Where the top 25 teams turn to catch a Hail Mary

This catch by Alabama's Calvin Ridley between two Florida defenders set up the go-ahead TD in the SEC title game. Butch Dill/USA TODAY Sports

With Mark Schlabach's most recent Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings as our guide, we have ranked everything from the weakest position groups to the teams' summer issues. This week, where do teams turn when they need to complete a Hail Mary?

1. Alabama Crimson Tide

Calvin Ridley

All you need to know is what happened during the SEC title game. It's late in the first half, Alabama trails Florida 7-5. Jake Coker throws a ball that travels roughly 60 yards and Ridley -- a true freshman -- comes down with it despite the two defenders draped around him. Those two DBs? Vernon Hargreaves, the 11th pick in the NFL draft, and Marcus Maye, a preseason All-SEC selection. Though Ridley might not be the tallest, his speed, athleticism and hands make him the best bet on any Alabama deep ball. -- Alex Scarborough

2. Clemson Tigers

Mike Williams

Clemson missed its top deep threat a year ago, when Williams injured his neck after colliding with the goal post following a Week 1 touchdown. But he's back and healthy and eager to prove himself in 2016, and when it comes to big plays down the field, he's as good as anyone. Williams' straight-line speed is impressive, which allows him to create separation with defenders, but at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds, he's also incredibly physical and happy to challenge a DB for a jump ball. If Deshaun Watson is tossing a Hail Mary, there's probably not anyone else he'd rather see going after it in the end zone. -- David M. Hale

3. Michigan Wolverines

Jake Butt

A 6-6 frame qualifies Butt as a candidate for Michigan. In the past couple of years, he has mastered the art of using every inch of that frame to find separation in tight windows and catch contested balls. That will make him the go-to guy if the Wolverines have to heave up a prayer. -- Dan Murphy

4. Florida State Seminoles

Auden Tate

When he's healthy, the 6-5, 225-pound Tate is the Seminoles' best big target. He's battling injuries in fall camp, but he was the star of the spring game with six catches for 100 yards and a touchdown. -- Jared Shanker

5. Oklahoma Sooners

Jeffery Mead

Mead stands 6-5, 200 pounds, and as a former standout high school basketball player, is an excellent leaper, too. There would be few defensive backs out there who would be able to get above Mead in a Hail Mary situation. -- Jake Trotter

6. LSU Tigers

Malachi Dupre
At this time last year, you would have said Travin Dural. With his speed, he was able to burn defenses for seven touchdowns on only 37 receptions in 2013. Though Dural is back, he's no longer the go-to guy. After last season, it's Malachi Dupre. He's pretty fast, too, with six touchdowns and a 16.2 yards-per-catch average. An inch taller than Dural, the former No. 1-ranked receiver coming out of high school is the one you bet on to come down with the ball. -- Scarborough

7. Stanford Cardinal

Francis Owusu

The play design wasn't technically a Hail Mary, but when Kevin Hogan heaved an underthrown bomb to Owusu last season, it became a version of one. Owusu managed to make one of the most bizarre catches in college football history -- pinning the ball against the defender's back without seeing it -- to secure the touchdown. Combine that miraculous catching ability with 6-3 height, and the Cardinal have a Hail Mary target in Owusu. --David Lombardi

8. Notre Dame Fighting Irish

Torii Hunter Jr.

Hunter has the surest hands on Notre Dame and might just be the Irish's most versatile player, having thrown a few passes and having played a few snaps at DB. And did we mention that, like his dad, he's also an outfielder? If he can leap anything like his dad could when robbing homers, he's certainly capable of coming down with a Hail Mary. -- Matt Fortuna

9. Ohio State Buckeyes

Torrance Gibson

There might still be some work to be done to prove he has the kind of consistent hands needed to be a reliable target for J.T. Barrett and the Ohio State passing attack. But when it comes to pure, freakish athleticism combined with 6-4 size to rise above a crowd, there is surely no better weapon to go up and grab a deep bomb than the redshirt freshman. A converted quarterback, he might be able to throw one, too. -- Austin Ward

10. Tennessee Volunteers

Jeff George
Junior college transfer receiver Jeff George (no, not that Jeff George) stands a towering 6-6 and is just under 200 pounds. He looks even bigger in pads. Chances are if Joshua Dobbs is in a pinch and has to go deep, if George is there, he won't have much of an issue making plays in the clouds over defenders. -- Edward Aschoff

11. USC Trojans

Darreus Rogers

Rogers has a big season in front of him. He has one final year to prove to NFL scouts his obvious natural ability can equal consistent production. One thing he doesn't need to prove, though, is if he can come with a Hail Mary catch. He proved that in 2014 when he caught a 48-yard Hail Mary against Oregon State. -- Kyle Bonagura

12. Georgia Bulldogs

Isaac Nauta

Nauta has to be at the top of this list for the Dawgs. He has solid hands, stands 6-4 and weighs 246 pounds. So he has the height to Moss any unsuspecting defensive back and he has the weight to push guys around in the end zone. -- Aschoff

13. Ole Miss Rebels

Talbot Buys
As it stands now, freshman D.K. Metcalf stands as Ole Miss' tallest wide receiver at 6-4. So if the Rebels are looking for height from their wideouts on a Hail Mary, Metcalf is your guy. But here me out on this one. Consider offensive lineman Talbot Buys. He's a reserve who stands an impressive 6-8. OK, trim him down, throw some conditioning at him and put him in the end zone. -- Aschoff

14. Oklahoma State Cowboys

James Washington

There are few receivers in college football better at bringing down a jump ball than the Pokes' Washington. The Big 12's only returning 1,000-yard wideout, Washington boasts tremendous agility and timing. He would be scary for opposing defenses in a Hail Mary situation. -- Trotter

15. Michigan State Spartans

R.J. Shelton

Shelton had a modest 43 catches as a junior, but he made a few that saved Sparty's Big Ten title hopes. Someone from the group of talented (and taller) underclassmen might usurp him by season's end on this list. For now Shelton is the one to trust. -- Murphy

16. Washington Huskies

Connor Griffin

Aside from being 6-4, Griffin is a former Division I basketball player. The wide receiver was on Gonzaga's team for a pair of NCAA tournament runs before transferring to play football for the Huskies, so there's every reason to believe he has the perfect skill set to box defenders out in traffic, elevate, and grab a rebound -- or, in the case of football, a Hail Mary heave. -- Lombardi

17. Houston Cougars

Isaiah Johnson
The Cougars have a few choices but at 6-4 and possessing hurdling ability (he medaled at the Texas state championships as a senior), Isaiah Johnson is probably the best option for a last-second jump ball for the Cougars. As for an unconventional choice, how about 6-7 punter Dane Roy, who hails from Australia and has experience jumping to catch "torpedoes" in Australian Rules Football? -- Sam Khan Jr.

18. North Carolina Tar Heels

Bug Howard
This is an intriguing question for the Tar Heels this season after Quinshad Davis had filled this role -- the big man who loved to go up for a TD -- for the past few years. Mack Hollins is more of a straight-line runner, but he can certainly get separation on a deep ball. Tight end Brandon Fritts caught four TDs as a freshman last year, and he could develop into a physical threat on a jump ball, too. But the most likely candidate is Bug Howard, a 6-5 senior with a big wing span and good speed. He can find space and fight for a ball, which makes him an ideal candidate to haul in a Hail Mary. -- Hale

19. Oregon Ducks

Dwayne Stanford

If Stanford didn't pursue football, he probably could have made an impact for a college basketball program. The 6-5 senior averaged 7.7 rebounds and 2.4 blocks in his final high school basketball season, and those traits have translated to football as well. In three seasons with the Ducks, he has caught 84 passes and 11 touchdowns. -- Bonagura

20. TCU Horned Frogs

Emanuel Porter

When TCU needed a receiver to go up and make the big play last season, Josh Doctson was its guy. When Doctson was injured, Porter stepped up. The huge catches he made against Oklahoma and Oregon, with the game on the line, proved the junior can handle big moments. He's the tallest receiver on the team, too, at 6-4. If TCU ever needs a Hail Mary, Porter's going up for it. -- Max Olson

21. Texas A&M Aggies

Josh Reynolds
Given their talent at receiver, the Aggies have a lot of options here, particularly of the tall variety. Ricky Seals-Jones (6-5) and Josh Reynolds (6-4) are options, as is the freakishly athletic Speedy Noil despite being 5-11. But since he was a talented hurdler on the track and has shown he can grab a jump ball consistently, Reynolds is probably the best bet. He has a large catch radius, attacks the ball and can get high in the air. Also, he has been the Aggies' best at catching touchdowns the last two seasons, making him a natural for a late-game Hail Mary. -- Khan

22. UCLA Bruins

Alex Van Dyke

Van Dyke had a quiet first two seasons for the Bruins but has quietly emerged as a potential breakout candidate over the first week of training camp. At 6-4, he has two inches on the next two tallest UCLA receivers (not including tight ends) and aside from Eldridge Massington, who is 6-2, most of the team's receivers expected to make an impact are 6 feet or shorter. -- Bonagura

23. Iowa Hawkeyes

Matt VandeBerg

VandeBerg is by far the most experienced receiver on the team, and the senior is one of the most surehanded players in the Big Ten. His drops-per-target percentage of 1.1 ranked No. 18 among FBS receivers last season. The 6-1 VandeBerg is not normally a big-time deep threat nor an elite athlete, but in a Hail Mary situation he'd be the Hawkeye most likely to get his hands on the ball. -- Brian Bennett

24. Miami Hurricanes

David Njoku

Njoku turned into a big-play threat for Miami last season as the tight end led the team with an average of 17.2 yards per catch. One of the most athletically gifted players on the Hurricanes, the 6-4, 245-pound Njoku would be hard to defend on a jump ball. -- Shanker

25. Louisville Cardinals

Jamari Staples

The UAB transfer has flown under the radar, but down the stretch last season he emerged as one of the ACC's top receivers. At 6-4 with above-average speed and an impressive 42-inch vertical leap, few defenders can outmaneuver Staples for a jump ball. He has strong hands, too, so if there's a pass that comes his way, he's always in good position to fight for it. More important, perhaps, he went all of last season without a single dropped pass, and a whopping 80 percent of his catches went for first downs. That's reliability. -- Hale