By Joey Knight and Eduardo A. Encina
As the 2009 prep football season approaches, the Times will break down each position in the county. Today we take a look at wide receivers.
Top returning receivers
1. Andre Davis, Jefferson: His stats from last year say a lot (county-high 1,201 receiving yards, 18 touchdowns). His deep-threat ability? How about the fact he scored every 3.7 catches he made.
2. Charles Lovett, Hillsborough: This burner might be the most elusive in the bunch. Duke, USF, New Mexico and East Carolina have come calling for the county’s second-leading receiver (1,106 yards, nine TDs) from 2009.
3. Chris Moore, Jefferson: The Dragons’ No. 2 would be No. 1 on any other team. He’s a polished route runner and has a rare toughness. He also owns about 20 Division I offers, including Florida State, Miami and Cincinnati, his current favorite.
4. Frankie Williams, Robinson: With the ball in his hands, there might not be a more exciting player to watch, Williams (35 catches, 660 yards, 10 TDs) is a threat to score every touch.
5. A.J. King, Armwood: King emerged last year as the Hawks’ top receiver. His 19.4 yards per catch show his big-play ability.
6. Ruben Gonzalez, Robinson: An excellent target, Gonzalez has great speed for his 6-foot-3 frame and is a disciplined route runner.
7. Travis Johnson, Jesuit: As we’ve said before, we project Johnson to bloom into one of Jesuit’s all-time football greats. Last season, this 6-5 two-sport star had 23 catches — as a freshman.
8. Rob Lohnes, Freedom: This senior atones for his size (5-6, 140 pounds) with discipline and grit. He caught 32 catches for 553 yards and four TDs last season.
9. Bryce Walker, Jesuit: Graduation leaves Walker, who averaged 17 yards a catch and had five touchdowns, as the Tigers’ top returning receiving threat.
10. Tyron Baker, Spoto: If the Spartans open their offense as expected, this lanky senior (6-2, 185 pounds) could flourish. He managed 16 catches for 359 yards in a wing-T offense last season and, according to coach Dale Caparaso, runs a 4.54-second 40-yard dash.
Top returning tight ends
1. Jordan Prestwood, Plant City: Granted, this Notre Dame commitment is switching to tackle this fall, but that hardly precludes coach Wayne Ward from sliding his 6-6, 270-pound man-child to the edge on occasion. Prestwood, after all, had 26 catches last year.
2. Ramik Wilson, Jefferson: We fully expect this pass-rushing beast — a bona fide Division I-A prospect — to get plenty of snaps on offense. Last year, Wilson had 19 catches for 293 yards.
3. Jahmeire Caldwell, Leto: Our sleeper pick. Arguably the Falcons’ best overall player, Caldwell (6-0, 210) could log some snaps at tight end and fullback for new coach Mike Jalazo.
Keep an eye on
1. Andre Holloway, Jefferson: As if the Dragons needed any more receiving weapons, this Countryside transfer has been impressive on the seven-on-seven circuit.
2. Lamarlin Wiggins, Plant City: After a 100-yard receiving game in a spring jamboree, Wiggins is primed for a breakout year.
3. Scott Greacen, Plant: Of the new Panthers receivers we’ve observed — and there are a lot of them — this soft-handed senior has impressed us most. In the spring jamboree, Greacen had three catches on Plant’s first 11 plays.
4. Reese Sturgis, King: Arguably the Lions’ most versatile player the past two years, Sturgis (29 catches, 395 yards in ’09) is getting D-I attention.
Other stories in this series: