Recruiting: Serra provides region's top WR again
Editor's note: In the latest of a postseason series on West Coast prep football prospects, recruiting expert Greg Biggins takes a look at the region's top wide receivers now that national signing day has come and gone:
It was an overall strong year at the receiver position as several highly touted players lived up to their pre-season hype and several other players emerged as legitimate prospects with big senior seasons.
For the second year in a row, a player from Serra (Gardena, Calif.) tops our wide receiver rankings. Last year, it was Robert Woods, a freshman All-American at USC. This year, it’s Cavaliers standout George Farmer who earned the top spot.
Farmer did it all for the Cavs catching 65 balls for 1,514 yards and 14 touchdowns, added two more scores on the ground and took four kicks to the house as well. He has incredible speed and could run a sub 10.4 100 meters this year. He played full time in the secondary and some feel Farmer could be an All-American safety in college but receiver is definitely where he’ll start out and it wouldn’t be surprising if he has the same early impact as Woods.
Kasen Williams finished his career as one of the most prolific receivers in state history. He’s a big athlete who can run and shattered just about every school record while playing in four state championship games at Skyline. He ended his high school career with 232 catches, for 4,121 yards and an amazing 56 touchdowns and will be counted on to play the minute he hits the field next fall.
Brandin Cooks does everything well and has the talent to make an impact right away in college. He’s explosive with a great burst off the line and has the softest hands in the region. He’s a pure route runner and caught 66 passes for 1,125 yards and 10 touchdowns this past season.
Devon Blackmon could end up the top receiver on this list or drop down a few notches. He has tremendous speed and runs very well after the catch. He’s one of the few players capable of catching a short hitch, making five guys miss and going the distance. He must work on his hands and consistency catching the ball however as he’s still relatively new to the receiver position.
Injuries are the only thing that have slowed down Victor Blackwell the last two seasons. When healthy, he has game breaking speed and is a true deep threat. He’s wiry strong, is an advanced route runner and finished his season on a high note catching 50 balls for 976 yards and 14 touchdowns.
The Top 10
1. (1) George Farmer, 6-2, 190, Gardena (Calif.) Serra -- USC
Lived up to the preseason hype and had a dominant year on both sides of the ball.
2. (2) Kasen Williams, 6-2, 205, Sammamish (Wash.) Skyline -- Washington
Some are calling Williams the best WR in state history.
3. (5) Brandin Cooks, 5-10, 160, Stockton (Calif.) Lincoln -- Oregon State
Underrated regionally and nationally but should shine in Beavers offense.
4. (3) Devon Blackmon, 6-0, 155, Fontana (Calif.) Summit -- Oregon
Game breaker who will stretch the field right away for the Ducks.
5. (4) Victor Blackwell, 6-1, 190, Santa Ana (Calif.) Mater Dei -- USC
Has all the tools to shine at the next level.
6. (8) Devin Lucien, 6-1, 190, Encino (Calif.) Crespi -- UCLA
Blew up as a senior and might have the strongest hands in this group.
7. (7) B.J. Kelley, 6-2, 175, Fresno (Calif.) Central -- Oregon
Explosive with good hands, could play before Blackmon.
8. (12) Patrick Onwuasor, 6-2, 195, Inglewood (Calif.) -- Arizona
Great frame, tough and physical and can get deep.
9. (11) Nelson Spruce, 6-2, 190, Westlake (Calif.) -- Colorado
Polished route runner with good size and great hands.
10. (NR) Marvin Hall, 5-10, 175, Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey -- Washington
Undersized but has game-breaking speed and is very productive.
The Next 10:
11. (14) Richard Mullaney, 6-2, 185, Thousand Oaks (Calif.) -- Oregon State
12. (17) Blair Holiday, 6-2, 185, Westlake Village (Calif.) Oaks Christian -- Duke
13. (NR) Dominique Williams, 6-4, 185, Pomona (Calif.) Garey -- Washington State
14. (16) Tyler Trosin, 6-0, 170, Folsom (Calif.) -- Oregon State
15. (10) David Richards, 6-2, 200, Palmdale (Calif.) -- Arizona
16. (NR) Michael Thomas, 6-2, 180, Woodland Hills (Calif.) Taft -- Unsigned
17. (13) Rahmel Dockery, 5-10, 160, University Place (Wash.) Curtis -- Washington State
18. (19) Josh Perkins, 6-4, 180, Cerritos (Calif.) Gahr -- Washington
19. (9) Jamaal Jones, 6-2, 175, Graham (Wash.) Graham -- Kapowsin- Washington
20. (NR) Quinton Pedroza, 6-3, 205, Chino (Calif.) -- Utah
Greg Biggins is an occasional contributor to the ESPNLosAngeles.com Preps Blog. For more recruiting news, check out his Insider blog on West Coast recruiting.