Lonely at the Top

The state of Mississippi has had a good run the past few years when it comes to producing potential college wide receivers. The average football fan would expect that from Jerry Rice's home state, but it has been feast or famine for the most part over the course of the last decade. As we begin breaking down 2013 prospects, it looks like the Magnolia Staters have some work to do in this class.

As we head into spring practice only two wide receivers hold college football scholarship offers, Scott Austin and Mississippi State commitment Brandon Wells.

There are several other prospects who are on the radar, but will need to make some things happen this spring and summer to pull away from a pretty crowded pack of developmental guys.

Scott Austin of Biloxi High leads the class. Austin has excellent size and speed, but he is still a work in progress.

Austin lacks the stiffness most players his size possess, but he still has to get better in the air.

He has the raw materials to be an extremely good college player, but his ball skills need some work. He may be the best the state has to offer this season as a pass catcher and he has what college recruiters are looking for in an X receiver.

Brandon Wells is a tremendous athlete who lines up all over the field for Bogue Chitto. At nearly 6-2, Wells has turned in some sub 4.5 times in the 40 yard dash.

Wells is dangerous with the ball in his hands and is extremely tough to bring down in the open field.

He will need to make the transition from athlete to receiver over the course of the next two years. Wells is a football player plain and simple. His task now is to learn the nuances of the receiver position.

Brandon Acker of Hattiesburg is another bigger guy who is a tough draw outside the numbers.

Several schools have shown some level of interest, but so far all have elected to continue the evaluation process.

Acker is one who passes the looks test, so the spring and summer will be interesting for him. He is sure to draw more attention once more coaches see him in person.

Derrick Jones of Eupora has been a productive player and he is getting his share of college interest.

Jones has good size. His foot speed is a question he will need to answer in camps. He is still pretty raw in his development, but he has some skills to work with.

At this point, Jones looks like a possession receiver on the college level, but he could shake that label with some solid showings this summer and fall.

Shurone Washington of Bay Springs is a talented player who should benefit from a strong senior season.

Last season Washington had to help break in a freshman quarterback and he still put together some solid numbers.

On film, Washington appears to have good, but not great speed. He is very good after the catch and he is not afraid to go up and compete for the ball.

Keith Williams of Madison Central lined up opposite Ole Miss sophomore Tobias Singleton early in his career.

Williams had a great showing at the NUC Five Star showcase in Zachary, Louisiana and he turned some heads that day.

He is getting a lot of camp invites and that will likely be the stage he needs to thrust his name into the conversation for scholarship offers.

Je'Kory Trigg of Northwest Rankin will be a name that gets a lot of press this fall in the Jackson metro area.

The Cougars have a quarterback (Reid Humphreys) who can do more than hand it off, so the passing game should be a lot of fun to watch this fall.

Trigg makes most of his plays in the vertical passing game and with his length it is a pretty tall task shutting him down.

Germie Martin of Bogue Chitto has been very good throughout his high school career and he should be able to put together a big season in 2012.

The Bobcats have a quarterback who can throw it, so opponents will have to pick their poison this year.

With Brandon Wells also making plays in the pass pattern, Martin should be able to draw some one-on-one match-ups on his side of the field.

Dario Robinson was the most prolific pass catcher in the state of Mississippi in 2011 with over 2,000 receiving yards.

Amory likes to throw the ball a lot, so Robinson will need to work out on the summer camp circuit to prove he is not a product of the system.

Robinson is a little undersized, but he has some explosiveness about him. He will need to find a spread style offense that can get him out in space in order to utilize his quickness.

Perhaps the safest bet for college recruiters scouring Mississippi for a slot receiver is Biloxi product Tevaris McCormick.

While several other players will have better height, McCormick is strong and physical well beyond his measurables.

Quite simply, McCormick is explosive. Once college recruiters get to see him in person, his recruitment should take off.

From the private school ranks, Winston Academy's Orien Dailey looks to be the top wide out.

Dailey spent the early part of his career at Louisville High School, but made the move across town to WA which has been good for both Dailey and the MAIS program.

Louisiana head coach Mark Hudspeth is from the area and has already shown interest.

Another name to keep an eye on this summer is Yazoo City standout Chris Smith who averaged a whopping 30 yards per reception in 2011.

Smith will be one his region's top offensive players this fall. If the quarterback play can remain consistent, Smith should play his way into some college options.


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