Five questions about the 2023 WR/TE rankings
The first Rivals100 for the 2023 class was released last week and there are plenty of questions left as the heart of the spring camp season approaches. Each day this week we will examine the biggest rankings questions at each position. Next up are the receivers and tight ends.
CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals100
RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info/coverage on 2021 camp series
1. Who will be the next five-star wide receiver?
Brandon Inniss got the nod as one of the first five-stars in the 2023 class. The elite route runner out of Florida has outstanding hands and just always seems to be open, but which receiver could be the next to earn the coveted fifth star? The two in the best position right now are Jalen Hale out of Texas and Louisiana native Shelton Sampson.
Hale is a three-sport athlete that averaged almost 18-yards per catch and scored ten touchdowns as a sophomore. At 6-foot-4, Sampson is a big target with blazing speed on the outside. Neither have a ton of experience, but the spring and summer camp and 7-on-7 circuits will provide plenty of opportunities to learn more about them. Keep an eye on Hykeem Williams out of Florida as well. He’s a big, strong receiver with good hands and the ability to make plays down the field.
2. Will this be a record-breaking year at tight end?
The first Rivals100 for the 2023 class featured eight tight ends. That’s the most tight ends that have ever been in the Rivals100, but the rankings are nowhere close to final. The 2011 class holds the record for most tight ends in the Rivals100 (seven) and most in the Rivals250 (15), but those marks aren’t out of reach for the 2023 class if more elite players at the position surface.
The odds that there will be more than 15 tight ends in the Rivals250 are better than there being more than seven in the Rivals100. Ty Lockwood, the eighth-ranked tight end in the 2023 class, sits at No. 96 in the Rivals100. He also carries a Rivals Rating of 5.8 and there generally aren’t any prospects with a 5.8 Rivals Rating in the Rivals100 when the rankings are finalized.
3. Which tight end will emerge from the pack?
There is no doubt that this tight end group is very strong and very deep, but one or two are bound to separate themselves from the pack. Sitting at the top of the list is Jaden Greathouse, followed by Luke Hasz and those two are the best bets to do so right now. Greathouse isn’t a huge tight end, but he is a great athlete built for how tight ends are used in today’s game. Hasz has a similar game but he is bigger and uses that size to his advantage.
Standing at 6-foot-5, Shamar Easter is a huge tight end with a well-rounded game. He plays with his hands down and splits out as a receiver and he has no problem boxing out defenders to make contested catches. Jaxon Howard and Duce Robinson are also very impressive prospects that could make the jump up to the top of the tight end rankings.
4. Which receiver in the Rivals100 has the best chance of moving up with a big spring?
The wide receiver group this year is filled with high-potential prospects that could find themselves jumping up the rankings in the next update. Two that have generated some internal discussion are Jalen Brown out of Florida and Kyle Kasper out of Arizona.
Brown has dominated offseason events with some incredible catches and the ability to get open against almost anybody. He isn’t a huge prospect but has plenty of size and length to give him an edge.
Kasper is a big 6-foot-5 receiver with impressive hands and has a catch radius quarterbacks will love. He’s had a lot of success so far, and if that continues this spring and summer Kasper could find himself moving up the rankings.
5. Who are some other Rivals250 candidates?
In the last few years there have been about 40 receivers and eight tight ends in the Rivals250 so there are plenty of potential Rivals250 candidates, but a few that have caught our eyes so far are Karmello English, Walker Lyons, Cordale Russell and Anthony Brown.
English has been blowing up over the last few weeks, and rightfully so. He isn’t a big receiver but he is always open, is very shifty and does a great job consistently catching the ball with his hands. Lyons is a great tight end prospect that could find himself just outside the Rivals100. Russell is a physical, imposing receiver that can make a lot of plays in the open field. Speaking of open-field playmaking, Brown is as shifty and speedy as they come. He is on the smaller side, but that doesn’t seem to stop him from having a big impact on the field.