Over the next three weeks, BSN Buffs will be breaking down our top 20 Colorado Buffaloes entering the fall of 2017. These rankings were voted on by BSN Buffs editor Jake Shapiro and staff Chase Howell and Sam Weaver.
The Colorado Buffaloes have the best receiving corps in the Pac-12 and are poised to fight for the top spot among college wideout groups in 2017. BSN Denver's Top-20 ranking has featured four receivers, but the biggest standout is senior Shay Fields Jr.
One of head coach Mike MacIntyre's earliest and highest-ranked signees, Fields has been a dominant factor at his position since joining the Buffs in 2014. Hauling in 486 yards and four touchdowns as a true freshman, he cemented his clout as a top prospect. He added 598 yards and four touchdowns as a sophomore playing alongside top target Nelson Spruce, and led the Buffs with 883 yards and nine touchdowns as a junior. With each passing season, Fields just keeps getting better.
In 2017 he will play his position with three other returning starters around him in Devin Ross, Bryce Bobo and Jay MacIntyre. Fields has still managed to separate himself as the biggest threat on the field. He has earned the nickname "Big Play Shay," with striking speed and dangerous potential in the open field that is unmatched on the Colorado roster.
See: his three-touchdown (in the first half), 196-yard performance against Oregon State last year.
Easily the best receiver of the starting 2017 lineup, Fields also has the potential to be the biggest contributor at the next level. A true deep threat and proven route runner with exceptional hands, Fields has all of the tools to succeed in the NFL. A productive senior season could position him in the early rounds of next year's Draft, and secure his status as a CU legend.
Fields is also in position to set a handful of Colorado receiving records this season, including the career touchdown title currently held by NFL wideout Spruce. Six touchdowns in 2017 will tie the record, which sits at 23, and seven will break it. A repeat of his 2016 production would certainly etch Fields' name in the record books.
This should be the year that Fields distances himself further from the pack. With the NFL on the horizon and a legacy to cement, he has plenty of motivation for his best season yet. As the Buffs look to continue their rise, their best receiver has nowhere to go but up.