Returning Dominators: No. 6 Wyatt Demps
In this series, I’m breaking down the top-10 returning college wide receivers from 2016 by dominator rating (DR), using our FBS WR database. If you’re unfamiliar with dominator rating, it’s a receiver’s combined market share for yardage and TDs. While it’s only one element in receiver evaluation – and requires age and experience adjustments to tell the full story – it provides an excellent snapshot of a player’s role within his offense.
Consider this an early look at potential rookies next year. Some of the names may surprise you. Coming in at No. 7 is Wyatt Demps.
A 21-year-old senior from Pleasant Grove High School in Oak Grove, California, Demps stands 6-foot-4-inches tall and weighs 200 pounds. If you’re thinking his frame leans more to the basketball side, it’s in his blood. Demps’ grandfather and uncle both played college hoops at Oregon, and his older brother played at Sacramento State. However, his father played football for Sacramento State and kept his son out of the sport until seventh grade.
Once on the varsity level, Demps played wide receiver and defensive back. Demps recorded 93 catches for 1,665 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career. His size also came into play with ten interceptions as a defender. Nominated to honorable mention All-Metro as a junior and second-team All-Metro as a senior, Demps received offers from Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, and San Jose State. A two-star prospect by 247 sports, he signed with Nevada in February of 2014.
Wyatt Demps avoided a redshirt season as an 18-year-old freshman in 2014 but played in only three games. He was pressed into service due to injuries ahead of him and managed four catches for 57 yards (two percent market share) but failed to reach the end zone. Despite playing in 11 games as a sophomore, Demps’ role in the offense grew only marginally. His 27 receptions were third most on the team, and his 232 receiving yards (11 percent market share) were fourth most. Once again, Demps failed to grab a TD which depressed his dominator rating to just six percent.
The wheels of change began turning in his favor as a 20-year-old last season. Despite playing with two quarterbacks, Demps led the team in every receiving category. He almost doubled his catches from 27 to 53 for 686 yards (27 percent market share) and he finally found the end zone, making up for his first two years with nine (50 percent market share) TDs. That production earned him a spot on the All-Mountain West honorable mention team, alongside KeeSean Johnson. His breakout and 39 percent dominator rating bode well moving forward given his level of competition.
|Year||Class||G||Rec||Rec Yds||Rec TD||Team Passing||Team TDs||MS Yards||MS TD||Dom|
Demps was named to the preseason All-Mountain West team after a standout junior year. His lack of production as a freshman and sophomore is certainly an issue when reviewing his career to date. He did get on the field early, but that was probably due to a lack of depth at the WR position. However, his ascension as a junior and 39 percent dominator rating is enough for us to take notice. At 6-foot-4, Demps is a matchup problem no matter where he lines up.
The Wolfpack hired Jay Norvell as their new head coach for 2017. He brings an Air Raid system that has immediately boosted Demps’ counting stats but may hurt his market share. Through seven games, he has 42 receptions for 518 yards (28 percent market share) and seven TDs (39 percent market share) for a 34 percent dominator rating. That trails his 2016 production with five games remaining in the season. You can watch Demps and Nevada against Air Force this Saturday.