The Big East's 1,000-yard receivers in 2011

OK, we've taken a look at the top candidates for 1,000-yard backs in the Big East for 2011, as well as nominees for 3,000-yard passers. Let's keep it going with a list of the most likely receivers to top 1,000 yards in the 2011 season.

How exclusive is that milestone? Only one player -- Cincinnati's Armon Binns -- got there last season, though three made it in 2009. Thirty-two players in the FBS had at least 1,000 yards receiving last season.

With a couple of teams opening things up on offense this season, we could be in line for a few 1,000-yard pass catchers. Here are my top candidates:

1. Tavon Austin, West Virginia, Jr.: Austin is not your typical receiver because of his small stature, but he could be a faster Wes Welker-type as the inside man for Dana Holgorsen's offense. Austin had 787 yards receiving last season, and I expect that number to go way up.

2. Mark Harrison, Rutgers, Jr.: One of the most improved players in the league last season, Harrison came on strong in the second half and finished with 829 receiving yards. With more confidence, a stronger start to the season and -- hopefully for Rutgers -- a more efficient offense, Harrison could put up even bigger numbers.

3. Devin Street, Pittsburgh, Soph.: I'm buying Street's stock, even though he had only 317 receiving yards last season. Todd Graham's offense is going to throw, throw, and throw some more, and Street seems like the most logical No. 1 target of Tino Sunseri's passes because of his size and athleticism. Mike Shanahan is also a strong candidate to go over the 1,000-yard mark after putting up 589 last season, but I see him as more of the possession guy to Street's big-play buster.

4. Kenbrell Thompkins, Cincinnati, Jr.: Thompkins has never played a down of major-college football, but Butch Jones raves about the junior-college transfer. Thompkins is in line to be the Bearcats' No. 1 receiver this season, and we've seen what that role has done for Mardy Gilyard and Binns.

5. D.J. Woods, Cincinnati, Sr.: The Bearcats had two receivers have more than 1,000 yards in 2008 and almost did it again in 2009. Woods, the slot man, nearly joined Binns there last season with 898 receiving yards. His stats could improve if he learns how to hang onto the ball in key situations.

6. Brad Starks/Ivan McCartney, West Virginia: The Mountaineers have plenty of candidates to reach 1,000 yards receiving in Holgorsen's offense. Starks, a senior, could be in line for a breakout year if he stays healthy. McCartney is all potential right now, but he's got a lot of it and just needs to mature.

7. Van Chew, Syracuse, Sr.: An under-the radar choice, Chew showed great improvement last season and finished with 611 receiving yards despite being hampered by injury late in the year. He's not a big guy, so he'll have to take a pounding and be durable, but he could end his career with a flourish. Also keep an eye on his teammate, Marcus Sales.

8. Josh Bellamy, Louisville, Sr.: I doubt the Cardinals' offense is going to be potent enough through the air to produce a 1,000-yard wideout. But Bellamy established himself as the clear No. 1 target there this spring at a position loaded with inexperience. He had 401 yards receiving in his first season after arriving from junior college and should have a chance to at least double that total this year. Bellamy is a better choice than any receiver from UConn or South Florida, both of which have major question marks in their passing game after spring practice.