In the Class of 2018 it seems all the best receivers are in one place: Texas.
The Lone Star State’s 2018 wide receiver class is full of potential difference-makers, and quality depth that includes 17 four-stars that will litter future rosters.
Including athlete Joshua Moore, who will play receiver at Nebraska, the state has eight ESPN 300 receivers. A number of battles are already decided, but there’s still much to be decided. Here’s a look at the best position recruiting battle in the 2018 class.
Big winners so far
The Longhorns have the state’s top receivers with Al’Vonte Woodard and No. 6 Brennan Eagles having committed within nine days of each other in July. Not only are the duo the highest ranked commitments to the same school from the state, but they are both considered key recruiting wins for Tom Herman and staff as the Longhorns race towards a first top 5 class in Austin since 2012. The Longhorns beat Texas A&M, LSU, Ole Miss and a host of others for Woodard and held off and Clemson, Ohio State and LSU for Eagles. Both wins come from the area the Texas staff has targeted the most in the 2018 class -- Houston.
ESPN 300 Rondale Moore is also committed and might be the most explosive receiver of any team in Texas.
The Longhorns are also in the mix for Tommy Bush, No. 3 at the position and No. 4 Jaylen Waddle. Outside of the state borders, Texas could still pull an upset for Louisiana prospect Terrace Marshall Jr., the nation’s top receiver prospect.
Texas A&M Aggies
The Aggies picked up Jalen Preston, the No. 2-ranked receiver in the state, and four-star Caleb Chapman, to close July. Those physical receivers are joined by four-star Montel Parker. Beating LSU for Preston was big for the Aggies as the Tigers have been a thorn in A&M’s side while recruiting the Houston area.
Kevin Sumlin and staff also remain a serious threat to sign Waddle. The Aggies are also in the top four for Marshall.
The Bears don’t have the highest-ranked receivers like Texas, but they have the fastest group -- and that is something to remember down the road. ESPN 300 Joshua Fleeks runs 4.48, and four-star Kalon Barnes is the fastest prospect in the Lone Star State with a 10.22 100-meter time to his credit. Three-star commit Jackson Gleeson has 4.5 speed.
Baylor plans to add at least one more receiver to the class with Bush being the top target. After Bush, four-star Miles Battle and three-star Ke’von Ahmad remain possibilities.
The biggest battles remaining
ESPN 300 No. 63
Toughest competition: Baylor and Florida State
Others in the mix: Oklahoma
Bush looked to be Baylor or Florida State until Texas jumped into the race in mid-June. Since that time, he has been on campus multiple times in Austin. This is a recruitment that could go one of three ways with the Longhorns, Bears and Seminoles liking their chances. Staying close to home is a factor helping Texas and Baylor. A decision is expected during the season.
ESPN 300 No. 73
Prediction: Florida State
Toughest competition: Texas A&M and Texas
Others in the mix: Alabama and Oregon
Waddle’s recruitment has featured several momentum swings, but Florida State has always been, and continues to be underestimated. Ace recruiter Tim Brewster has a very good relationship with Waddle having been the lead recruiter for former teammate and friend Marvin Wilson in the 2017 class. Texas A&M has made a huge move in recent months to give the Seminoles legitimate competition, and Texas just hosted the electric slot receiver the last week in July.
Six more four-stars remain uncommitted. In addition to the two ESPN 300 recruitments, there are also six more four-stars from the state left to make commitments. Of the four-star prospects, Houston area two-sport star Bryson Jackson’s recruitment will be one to monitor as he has both football and baseball offers from several power five programs, including TCU and Notre Dame, and could be forced to pick a sport when the MLB draft arrives next June.