National Signing Day by position: Top WR classes
With National Signing Day in the books, it’s time for us to take a look back and see which schools came out with the best overall hauls at each individual position group. Today we examine the wide receivers.
MORE NSD: Top RB classes | Top QB classes | Five teams that improved the most | Five teams that declined the most | By the numbers | Farrell Awards
CLASS OF '18 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | State | Position | JUCO
Signed: Justyn Ross (Rivals rank: 6.1), Derion Kendrick (6.1)
There’s a reason the Tigers bill themselves as “WRU,” and it’s because of the string of success for players at the position in Death Valley. In order to keep that tradition alive, the school seems to replenish talent on a yearly basis. This year is no different, as a pair of five-star prospects replace a pair of five stars (Deon Cain, Ray-Ray McCloud) who left early for the draft. Kendick is a do-everything prospect who is absolutely dynamic with the ball in his hands, while Ross has a combination of size and speed that is coveted by coaches. The Tigers currently have eight wide receivers on NFL rosters, and Ross and Kendrick hope to follow in their footsteps.
Signed: Terrace Marshall (6.1), Ja’Marr Chase (6.0), Kenan Jones (5.8), Jaray Jenkins (5.6)
To say the Tigers needed to upgrade at the position would be an understatement, and the LSU made it a major priority to land elite talent in the 2018 class. Luckily, the coaches didn’t have to go far from Baton Rouge to find playmakers at the position. Five-star Marshall highlights the class and he spurned a national list of offers to stay in-state with the Tigers. Chase, who seems like the ideal complement to Marshall, made LSU fans sweat it out before making his decision known on National Signing Day. Some believe Jones is one of the more underrated players in the class, while Jenkins comes from a family known for producing dynamic athletes.
Signed: Amon-Ra St. Brown (6.1), Devon Williams (6.0)
Anytime you sign the No. 1 prospect in the nation at a position, you deserve to be ranked very highly. So even though the Trojans only technically signed one true wide receiver, they deserve this lofty status. St. Brown was dominant in every sense of the word during his time as a high school prospect, whether it was in games on Friday nights, at camps or at elite level all-star events. He’s joined in the class by Williams, who is classified as an athlete, but will likely be a big threat on the outside to use his size and speed to create matchup nightmares.
4. PENN STATE
Signed: Justin Shorter (6.1), Jahan Dotson (5.9), Daniel George (5.8)
The Nittany Lions set out to address the wide receiver position and they did exactly that by landing three elite prospects at the position. The group is headlined by five-star Shorter, who made a push for the No. 1 overall spot at the position late in the process. The 6-foot-4 prospect is a huge target on the outside and should create matchup nightmares that will only benefit a slot wide receiver like Dotson and a playmaker like George.
Signed: Mark Pope (6.1), Brian Hightower (5.8), Marquez Ezzard (5.8), Daquris Wiggins (5.7)
The Hurricanes signed four players at the position as they looked to beef up the number of options in the passing game. Landing early commitments from Hightower and Pope set the tone for the Hurricanes class as a whole and adding Ezzard on Signing Day was the icing on the cake. The group is versatile and each player brings a different strength, which should help them find their roles on the team.
Signed: Brennan Eagles (6.0), Joshua Moore (5.9), Al’Vonte Woodard (5.9)
The Longhorns didn’t have to go far from home to find elite wide receivers, thanks to a stacked group of prospects in the Lone Star State. The group of signees is headlined by Eagles, who flirted with five-star status throughout the entire 2018 cycle. All three prospects the Longhorns signed are at least 6-foot-2, and they helped address a clear need to add more weapons in the passing game.
Signed: Jaylen Waddle (6.1), Xavier Williams (5.8), Slade Bolden (5.8)
The Tide missed on two of their major wide receiver targets on signing day, but signed their No. 1 choice in Waddle. The shifty playmaker out of Texas had been high on the school’s board for a while, so landing him on National Signing Day was huge, especially with a need for a player of his skillset. Williams is an excellent route-runner and Bolden, ranked as an athlete, is likely to end up at wide receiver but could also play all-purpose back.
Signed: Marquies Spiker (6.0), Austin Osborne (5.9), Trey Lowe (5.8), Devin Culp (5.7)
The Huskies are losing a dynamic offensive weapon in receiver Dante Pettis, and they hope to have helped fill his shoes with an impressive group of signees. The quartet is highlighted by Marquis, a tall but speedy wide receiver wide receiver from California. The same can be said of Osborn, another California native capable of thriving in Washington’s offense. Four-star Lowe should fit nicely in the slot, while the 6-foot-5, 220-pound Culp could be a nightmare matchup for smaller defensive backs.
Signed: Anthony Schwartz (5.9), Matthew Hill (5.9), Seth Williams (5.8), Shedrick Jackson (5.7)
The Tigers wanted to add speed at the wide receiver position and they did exactly that with this impressive haul. Schwartz is one of the fastest high school athletes in the country, regardless of sport, and could be incredibly fun to watch in the Tigers' offense. Hill, ranked as an athlete, made tons of highlight-reel worthy plays in high school, while Williams and Jackson are both bigger receivers capable of playing on the outside.
10. FLORIDA STATE
Signed: Warren Thompson (5.9), D’Marcus Adams (5.8), Tre’Shaun Harrison (5.8), Jordan Young (5.6), Keyshawn Helton (5.5)
The Noles got both quality and quantity at the position as they loaded up late in the process. Landing four-star Thompson from in-state powerhouse program Seffner (Fla.) Armwood showed just how much his relationship with coach Willie Taggart meant, as he was originally committed to Oregon. The same can be said for Harrison, who was ranked as an athlete and was also committed to Oregon at one time. Thompson will be expected to fill the shoes of Seminoles No. 1 receiver Auden Tate, while smaller, shiftier prospects like Adams and Helton will play out of the slot. The true wildcard in the class is Young, a late-emerging prospect who didn’t start adding major offers until just before Signing Day. The Noles flipped him away from Tennessee and he has the potential to a major steal if he develops like the FSU coaches hope he can.