Players To Watch 2003 -- WRs

OhioPrepScene.com proudly brings you the third edition of the 'Players to Watch' series. This edition will highlight on some of the top wide receivers in the Buckeye State for the upcoming football season.

Ohio has some tremendous Wideouts this year.  Records could fall this year and Ohio will boast some of the most talented and sought after receivers in the country.

 

Our first featured player came out of nowhere last season and made a nice name for himself.  Nicknamed "Super Mario" by many newspapers last season, Warren Harding junior-to-be Mario Manningham is one of the best receivers in Ohio regardless of class.  He broke onto the scene last season when the standout scored four times against Massillon.  He returned a kickoff, a punt and caught two TDs to help seal the victory.  Mario was a big reason his Raiders were State Runnerup last season.  Manningham isn't the biggest of receivers (5'11 170), but has great explosiveness and speed.  He is a threat at any position on the field and can turn a game around in one play.  He was recently offered a scholarship by The Ohio State University.  Manningham will be one of the most hyped receivers this season, keep his name in mind.

 

The consensus pick for the top WR in the Buckeye State this season is Senior Fred Davis of Toledo Rogers High School.  Davis, at first site, is quite intimidating to defensive backs.  He stands a towering 6'4 and weighs in around 215 pounds.  He consistently runs in the 4.5 forty range and has great game speed.  In film, he shows his capability by going up over defenders to haul in passes.  He took handoffs around the corner and beat everyone to the goal line.  Last season he played WR, RB and DB.  As a wideout, he hauled in over 50 passes for 700 yards and also rushed for 1,100 from the backfield.  He was responsible for scoring 26 TDs.  While WR is where people want him most, he performs quite well in the secondary as well.  He recorded 80 tackles and 2 interceptions last season.  Davis will be one of many Ohioans sharing the national spotlight next season.

 

While the Buckeyes will hope to land Davis, they have already nabbed one top receiver out of Ohio.  Miles Williams of Youngstown-Austintown Fitch verballed to the Bucks a few months ago.  Since then, his hype has grown on a daily basis.  Williams looked very impressive on film.  The senior wideout shows great playmaking ability.  He can take a 10 yard crossing pattern the distance, he can go over top and pull in a bad pass, and he can come up from his DB position and rock an opposing ball carrier.  Williams is a bigger receiver than most at 6'3 210, and is quite quick for his size (4.46).  The Buckeyes look to have landed a very solid prospect in Mr. Williams.

 

This year's crop of receivers seems to be dominated with big guys.  Davis (6'4 215), Williams (6'3 210), and Trumaine Smith (6'3 195) are just a few of them.  Smith, a senior out of Warrensville Heights, is seeing his stock rise throughout the recruiting season.  Smith caught less than 20 passes last season, but that isn't stopping schools like Iowa and other Big 10 schools from going after him hard.  Trumaine is one of the fastest guys in Ohio and won numerous 100 meter events at track meets.

 

While on the big receiver topic, Romunn Grigsby cannot be left out.  The 6'4 senior from Northmont high school in Clayton is getting some major attention.  He attended junior day at OSU and said Michigan State, UCLA and Iowa have been contacting him the most.  Romunn caught nearly 50 passes for over 800 yards and 11 TDs last season for Northmont. 

 

Another receiver who plays his ball close to Grigsby is Ryan Patrick of Dayton Chaminade-Julienne.  Patrick caught 40+ balls from Anthony Turner for over 700 yards.  He isn't the tallest guy in the world (5'10 170), but he has lightning quick feet and great hands.  On some highlights of Dayton CJ games, Patrick showed why he is one of the top threats in the Miami Valley.  The senior took short 10 yard passes, made 2-3 guys miss and eventually scored.  Watch out for Patrick next year, he should emerge as a great receiver with some major hype.

 

Last season, Kenton QB Ben Mauk rewrote the history books.  He set just about every QB record that existed.  Along the way, some of his receivers racked up some stats.  Junior-to-be Tommy Pettit was one of those receivers.  In his first two seasons, he's already broken the records for single season and career receiving yards, single season touchdowns, and he's 2 off from the career receiving touchdowns.  The speedy 200 pound Kenton Wildcat often blows right by defenders downfield catching a 40-50 yard pass for a quick six.  Pettit could possibly see some more time in the backfield as a RB this season.  The loss of Ben Mauk could lead to a 4 wide one back set from the former 5 wide no huddle.

 

Shaker Heights has a gem of a receiver in Michael Bell.  Bell is one of the state's top two way players (WR/DB).  He is a very physical receiver who has some great speed.  On film, Bell showed no fear in going across the middle.  One play he would beat a defender to the outside, the next play he would run one over.  He displayed some excellent explosiveness on punt returns.  Whoever lands this Grade A Receiver will get a steal.

 

Some Other Top Ohio Wideouts:

 

Craig Wellman

Junior

Coldwater

6'0

180

4.5

 

Brandon Morris

Junior

Cleveland Glenville

6'6

200

 

Matt Mullenax

Senior

Cincinnati Anderson

6'1

170

4.5

 

Asante White

Senior

Toledo Start

5'11

165

4.45

 

Jamal Akbar J

Senior

Cincinnati Winton Woods

6'1

185

4.48

 

Steph'von Hayes

Senior

Lakota West

6'3

185

 

Billy Relford

Senior

Massillon Washington

5'9

170

4.54

 

Anton Veasly

Senior

Bedford Chanel

6'3

215

4.50

 

Antonio Steele

Senior

Bedford Chanel

6'2

185

4.50

 

Kevin Weybright

Senior

Cincinnati Wyoming

6'6

200

4.65

 

Greg Orton

Junior

Huber Heights Wayne

6'3

175

 

Harold Fannin

Junior

Canton Glenoak

6'5

205

 

David Koval

Senior

Poland Seminary

6'0

175

4.5

 

Thanks for reading and keep checking back for more....


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