Football Recruiting: The Receivers

UCLA is being picky and targeting the elite talent on the west coast for receivers, and it just so happens that the consensus best receivers, Antwuan Smith and Rhema McKnight, are heavy UCLA leans...


UCLA's roster looks fairly solid when it comes to wide receiver for the next couple of years, but there is plenty of room for a couple of elite wide receivers, which is exactly what UCLA will try to bring in with this class.

Antwuan Smith, 6-0, 190, 4.4, Clovis (Calif.) Buchanon. Emerging as a truly elite prospect, Smith is a stud - strong, quick and fast - and makes plays. He played three positions last year for a very successful Buchanon team. At receiver, he caught a school- record 63 passes. At running back, he's rushed for over 3,000 yards and scored 45 touchdowns in his high school career. He also had four picks at cornerback last year. He came to UCLA's Junior Day and he has said UCLA is his clear leader, being good friends with local Fresno boy and current UCLA cornerback, Ricky Manning. He's also looking at Michigan, Florida, Arizona, Oregon and Washington.

Rhema McKnight, 6-2, 185, 4.5, La Palma (Calif.) Kennedy. Commonly listed as the best wide receiver in the west and among the best in the country, McKnight is a big, quick athlete. He has a nice vertical, great hands, and great coordination. He's also a decent basketball player. McKnight heavily favors UCLA and has said he'd commit to UCLA if they offered. The UCLA coaches are just waiting for a chance to see him in person - and check out just how fast he is - but recent reports are it doesn't matter how fast he is, that he's that good. He didn't attend the San Diego Nike Camp only because he couldn't get a ride. Hopefully he'll find a ride to UCLA's one-day camp in June. There is interest in some big-named schools for McKnight, including Florida, Tennesee and Notre Dame. He is also a good student.

Agim Shabaj, 5-10, 188, 4.4, Farmington Hill (Mich.) Harrison. Shabaj is a great all-around player, doing a great deal of time playing quarterback for his high school team, returning kick-offs, punts and playing DB. He's considered one of the fastest prospects in the midwest and very shifty. He looked very good at a recent Nike camp and says UCLA is on his short list.

Dustin Miksch, 6-0, 170, 4.4, Austin (Tex.) Westlake. Really showed up at the recent Texas A&M Nike camp. Miksch recorded the fastest 40 time of the day and showed great all-around receiver skills. He has said he likes UCLA, along with the Texas schools and others.

Carl Tabb, 6-1, 170, 4.4, Ann Arbor (Mich.) Huron. One of the elite wide receiver prospects in the midwest, Tabb is particularly fast and has good size. He has mentioned UCLA and UCLA is recruiting him, but it would be very difficult to get him away from hometown Michigan, as well, as Michigan State or Wisconsin.

Dontae Holloway, 6-2, 195, Santa Fe Springs (Calif.) High. Holloway is a nice-looking athlete, with good quickness and vertical. With his size, he makes for a very intriguing wide receiver prospect. At St. Paul he goes somewhat unnoticed but he's on UCLA's radar.

James White, 6-4, 185, Talahassee (Fla.) Lincoln. One of the elite wide receivers in the southwest, White has great size and good hands. He is a heavy lean to Florida State but since he's originally from Southern California is considering UCLA.

Blake Mackey, 6-3, 183, 4.38, Bakersfield (Calif.) High. He was on UCLA's radar before the Nike Stanford camp and now is a guy UCLA will scout out thoroughly. He had a good junior year and is an accomplished trackster, his best times being a 20.69 in the 200 and a 47.8 in the 400. He also jumped close to 38 inches in the vertical. Mackey was so fast that the DBs at the Stanford camp couldn't stay with him - or chose not to even try. Up until now UCLA hasn't officially recruited Mackey, but UCLA has good ties to the school and the family. He said that he has a qualifying test score and GPA.

James Finley, 6-3, 190, 4.6, Los Angeles (Calif.) Manual Arts. Finley is one of the best wide receivers in SoCal. He's big, has long arms, runs precise routes and has very good quickness. Some question his speed but he shows great game speed and the ability to separate from his defenders. Finley, though, is questionable academically and UCLA could be holding back. He says he favors Oregon State, but is also looking at UCLA, USC and others.

Terry Richardson, 6-1, 180, 4.5, Corona (Calif.) Centennial. A true stud, Richardson really shined at the S.D. Nike Camp. A big body that he uses well for leverage, with great hands, Richardson was probably the hardest WR there to defend. Richardson, though, like Finley, will have to do some considerable work in the classroom to make it. If he does, UCLA will probably be on him.

Daniel Coats, 6-3, 205, 4.5, Layton (Utah) Northridge. Considered one of the best in the west, Coats has good size and skills. He says he's interested in the Pac-10, as well as other national powers. He attended the Stanford Nike camp and looked very good.

Xavier McGuire, 6-4, 210, 4.7, Dallas (Tex.) Carter, A big, talented athlete, McGuire might lack blazing speed but he gets it done with his size and skills. He is a solid lean to Florida but, without ever having been to California and with no connections to L.A., he also says he likes UCLA.

Broderic Jones, 6-0, 165, 4.4, Ennis (Tex.) High. Had a huge junior year, catching 74 passes for 1548 yards and 22 touchdowns. His top five are West Virginia, Texas, Florida, UCLA and Oklahoma.


Marcedes Lewis, 6-7, 230, Long Beach (Calif.) Poly. COMMITTED. Considered the #1 tight end prospect in the country, Lewis is big, athletic, and quick - and is still just developing his skills. He committed to UCLA early and is a firm commitment.

J.J. Hair, 6-6, 225, Mission Viejo (Calif.) Capistrano Valley. COMMITTED. It was a bit surprising when UCLA took two commitments from tight end prospects so early, but UCLA likes Hair's size and pass-catching ability.

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