Mississippi Gridiron identifies the top ten high school wideouts as we enter the 2011 season. This ranking is based on several factors and conversations with high school coaches and recruiting professionals, with an attempt to balance a player’s potential and on-the-field production in high school. The list of great players in this state is a long one and some may be left off, but this will get the conversation started as we identify the best players in Mississippi.
This list is part of a series of positional rankings, which will be released daily over the next two weeks.
1. D. J. Thompson (6’4, 195, SR) Pearl
2010 Stats: 45 receptions for 809 yards and 12 touchdowns
Thompson was a Second Team All-5A selection last season by Mississippi coaches. He is ranked the #104 wide receiver in the country by Scout.com. He reports scholarship offers from MSU and USM, and teams up with Twymond Howard to form arguably the state’s top receiving combination.
2. Travon Travis (5’11, 175, SR) Gulfport
2010 Stats: 50 receptions for 858 yards and seven touchdowns
Travis was selected as a Second Team All-6A receiver last year by Mississippi coaches. Travis had 50 receptions for 858 yards and seven touchdowns, and added a pair of return touchdowns while averaging 26 yards per punt return. Gulfport head coach Mike Justice says “Travon is as good as there is. He can be used as a kick returner, punt returner, receiver, and he can run it and throw it out of our “Hurricane” package.”
3. D’ Arthur Cowan (6’3, 175, SR) Olive Branch
2010 Stats: 35 receptions for 658 yards and eight touchdowns
Cowan enters this season as a Dandy Dozen selection by Rod Walker and the Clarion Ledger. The Arkansas commitment was a big play threat a year ago with eight touchdowns in his 35 receptions.
4. Fred Brown (6’2, 185, SR) Jim Hill
2010 Stats: 35 receptions and over 1,000 all-purpose yards
Fred Brown is a Mississippi State commitment who piled up over 1,000 yards of all-purpose yardage last season at Jim Hill.
5. Tyrone Williams (6’3, 175, SR) Hancock County
2010 Stats: 66 receptions for 1,027 yards and eleven touchdowns
Tyrone Williams enters the 2011 season with scholarship offers from Southern Miss, Memphis and Arkansas State. In eleven games last season, Williams had 66 receptions for 1,027 yards and eleven touchdowns. Hancock head coach David King says “I think Tyrone is as good as there is in Mississippi. I think he is Dandy Dozen and all-state worthy.”
6. A. J. Stamps (6’1, 180, SR) Vicksburg
2010 Stats: 35 receptions for 1,021 yards and ten touchdowns
Stamps averaged a great 29 yards per reception last season with ten touchdown catches. The Vicksburg standout had four games with at least 100 yards with a season-high 187 yards against Grenada.
7. Christian Keene (6’3, 195, SR) Brookhaven Academy
2010 Stats: 69 receptions for 1,216 yards and 15 touchdowns
Christian Keene is the state’s leading returning senior receiver with 1,216 yards and 15 touchdowns. The Brookhaven Academy standout is one of Mississippi’s top two-sport athletes, also a major prospect in baseball. New head coach Trip McCarty says “His upside is through the roof. He has worked his tail off since I got here. He works hard, he runs great routes, and he hasn’t even reached his potential yet.”
8. Justin Mack (6’0, 175, SR) Laurel
2010 Stats: 44 receptions for 981 yards and 15 touchdowns
Mack was a Second Team All-4A selection last season by the Mississippi coaches. Mack had a season high 203 yards receiving against Quitman with three touchdown receptions.
9. Terrance Barron (5’9, 155, SR) Noxubee County
2010 Stats: 57 receptions for 851 yards and nine touchdowns
Barron had over 100 receiving yards in a pair of games last season, with a high of 119 yards on six receptions against Shannon. Barron added 178 yards rushing and a touchdown for the Tigers.
10. Shelton Cole (6’2, 205, SR) Meridian
2010 Stats: 14receptions for 245 yards and three touchdowns
Cole didn’t have huge numbers last season which moves him down this list, but he played for a Meridian team that was dominant running the football. Cole has the size and athleticism that college coaches look for, and should be among the state’s top receivers at the end of the season.
Best of the Rest
Adarius Barnes (5’10, 175, SR) Port Gibson, Nick Beasley (6’2, 190, JR) St. Josephs (Madison), Patric Devlin (5’11, 180, SR) Long Beach, Nick Everhart (5’9, 175, SR) MRA, Josh Hamilton (6’3, 195, SR) Tupelo, Matt McIntosh (6’2, 180, SR) Tupelo, Caleb Mills – North Pontotoc, Dwight Quinn (5’9, 160, SR) West Oktibbeha, D. J. Warren (6’0, 175, SR) Mendenhall, Keith Williams (6’3, 180, JR) Madison Central
Twymond Howard (6’5, 205, SR) Pearl
Arguably, one of the most talented wide receivers in the state, just unproven. Howard is a great basketball prospect, and has college football scouts eagerly anticipating his impact as a receiver this season.
Raymond Gee (6’3, 180, SR) Cleveland
Returns to the field this season for Cleveland, and is already attracting heavy interest from college coaches.
Willie Sherman (6’3, 200, SR) Ridgeland
Sherman missed last year due to an injury, but has the size and ability to be a great receiver for the Titans.