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Rivals Camp Series: Ranking the wide receivers and tight ends

The 2022 Rivals Camp Series regional stops are finished and only the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge remains, and that event looms large in a couple of weeks. This week, we are taking a position-by-position look at which prospects impressed us the most at the regional events this year. Today we look at the wide receivers and tight ends.

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MORE FROM THIS SERIES: Ranking the QBs | RBs

CLASS OF 2023 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

CLASS OF 2024 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | Position | State

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RIVALS CAMP SERIES: Info for 2022 series

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1. Zachariah Branch, Los Angeles RCS

A show stealer for Bishop Gorman, Branch did the same at the Los Angeles camp, making everyone pay attention when he took a rep. Some players just have that “it” factor, and Branch exudes that special ability. Going long, running intermediate routes or breaking off something short, Branch always creates separation, leaving defensive backs in the dust.

USC picked up Branch’s verbal commitment in December. Branch could end up being the Trojans' second five-star in the 2023 class, joining QB Malachi Nelson.

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2. James Madison, Miami RCS

As St. Thomas Aquinas marched its way to a 7A Florida state championship last season, the loaded Raiders roster didn’t give much room for Madison to showcase his immense talents … but the RCS in Miami did. Madison is that tall, long-armed receiver with freakish athletic gifts. The wingspan and big hands allowed everything within his area code to be secured. Quarterbacks were lining up to throw passes to him as defensive backs shied away. A highlight was seeing Madison hurdle a defender.

The Rivals100 talent is among the best at his position in the 2024 class and will have a strong case for moving up the rankings at the end of the 2022 season. His upside and talent have Madison at the 20-offer mark. Look for that to rise in a hurry over the summer and fall months.

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3. Malik Elzy, Indianapolis RCS

Elzy is another gift from the football gods. He also showed freakish athletic talents throughout the 1-on-1s in Indy, leaving everyone in awe. The Chicago-area prospect came to play, and he let everyone know he is one of the best in the Midwest. One of the impressive traits to Elzy’s game is how smoothly rocketed passes enter into his hands with his arms extended in front of his body; he’s a catching machine.

Elzy is a wanted man on the recruiting trail, topping 20 offers. Official visits have been set to Illinois and Cincinnati, but the offers keep coming in from top programs such as Oregon. This recruiting journey will be an exciting one to follow.

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4. Khai Prean, New Orleans RCS

Technically an all-purpose back, but one wouldn’t have known that watching Prean run routes and haul in passes in Louisiana as he earned receiver camp MVP honors. Seeing more of the versatility that the four-star can bring to an offense had to make next-level offensive coordinators extremely happy.

Prean is a big target for SEC squads. Arkansas, Auburn, Vanderbilt, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi State have offered, and so has LSU. It’ll be tough to pull a Louisiana prospect away from the Tigers.

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5. Jaquaize Pettaway, Dallas RCS

There is speed on the field and then what Pettaway has. The Houston-area product is a consistent sub-11 performer in the 100 with a 10.41 in the books. Running routes for the Langham Creek Lobos, Pettaway is a proven commodity on the field and showed it in Dallas. Before a route begins, Pettaway is already in the head of defenders who know how fast he is. The fear factor of being left in the dust rushes defenders into mistakes, making it even easier for Pettaway to add another highlight to the reel.

A future in the SEC might be on the mind of Pettaway. Two schools within his top 10 – Texas and Oklahoma – have secured official visits.

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6. Noah Rogers, Charlotte RCS

Rogers pulled up short in Charlotte with a tweak, but he was impressive while he was on the field earning MVP accolades. The era of the big receiver will continue with guys like Rogers going out for passes. Another do-it-all receiver, Rogers runs solid routes with great hands and speed.

The top five for Rogers consists of Clemson, North Carolina State, Ohio State, North Carolina and Florida State. The first official visit is to Clemson on June 3, with his second scheduled to Ohio State on June 17. The Tigers and Buckeyes are the rumored frontrunners for Rogers.

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7. Anthony Miller, Atlanta RCS

The Rivals Camp Series was loaded with future All-Conference and All-American players this year at tight end, but none of them took home receiver/tight end position honors like Anthony Miller. There is something to be said for being consistent and effortless in your craft, and that is Miller. Like many of the aforementioned receiving targets, Miller is big with a tremendous wingspan, making off-target passes looked planned. Defensive backs are not shy about holding at camps, but those tactics didn’t slow Miller down at all.

The recruiting process for Miller exploded this spring, pushing him to the 20-offer milestone. The summer college camp circuit will be pivotal to his decision-making process.

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8. Winston Watkins Jr., Miami RCS

Winston Watkins Jr.
Winston Watkins Jr. (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

An argument could have been made that Watkins was the top receiver in Miami. The crazy thing about Watkins? He hasn’t even begun his sophomore campaign, and he is on par with top prospects in the 2023 class. Watkins is fast with great hands, but that burst and route running make him exceptional. The kind of talent he goes up against at IMG every day in practice only makes him that much better than those in his class.

While players across the country are trying to figure out where they want to play their college ball, Watkins is already locked in with Texas A&M. The Aggies landed the Florida standout back in December.

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9. Sacovie White, Atlanta RCS

Sacovie White
Sacovie White (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

White left Atlanta heading back to Cartersville with more than he brought with him. Flying under the proverbial radar at Cass High School, White was recognized as one of the top players, earning an invitation to the Rivals Underclassmen Challenge. Whatever was asked of him, White did it and did it well. He shined as that inside receiver that can break off a route in a heartbeat, leaving wide-open windows for quarterbacks.

The 2024 rising star has plenty of time for college coaches to take notice. Four offers have been secured, with the expectation that the offers will hit double-digits in June, once college scouts see him in person.

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10. Sean Williams, Atlanta RCS

Sean Williams
Sean Williams

One can never underestimate the competitive factor for a player going outside his region facing the unknown. Williams left the comfort of the Washington D.C., area to engage in battle with top defensive backs in Georgia. The three-star was that speedy target, mixing up corners and safeties throughout the day. Every time he went through a drill or ran a route during the 1-on-1s he drew attention.

It is hard to call a 20-plus-offer prospect overlooked, but Williams is. Next-level teams looking for an inside receiver who can find a hole in the defense and drag nickels across the field for four quarters will eventually find him. One official has been set so far to Wake Forest.

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