|Photo courtesy of berecruited.com|
Not talking about basketball here, talking about some wide receivers who show speed, ball-control, consistency and, the most important trait, the big-play ability.
It's a deep list. In fact, I came up with over 30 names that are potential sleepers who can help at any level. We'll begin with what I came up with up north:
JALEN WALKER, CHRISTIAN BROTHERS-SACRAMENTO
A fellow teammate of explosive running back Avante Yarber, Walker is perhaps the most versatile weapon for the Falcons.
The 6-foot-1, 190 pound Walker averaged over 17 yards per reception with five touchdowns. He also added five consecutive 100-yard games for Christian Brothers. Walker also serves as the team's wildcat, punt return and kick return man. He scored nine touchdowns total, including a 103 yard scamper on the defensive side.
Walker hasn't been offered according to scout.com, but has generated interest from the likes of Tulsa, TCU, and schools from the Big XII, PAC-12 and Mountain West. Walker should see the football a lot for the Falcons.
CLIFF BETSON, SALESIAN-RICHMOND
Betson is a tall target at 6-foot-2, 175 pounds. A receiver like that automatically gets you thinking about being a red-zone target, which is exactly what he is.
The tall weapon may have done something to impress a PAC-12 school. His lone offer right now is from bay area school Cal. He was one of the top wideouts in the IMG Madden West Regional 7-on-7 Tournament with his squad Team 808.
A big receiver with soft hands, an impressive leap and solid route running, Betson has room to grow. His speed though isn't known, so there's no telling if he can outrun people with the ball in the open field.
In the end, a huge senior season in the bay area could see schools outside of Cal garner more interest.
DOMINIC GOMES, BISHOP O' DOWD-OAKLAND
He caught just 35 passes last season, and he's only 5-foot-11, 175 pounds, so he may not qualify for the "prototypical" status.
Yet, with those 35 catches, came 13 receiving touchdowns and the kind of speed where he'll get behind you, and leave defenders playing catch-up, proven by his 32.8 yard average per catch.
The explosive Gomes (photo) tied a state record last season with a 99-yard touchdown score during his junior year. He's a smooth route-runner who can also maintain great balance when breaking tackles, and even juke out defenders on swing passes.
His biggest strengths though are going deep with his blazing speed. He's got to be one of the more explosive and fastest receivers in the bay area, possibly the state. He also showed off a rare jumping ability for a player his size, who keep in mind isn't even six feet yet. In fact, he has a reported 35' vertical jump.
While Gomes may need to add more muscle to his 175 pound frame, plus also perhaps cut down on his arrogance, he's a talented prospect who could be due for an even bigger senior year with the Dragons.
MORE ON GOMES: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jJ2XxC7RSAQ
CODY HALL, FARMERSVILLE
Hall is actually returning as the Central section's leading receiver in terms of receptions (64), yards (1,334) and touchdowns (17).
Hall appeared to be more of a possession-type for the Aztecs. But he can make all kinds of catches, even made some grabs between traffic. He also wasn't seen taking any plays off.
One area of concern for Hall is the fact that on one end, his Aztec football team plays in the lowest division of football in the Central section and two, not too many people probably know where Farmersville, CA is located. An on-field flaw I can think of is Hall didn't appear to be the fastest receiver on the field, and may benefit from playing other lower-tier teams.
Hall, though, still scores points with me based off of his route-running, soft hands, his ability to gain separation, his stunning elusiveness and his competitive nature. Is he capable of playing at the next level? I say yes.
MORE ON HALL: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBtUZSfDda8
MARCUS ROSE, CLOVIS NORTH
A track and field burner for the Broncos, Rose brought that same speed to the field for former NFL safety and Clovis North head coach Cory Hall.
Rose turned out to be the No. 1 deep ball option for the Broncos' pro style attack. Rose became quarterback Christian Rossi's top deep threat in the play action. He averaged 23.1 yards per catch to rank ninth in the state.
At 5-foot-10, 180 pounds, Rose can be an effective slot guy at the next level. He's not the most physical receiver and will likely have to fight off lots and lots of jams at the line this upcoming year. But he's a playmaker, and one of the reasons why the defending Division-II Central Section champions are loaded again for 2012.
MORE ON ROSE: http://centralvalleyfootball.com/?p=6896
DARIUS ARMSTEAD, MOUNT WHITNEY-VISALIA
Mount Whitney seems to carve out some very underrated playmakers, and Armstead looks to be next in line.
The 5-foot-10, 170 pound Armstead showed to be as good as advertised for the Pioneers during his junior year when helping run the spread, no-huddle approach for the first time last year.
Armstead impressed me recently at the Redwood-Visalia passing tournament with his route-running, speed and ability to go deep. Most spread offenses ask for more shorter routes out of their receivers. Seems to me the Pioneers won't hesitate to send Armstead deep.
He'll have to prove he can fight off jams since he's likely going to be the Pioneers' No. 1 receiving threat. He's also going to likely face the "you're not tall enough" stereotype. But Armstead is capable of providing big plays this season, and at the next level.
KENNY DAVIS IV, LIBERTY-BAKERSFIELD
The only real downside for Davis is that he played on a Patriot team who rarely throws it to their wide receivers.
But when they did throw it, Davis was the likely recipient thanks to his size, skill-set and even toughness.
What sticks out about Davis to me is his run-after-catch ability. He can get into a second gear and just take off running, leaving a trail of turf dust behind in his wake. He even shows off a running-back like cut when trying to evade tacklers. He can even make the difficult jump ball or sideline grab.
If Davis can see an increase in passes thrown his way, then that can catapult him to new heights on the recruiting trail for the incoming senior.
MORE ON DAVIS IV: http://centralvalleyfootball.com/?p=6831