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May 8, 2013
Rivals Camp Series: Top wide receivers
The regional portion of the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour is over, wrapping up in Chicago and totaling 15 events around the country. Rivals.com breaks down the best of the best at each position with a look at the wide receivers today. Led by Josh Malone, who took home Offensive Skill MVP honors at the loaded RCS Atlanta, here are the standouts in order.
(Note: The following list does not necessarily reflect future changes in prospect rankings; it is based only on performances at regional Rivals Camp Series events. Many other factors and events will be taken into account before updated rankings are revealed the week of May 20. This list is for the class of 2014 only. Underclassmen will be listed separately.)
RIVALS CAMP SERIES TOP WIDE RECEIVERS
1. WR Josh Malone, Gallatin (Tenn.) Station CampIn a field loaded with defensive back talent, Malone looked dominant in one-on-ones. He's long and lean but surprisingly strong, allowing him to beat defenders at the line with strength and down the field with precise route-running and quickness. Malone is still wide-open in recruiting, but recently raved about a visit to Notre Dame.
2. WR Erik Brown, Fontana (Calif.) SummitBrown was strongly considered as the offensive MVP at the Los Angeles RCS after dominating the entire day and proving he cannot be defended in one-on-one situations. He has great size, outstanding hands and his route-running cannot be overlooked, either. Brown has done everything possible this off-season to prove he's one of the best wide receivers in this class.
3. WR Jamil Kamara, Virginia Beach (Va.) CatholicKamara's exceptional hands and overall physicality are the two top reasons he is on this list after his performance at the RCS in Richmond. He rarely gets jammed because he is so strong and he runs his routes with precision. The Rivals100 Five-Star Challenge invitee may not have blazing speed, but he is very explosive out of his cuts, which help him gain separation.
4. WR Rahshead Johnson, Long Beach (Calif.) JordanJohnson is a little undersized for his position, but it doesn't seem to hurt his game at all. He was near unstoppable at the Los Angeles RCS, and he rarely, if ever, drops a pass. He is more physical than he's given credit for and he has no issues getting wide open at times. Johnson can also play cornerback, but his best position is making plays at receiver.
5. WR Nate Brown, Suwanee (Ga.) North GwinnettBrown came out of nowhere to take MVP honors at the RCS Charlotte stop. With great size and consistent hands, plus an effortless running style, Brown gave defenders fits during one-on-ones, especially on deep routes. Since his showing in Charlotte, Brown has added offers from Illinois and Marshall, with several other schools expected to come by this spring.
6. WR Monte Harrison, Lee's Summit (Mo.) Lee's Summit WestHarrison came away with the offensive skill MVP at the St. Louis RCS. The feat is impressive because the top wide receiver in America, Allen Lazard, was also in attendance. In St. Louis, Harrison stretched the field at will and created significant separation on every rep he took. He caught more passes of 40-plus yards than any other player. Harrison's recruitment has picked up since his breakout day. He now lists 10 scholarship offers, but might turn pro in baseball after high school.
7. WR Allen Lazard, Urbandale (Iowa)Ranked as the No. 1 wide receiver heading into the St. Louis RCS, Lazard had a big target on his back and he stepped up to the challenge. Measuring in at 6-foot-4 and 204 pounds, Lazard has uncanny speed and agility for a big wide receiver. The Iowa State commit is also a textbook pass catcher who never lets the football get into his body.
8. WR K.J. Williams, Bethlehem (Pa.) LibertyWilliams wasn't as dominant as he has been at other camps, but he still showed the great speed and explosiveness that put defensive backs on their heels at the Newark RCS. One of things that stood out was how many times Williams could be seen diving for catches. Williams is continuing to improve his route running and flexibility.
9. WR Adonis Jennings, Sicklerville (N.J.) Timber CreekJennings has improved by leaps and bounds since last year. He has gotten taller, stronger, faster, and he made catches he previously couldn't make. Jennings, however, still has a tendency to drop easy balls and needs to get better at beating the press coverage, but he was clearly the best receiver at the RCS in Pittsburgh.
10. WR Marcus Perkins Jr.,Garland (Tex.) Naaman ForestPerkins entered the Rivals Camp Series committed to Texas State and interest coming from across the region. At the Rivals Camp in Dallas, Perkins showed he may be small in stature, but his combination of speed, instincts, and fearlessness were too much for every defender.
11. WR Lorenzo Joe, Abilene (Tex.) Abilene CooperJoe, who played quarterback as a junior, entered the Dallas RCS committed to Texas and regarded as one of the top prospects in the country. He certainly delivered with his smooth, crisp routes and his ability to get behind a defense.
12. WR Chris Godwin, WR, Middletown (Del.)Godwin's big, strong body and great hands are his best assets. He runs very precise routes and will catch almost anything thrown his way. He is very good at boxing out defenders so he has a clean chance to make the catch. If Godwin gets off the press, he has sneaky speed and can break free down field to make a big play, which he displayed at the Newark RCS.
13. WR KD Cannon, Mount Pleasant (Tex.)The Dallas RCS was kind of a tough day for Rivals100 receiver KD Cannon, but he made the catch of the event and showed his speed, burst, and his acrobatic ability at times throughout the day. Cannon continues to add offers to his long list of college options and is keeping an open mind with the recruiting process.
14. WR Keenen Brown, Houston (Tex.) Alief TaylorAt the Houston RCS, Keenen Brown impressed everyone with his physical build, in addition to making a series of acrobatic grabs on the day. When it comes to recruiting, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma, West Virginia, and Michigan State are at the top of his list.
15. WR Freddy Canteen, Elkton (Md.) Eastern Christian AcademyThere are few wide receivers who can run routes like Canteen and he showed that at the Newark RCS. Canteen's speed in the open field combined with his explosiveness out of his breaks and head fakes help him create a lot of separation from defensive backs. The only thing that could be a problem for Canteen is that he isn't very big. He can get bumped off his routes or jammed at the line.
16. WR Trevion Thompson, Durham (N.C.) HillsideThompson came into the RCS Charlotte already ranked in the Rivals250 and he backed up his status with an excellent showing. There's not any one area of Thompson's game that jumps out, but he's remarkably consistent and polished in all aspects on his skill set. As far as recruiting goes, Thompson plans to take his decision all the way to signing day, with Notre Dame, Ohio State and North Carolina all in the mix right now.
17. WR Dominique Booth, Indianapolis (Ind.) PikeIf there is one thing you can point to in Booth's game that makes him an elite wide receiver, it is his route-running. However, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound prospect is also an all-around solid pass catcher as well. He was the top performer among wide receivers at the Chicago RCS, and is preparing to narrow his list of 20-plus offers to five.
18. WR JoJo Robinson, Miami (Fla.) NorthwesternIt appeared that Robinson was going through the motions during drills at the RCS Miami event, so one analyst dubbed him "SloJo." However, once one-on-ones began, he turned it up a notch and put it in high gear. The FSU pledge got behind defenses on vertical routes with little effort or wasted motion. Even more impressive was his quickness and use of his hands off the line against press coverage.
19. WR Charles Standberry, Montgomery (Ala.) CarverStandberry intrigued us before the event, after we watched his film. When he checked in at the RCS Birmingham he passed the eye test and caught everything away from his body. He has a true tight end build with wide receiver speed, and his size was a mismatch against smaller defensive backs. If he keeps growing, a move to tight end at the next level might not be out of the question.
20. WR Travis Rudolph, West Palm Beach (Fla.) Cardinal NewmanThe three-star wideout wasn't flashy at the RCS in Miami, but he was effective. Rudolph was always open, even when the quarterbacks were off target. He runs precise routes and gets out of his breaks quickly. His speed isn't off the charts, but it is deceptive because he knows to set up defenders and get a step. He plucks the ball when it's in his catch radius and is very reliable along the perimeter.
21. WR Chigozie Onyekwere, WR, Washington (D.C.) Friendship CollegiateOnyekwere has all the natural skills that college teams want in a slot receiver and showcased those skills at the Newark RCS. He is a tough, strong, fast receiver who has pretty reliable hands. He seems to have a knack for finding open spaces in the defense, but he stills needs to work on his route running. Onyekwere could also be used as a running back on jet sweeps at the next level.
22. WR Braxton Berrios, Raleigh (N.C.) Leesville RoadBerrios showed up to the RCS Charlotte stop looking more built, which makes it clear he put in work during the offseason so he could better handle the shots he takes over the middle. As usual, he showed outstanding hands, while showing good body control to make up for his lack of height. Plenty of teams continue to offer Berrios, with Tennessee among the latest. South Carolina is one of the teams to watch going forward.
23. WR Odell Spencer, Cleveland (Ohio) Shaker HeightsThe 5-foot-10, 170-pound Spencer is a pure football player who knows how to get open and what to do with the football when he catches it. Spencer is likely headed for the slot receiver role in college, but only a few schools had offered him a chance to play there before he attended the Pittsburgh stop of the RCS.
24. WR Jauan Wesley, WR, Harvey (Ill.) Thornton TownshipThe most explosive wide receiver at the Chicago RCS was the 5-foot-11, 170-pound Wesley. He understands how to set up defensive backs with his decoy route, and then has the speed to burn them when they bite. Illinois was the only BCS program to offer Wesley before the camp, but he is headed for more offers this summer.
25. WR Charles Walker, Louisville (Kent.) St. XavierWalker turned in a consistent day at the RCS Cincinnati stop, showing good hands and excellent route-running ability. He looks built to play in the slot at the next level and will likely thrive in a spread offense. He's getting looks from in-state schools Kentucky and Louisville, but neither has pulled the trigger on an offer as of yet.
26. WR Delane Hart, Philadelphia (Pa.) GermantownHart is a big receiver who could potentially grow into a tight end. He has good hands, gets off the press well and has good straight-line speed, which he showed at the Newark RCS. Hart is a little stiff in his routes and needs to be a little more explosive out of his cuts. However, he would be tough to stop if he lined up at tight end.
27. WR Chris Jones, WR, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMathaJones is a well-coached, precise route-runner with good hands, which he showed at the loaded Newark RCS. He has sneaky speed because he is a long strider and he can get down field in a hurry if he gets off the press cleanly. He gets out of his breaks very well, which helps him gain separation. Jones also has a pretty big frame and good length, which he uses to box out defenders and reach for catches others could not get.
28. WR Maurice Ways, Detroit (Mich.) Country DayThe 6-foot-3, 195-pound Ways is a long strider who is a smooth, athletic route-runner. He is not terribly explosive off the line of scrimmage due to the length of his stride, but he is very adept at using his big frame to shield defenders from the football. The Michigan commit was much more sure-handed at the Chicago RCS than when we saw him in the fall.
29. WR Blake Mack, Lonoke (Ark.)Mack made the long drive from his home in Arkansas to attend the St. Louis RCS, then came away with one of the top offensive performer spots after an impressive outing. At 6-foot-2 and 200 pounds, Mack had no trouble releasing from press coverage and then surprised us with his speed downfield. It is also surprising he came into the camp with little college attention.
30. WR Cameron Phillips, Hyattsville (Md.) DeMathaPhillips, like his teammate Chris Jones, has a big frame that helps him shield defensive backs from the ball. He used that frame to his advantage at the Richmond RCS. Phillips is more explosive than Jones and is more of a downfield threat, but he isn't quite as precise in his routes.
Additional Note: Certain players will be ranked under our athlete category at the end of the series, despite playing one position at an RCS. This includes Elijah Hood, Montae Nicholson, Speedy Noil and others.