Tory Horton can play some football.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound wide receiver can spin left, he can spin right, it doesn’t make any difference.
He can block, tackle, score touchdowns, snap the ball, hold the snap and kick the extra point. Hell, he’ll fill up the Gatorade cooler, walk the dog and paint your back porch. I’m telling you — Horton can flat out play football. OH, and he can pass!
Alright, so maybe I just wanted to paraphrase Friday Night Lights. But seriously, Tory Horton is playing out of his mind right now.
Through the first two weeks of the season, Horton has already racked up 25 receptions for 214 yards and a receiving touchdown. His 16 receptions against the Buffs in Week 3 is a single-game program record. And as we saw in the first quarter on Saturday night, Horton just might throw a touchdown on you if the defense isn’t careful.
Whether it’s beating a defensive back over the top like he did repeatedly against Middle Tennessee State in 2022, or making defenders miss in the open field like he did against Colorado over the weekend, Horton has shown time and time again that he can hurt you anywhere on the field.
Obviously his speed is a big part of his game that stands out. Horton is an absolute burner out there. In fact, according to Reel Analytics, at 22.9 miles per hour, Horton’s tracked speed against CU was the fastest in the country in Week 3. The thing is — he’s not one of those players that only looks impressive when running a go route.
Horton is slippery as hell in the open field. His ability to stop on a dime and make quick cuts is up there with the best of them. It’s why he’s so dangerous as a punt returner. And it’s why this season he’s averaging close to 80 yards after the catch per game. If you give him just a little bit of space, Horton can make some really impressive things happen.
Along with being able to put a defender on skates and then leave them in the dust, Horton’s body control and soft hands are on par with some of the all-time greats in school history.
The catch he had along the sidelines in the third quarter against CU was as difficult of a reception as you will see at this level. Just getting his hands on the ball was impressive, but to be able to drag his toes while all his momentum is going out of bounds is an insane display of athleticism
We’ve been fortunate to see some extremely talented wide receivers come through Fort Collins over the years. David Anderson, Rashard Higgins and Michael Gallup to name a few. Tory Horton is as talented as any of them.
We’ll see what he can do against MTSU on Saturday. In the 2022 game against the Blue Raiders, the Fresno native went off with nine receptions for 186 yards and three touchdowns, so clearly he’ll be the focus of the defensive game plan against the Rams.
Considering he has 20 receptions over the last five quarters alone, I’m not really sure it will matter though. Horton is that dangerous.