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2020 class of receivers is deep and talented


Moncks Corner – By the time everything is said and done, the 2020 class of wide receivers in South Carolina could go down as one of the deepest and most talented in state history.

A lot of football has to be played between now and then, and to be fair, the state has produced a lot of really good pass catchers over the years. But, the 2020 class will have more than a fair amount of FCS and FBS signees by February. This class also will put up a lot of big numbers.

By most accounts, the top two receivers in the state’s 2020 class are Dutch Fork’s Jalin Hyatt and Woodland’s Lavell Davis. In terms of production and talent, there is very little difference in the two.

Hyatt is faster, a 4.4 40-yard dash runner, while Davis is 6-6 and has an obvious height advantage.

Last season, Hyatt, a Tennessee commitment, caught 71 passes for 1,316 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also made ESPN Sportscenter Top 10 plays with a circus catch in a game last season.

Davis caught 70 passes for 1,007 yards and 15 touchdowns. He is a verbal commitment to Virginia after considering North Carolina and Georgia Tech.

“Virginia showed me a lot of love and expressed to me how much they wanted me and how I would fit in there,” Davis said. “The coaching staff was tremendous and the environment was great. I knew early on that I wanted to go there.

“I’m happy to get it done. I didn’t want it to be a distraction. Now I can just have fun and focus on my senior year, on the season and the classroom.”

Though having a scholarship in hand, Davis will not stop working to improve his overall game.

“I have to practice hard and do my best every day, every drill,” he said. “I try to leave it all on the field and just focus on winning the game. I don’t worry about numbers or rankings. I just want to contribute and win games.”

Appalachian State has recruited well in South Carolina has pledges from two receivers before the season ever starts. Wren’s Eli Wilson and First Baptist’s Sincere Brown are headed to Boone next fall.

Wilson caught 60 passes for 1,140 yards ad 12 touchdowns in Wren’s wide-open passing attack. Brown, who is 6-5 and runs a 4.42 40-yard dash, had 501 yards receiving, averaging 31.3 yards per catch and six touchdowns. He says Appalachian State beat out Coastal Carolina for his commitment in the end.

“The love of the area and the environment. I felt like that’s where I belonged,” he said. “I love the coaching staff and I felt at home there.”

Joining Wilson as a major threat at Wren is Tyler Cherry, who had 75 catches for 1,012 yards and eight touchdowns last season.

Gray Collegiate has two pass-catchers that should put up big numbers with senior Hunter Helms back at quarterback.

One, Omar Dollison, transferred to Gray from Irmo over the summer. The 5-10, 175-pounder has 4.42 speed and has committed to Old Dominion.

“It’s a beautiful school and they have recruited me pretty hard since last year,” Dollison said. “They graduate a lot of seniors after this season so it’s a chance for me to go in and play early.”

At Irmo last fall, Dollison had 635 receiving yards and another 535 rushing yards, combining for 16 touchdowns.

Teammate Trenton Higgins is 6-1, 190-pounds with 4.47 speed. Last season, Higgins had 736 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. North Greenville has recruited Higgins hard during the summer.

Cheraw’s Jalen Coit (6-0, 165) has interest from Tennessee, Louisville, Virginia, Virginia Tech and Miami. He also likes Florida and UCF. Coit had just under 1,000 receiving yards ad 13 touchdowns last season.

Coit will have help at receiver this fall with the transfer of Ricky Lockhart from Chesterfield. Lockhart (6-1, 180, 4.5) has very good hands and will excel in the passing game at his new school.

Ashley Ridge receiver Jaelyn Perry caught 41 passes for 735 yards last season but transferred to Woodland just before the start of preseason practice.

Sumter’s Tyler Craft is a 6-4 outside receiver who averaged nearly 20 yards per catch last season. Craft has verbally committed to North Carolina.

Trakell Murray of Colleton County is an intriguing prospect because of his versatility. Murray plays running back, receiver and defensive back for the Cougars. Last season he scored 15 total touchdowns.

“My hands are my best strength so I think I am best suited as a receiver but I like playing anywhere really,” he said. “I just want the ball and want to produce. In our offense I might line up in the backfield but go in motion and create good matchups against the defense. They move me around.”

Summerville’s Brody Hopkins averaged 25 yards per catch as a junior. He is a baseball commit to College of Charleston but admits he gave some thought to trying to play both sports at the next level. After a big junior year on the summer baseball circuit, he opted to focus on baseball for college but will play football as a senior.

Unfortunately, Hopkins will miss the first six weeks of the season after a shoulder injury during the summer.

“I plan to come back after I heal up and play as much as I can for my teammates,” he said. “I can’t let it affect me. I have to go out there and play hard like I always do.”

Spring Valley’s Manny Moore is a virtual unknown in recruiting circles but that could change this fall. Spring Valley is moving from a triple option offense to a spread and Moore could be in for a big season with big numbers.

“It’s exciting and fun to know I will be a big part of the new offense,” said the 6-0, 175-pounder. “I blocked a lot in the old offense so I am developed in that area. Now I am looking forward to growing as a receiver and catching passes.”

Eastside’s Payton Mangrum caught 67 passes for more than 800 yards last fall and is getting looks from several FCS programs.

Bluffton’s Shamar Sandgren (6-0, 170) has verbally committed to Western Kentucky. He caught 46 passes for 651 yards and eight touchdowns in 2018.

May River’s Terry Fields committed to Middle Tennessee State and will likely be a defensive back. He was among the state’s leaders in interceptions (9) last season.

Other top receivers to keep an eye on this fall include Braylin Johnson (Byrnes), Andre Wilson (Hammond), Malachi Oree (Oceanside Collegiate), Walker Rhue (Oceanside Collegiate), Cam Atkins (Westwood), Fred Archie (Lower Richland), Stan Ellis (Gaffney), Reggie Crocker (Boiling Springs) and Cam Martin (Greer).

© 2019-2020 High School Sports Report

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