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The Great Greg Dortch

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Greg Dortch has a football awareness that seemingly always has him in the right place at the right time: one step ahead of his opponents.

Greg Dortch is one of college football's top playmakers -- and appears to be reservering a spot in the record books. 

The Wake Forest star ranks second in the nation with 45 receptions and sixth with 555 yards, adding five touchdown grabs. Currently, Dortch is the only player in the country with two punt returns for scores. No other player this millennium has had that many catches and touchdowns on offense, and that special teams production, five games into a year. Since 2000, only ten sophomores have reached those totals for an entire season, a list that includes Nelson Agholor, Giovani Bernard, Dez Bryant, DeSean Jackson and Christian Kirk. 

His physical gifts aside, Dortch has a football awareness that seemingly always has him in the right place at the right time: one step ahead of his opponents. Few players anywhere are as natural or instinctive. Dortch, despite his relative inexperience, is already a nuanced, savvy talent. Add in his speed and quickness and Dortch is a rare difference-maker in today's game. He is early on in a career that is poised to be talked about for quite some time.

Dortch set a number of Wake Forest program marks in year one and would have had even more had his run not been cut short by an abdominal injury. His second-catch ever was a touchdown in the season-opener; so, too, was his fourth. In the final game of his freshman year, Dortch caught ten passes for 167 yards and four touchdowns, also adding 50 kick return yards. He, despite not playing in November, finished with 53 receptions, 722 yards and nine scores. Dortch still recorded the second-most receiving touchdowns by a freshman in the ACC all-time.

Healthy, Dortch wasted no time settling back in this fall, with 12 grabs for 149 in game one at Tulane. He promptly caught a touchdown pass and returned two punts for scores the very next week. Dortch, last weekend against Rice, went for 163 yards and, yet again, reached the endzone four times on eleven grabs. Over his past six outings, Dortch has caught four touchdowns in a single game twice. The 2017 Louisville game and 2018 Rice game, for Dortch, resulted in 21 receptions for 330 yards and eight scores.

To date, Dortch has played in 13 career games, one full year with a bowl game in today's college football. His offensive numbers over that span: 98 catches, 1,277 yards and 14 touchdowns. Such single-season production would rank as one of the truly banner efforts in ACC history, tying for fifth in receptions, ranking 12th in yards and tying for fourth in touchdowns. Then there's all that he does on special teams.  

With Wake Forest hosting fourth-ranked Clemson, Saturday's national stage will be a fitting one for Dortch. He is one of the best players, at two positions and regardless of position, in the country.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports