Blog Entry

2012 Wide Receivers to Keep an Eye On

Posted on: March 31, 2011 10:42 am
Posted by Bryan Fischer

Springfield (Mo.) wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham is the top wide out in the nation according to CBSSports/MaxPreps Recruiting Analyst Tom Lemming but there's a lot of football to be played between now and Signing Day. Here's five other wide outs - in alphabetical order - who you need to keep an eye out for this year. Each of them has a chance to move Green-Beckham off the top spot and become the top pass catcher for the class of 2012.

Avery Johnson (Blanche Ely High, Pompano Beach, Fla.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 180 pounds 
Committed to LSU

What's to like: Johnson isn't the athlete his big brother, former LSU corner Patrick Patterson, is but he is fast and can adjust his body whichever way he needs to make a catch. He's good very reliable hands and is one of the better players when it comes to attacking the ball in the air.

Needs to work on: Johnson is rail thin and and is somewhat reminiscent of A.J. Green in that respect but it doesn't mean he couldn't add a few pounds of muscle. Working on his speed and refining his route running are two other things Johnson can work on this upcoming year.

Cayleb Jones (Austin High, Austin, Texas) 
Height: 6-foot-3 
Weight: 200 pounds 
Committed to Texas

What's to like: Jones has great size coming out of high school and combines that with terrific speed running down the field. He's athletic enough to get a jump ball in the end zone and can two-step his way their off of a screen. Jones can really control his body well and position himself between the ball and defensive backs.

Needs to work on: Jones could stand to polish his route running by making sharper breaks and getting in and out of them better.

Durron Neal (DeSmet High, St. Louis, Mo.) 
Height: 6-foot-1 
Weight: 180 
Offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Notre Dame, USC, Wisconsin

What's to like: Neal is a true athlete and can be used all over but is a firecracker in the slot. Just as quick as he is fast, Neal can cover some ground and has is simply electric when he has the ball in his hands. He actually looks like a dynamic running back when he gets the ball on reverses or fly sweeps and that's not a bad thing in Neal's case.

Needs to work on: Despite great athleticism, he could still improve his vertical jump and really going up after the ball in the air. At this point, it would be nice to see Neal focus on just being a receiver but it would be a tough task considering he has to do just about everything for his high school team.

Jordan Payton (Oaks Christian, Westlake Village, Calif.) 
Height: 6-foot-2 
Weight: 200 pounds 
Committed to USC

What's to like: Payton has been one of the top wide outs in the country since he was a freshman and committed to USC extremely early in the process. He's a pretty polished route runner and has very big hands that make it easy to grab the ball out of the air. Payton is also pretty savvy out on the field, knowing when to slow down when he finds a spot in zone coverage.

Needs to work on: Payton is not the fastest wide receiver out there so improving his top gear speed and quickness is one thing he can do. He also is inconsistent catching the ball at times.

Bryce Treggs (St. John Bosco High, Bellflower, Calif.) 
Height: 5-foot-10 
Weight: 165 pounds 
Offers from Arizona State, Cal, Notre Dame, Stanford, UCLA and Washington.

What's to like: Treggs really gets off the ball well and explodes into his route. He's really dangerous on a slip screen and is best suited to the slot in college. He's got a great pair of hands that just seems to suck the ball in and not let it go no matter where it's thrown. Once he gets into the open field, defenses have a tough time catching up to him.

Needs to work on: Though he's never going to be 200 pounds and be able to keep his speed, Treggs does need to get into the weight room like most of the kids on this list. Treggs works mostly on the outside but will probably have to transition into the slot in college.

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