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Northwestern's Holley headlines 2018 receivers class

Moncks Corner – The 2018 class of receivers and tight ends has a little of everything.

Big, strong guys who love to mix it up and smaller, quicker guys who simply out-run the defense to the end zone. While the 2018 is not deep with Division I prospects, it is a formidable group that will land several with college scholarships at some level by February.

The top-ranked wide receiver in the 2018 class is Northwestern’s Jamario Holley, a nationally-rated four-star pass-catcher by most services and considered one of the top 50 receivers nationally. Holley is the state’s second-ranked overall prospect by the High School Sports Report.

Holley committed to South Carolina in early summer, choosing the Gamecocks over offers from Virginia Tech, Kentucky, Tennessee and Arkansas. His strengths include great hands and the ability to finish receptions with touchdowns.

Last season, the 6-0, 185-pounder caught 75 passes for 1,178 yards and 18 touchdowns. He will surpass the 200-reception mark this season for his career and has more tan 2,700 receiving yards and 32 career touchdown catches.

The second-rated receiver in the Palmetto State for the 2018 class is Dorman High’s Jacoby Pinckney. The 6-2, 190-pounder committed to Virginia Tech in late June. His final list of schools included Alabama, Michigan and Georgia.

Pinckney uses his length and speed to terrorize defensive backs. He caught 65 passes for 1,075 yards last season and could put up even bigger numbers with an explosive offensive attack returning for the Cavaliers.

Though considerably smaller in stature than Holley and Pinckney, Berkeley’s DJ Chisolm is one of the more electric players with the ball in his hands in the state.

The 5-9, 160-pound Chisolm was twice clocked under 4.4 in the 40-yard dash this spring and summer. He excels in basketball and track as well.

Chisolm’s performance during the 2017 football season put his abilities on the radar of college coaches. He set school records for receptions (69), receiving yards (1,133) and touchdowns (13). He also rushed for 380 yards and four touchdowns and returned three punts for touchdowns, finishing with 2,037 all-purpose yards.

“He’s electric with the ball in his hands,” Berkeley football coach Randy Robinson said. “When he touches the ball, you just wait for something big to happen. Man, he’s fun to watch.”

With offers from South Carolina and others, Chisolm pledged his verbal commitment to East Carolina in July. He cited his camp experience in June as the deciding factor.

Chisolm’s teammate, 6-4 Dervon Pesnell, operates on the outside of Berkeley’s passing attack. Pesnell caught 49 passes for 746 yards and eight touchdowns last season. His length and his blocking abilities set Pesnell apart from most receivers. He has gathered several offers, including one from Navy.

“He is a tremendous blocker in the run game and will do whatever he is asked to do,” Robinson said.

Two more big outside receivers to watch this fall include Crestwood’s Joshua Simon (6-4, 210) and Lake View’s Deonte Roberts (6-5, 200).

If smaller, quicker inside receivers are your fancy, two players that put up huge numbers are Shyhiem Rivers of Chesterfield and Rashad Maxwell of Baptist Hill. Rivers, a 5-9, 185-pounder, caught 68 passes for 1,150 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

Maxwell (5-9, 165) caught 48 passes for 1,034 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

Ben Henson (5-11, 180) of Byrnes looks to put up big numbers as one of the team’s primary receivers. Henson caught 30 passes for 434 yards last season. Henson is getting early interest from The Citadel, Campbell and other FCS schools.

“I hope to be more productive this year, catch more passes and score more touchdowns,” Henson said. “I try to be a leader on our team so I try to work hard every day. Just as the receivers before me were great leaders for me, I want to do the same for the younger guys on our team.”

Hillcrest receiver Quendarious Jefferson is a 6-1, 200-pounder with the ability to play several positions, including defensive back and running back. Jefferson will be the top target of returning quarterback Will Watts and could put up huge numbers this season.

Braxton Collins of Greer has committed to Old Dominion. Collins is another tall outside pass-catcher at 6-4, 180 pounds. Other receivers to keep an eye on for big seasons include Tyron Stockman of North Myrtle Beach, Daron Finkley of Myrtle Beach, Zach Hillstock of Dorman, Deonte Stanley of Latta, and Ladarius Allen of York.

The state also has a few tight ends that have made their mark on the recruiting trail this summer. The state’s top tight end is Luke Deal of Emerald High.

Deal, at 6-5, 240-pounds, is an outstanding blocker at the point of attack and has great feet and hands to be a threat in the passing game. He made his verbal commitment to Auburn over the summer, choosing the Tigers over more than a dozen offers.

Deal is a top 20-rated tight end nationally and is the state’s third-rated prospect overall.

Gaffney’s Hunter Bullock is another tight end that gets as much pleasure out of blocking defensive ends as he does catching passes. The 6-4, 235-pound Bullock has verbally committed to FCS power James Madison.

Gibson Marsh of Oceanside Collegiate is an unknown on major recruiting circles but his 6-5, 210-pound frame and good hands will likely land him several offers this fall.

© 2017 High School Sports Report

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