
Oregon KR/PR De'Anthony Thomas
Posted Aug 9, 2013

CFN's Top 30 Players of 2013 By Position - Kick Returners

Preview 2013

Player Rankings - Returners

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Note: This isn't a ranking of the top pro prospects.

2013 CFN Preseason Player Rankings  
Preview 2013 | Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Receivers
Tight Ends | Offensive Tackles | Offensive Guards | Centers

Defensive Ends | Defensive Tackles | Linebackers
Cornerbacks | Safeties | Punters | Placekickers | Returners 
1. KR/PR De’Anthony Thomas, Jr. Oregon
Thomas is one of the most dangerous open-field threats in the nation averaging 17.1 yards on punts, 26.4 yards on kickoffs, and scoring four times during his career. Arguably the nation’s most versatile and incendiary offensive weapon, the junior is expected to enjoy an increased workload now that feature back Kenjon Barner has graduated. Thomas was instant offense again in 2012, rushing for 701 yards and 11 touchdowns on just 92 carries, catching 45 balls for 445 yards and five more scores and generally unnerving special teams coaches as a return man. A 5-9, 176-pound cruise missile, he’s as fast to daylight as any player in the country.

2. PR Tramaine Thompson, Sr. Kansas State
Thompson was unstoppable on punt returns averaging 19.8 yards per try with an 89-yard score against Missouri State. He’s a smallish 5-8, 167-pound veteran who finished third on the team with 37 catches for 526 yards and four scores highlighted by a five catch, 102-yard, two score day against North Texas. While he’s not all that big, he’s extremely fast with the ability to score from anywhere on the field.

3. KR Marqise Lee, Jr. USC
Lee led the Pac-12 at 28.5 yards a return, while scoring a touchdown for the second straight year. Unstoppable through his first two seasons, the 6-0, 195-pound superstar was a unanimous All-American pick and USC’s first-ever Biletnikoff Award winner in 2012. Despite drawing every opponent’s best cornerback, Lee set or tied 14 school records, including five Pac-12 marks, with 118 catches for 1,721 and 14 touchdowns.

4. KR Tyler Lockett, Jr. Kansas State
Lockett is one of the nation’s best kickoff returners, following up a 35.2-yard average with two scores with 32.8-yard average with two touchdowns. He earned All-Big 12 honors as a kick returner as well as a receiver. The senior isn’t all that big at 5-11 and 175 pounds, but he’s fast, shifty and dangerous averaging 15.6 yards per catch finishing second on the team with 44 grabs for 687 yards and four scores. While he can also be used as a runner from time to time, he’s at his best when he gets the ball on the move averaging a whopping 33.8 yards per kickoff return with two scores in each of the last two years.

5. PR Marcus Murphy, Jr. Missouri
Murphy came up with a fantastic season as a kick and punt returner averaging 13.9 yards per punt return with three scores and 24.1 yards and a touchdown on kickoff returns. However, two of the punt returns for touchdowns came in the opener against SE Louisiana – the other was a key moment in the win over UCF. He was the lone highlight against Alabama taking a kickoff to the house for the team’s only touchdown.

6. KR/PR Stefon Diggs, Soph. Maryland
7. PR Jamal Golden, Jr. Georgia Tech
8. KR Autrey Golden, Soph. UTEP
9. PR Kyshoen Jarrett, Jr. Virginia Tech
10. KR - Chase Clayton, Jr. New Mexico
11. KR Reggie Whatley, Jr. Middle Tennessee
12. KR/PR Antonio Andrews, Sr. WKU
13. KR/PR Bernard Reedy, Sr. Toledo
14. KR Colin Lockett, Sr. San Diego State
15. KR Trey Watts, Sr. Tulsa
16. PR Scott Hardin, Jr. Hawaii
17. PR Corey Brown, Sr. Ohio State
18. KR George Atkinson III, Jr. Notre Dame
19. PR Jared Abbrederis, Sr. Wisconsin
20. KR Duke Johnson, Soph. Miami
21. PR Jonathan Krause, Sr. Vanderbilt
22. PR J.J. Worton, Jr. UCF
23. KR Justin Gilbert, Sr. Oklahoma State
24. PR Justin Hardy, Jr. East Carolina
25. PR JD Falsev, Sr. BYU
26. KR Jeremy Deering, Sr. Rutgers
27. PR Charles Henderson, Soph. Utah
28. KR Dennis Norfleet, Soph. Michigan
29. KR Jameon Lewis, Jr. Miss State
30. PR Charlie Moore, Sr. Ohio State