USA Today Top 100: Welcome to the Year of the Wide Receiver

Jon Santucci
Palm Beach Post

The Chinese Calendar says 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, but for recruiting purposes this most definitely is the Year of the Wide Receiver. 

Eighteen wide receivers are listed on the updated USA Today Florida Network Top 100 — a list of the state's top college prospects in the class of 2023.

That number, which makes up almost 20 percent of the list, doesn't include the four hybrid tight ends (such as South Walton's Pearce Spurlin and Naples-First Baptist Academy's Olsen Patt Henry) or six athletes who likely will play receiver in college (such as Miami Killian's Robby Washington and Gaither's Eugene Wilson III).

Lakeland (10)Tyler Williams runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Lake Gibson during first half action at Virgil Ramage Stadium in Lakeland Fl. Friday November 12  2021.  

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By comparison, 13 total wide receivers and pass-catching tight ends made the top 100 in 2022 and only two cracked the top 20.

Six wide receivers or tight end are in the top 10 in the class of 2023: Plantation-American Heritage standout Brandon Inniss (No. 4), IMG's Carnell Tate (No. 10), IMG tight end Riley Williams (No. 13), Gulliver Prep's Jalen Brown (No. 15), Boone's Aiden Mizell (No. 17) and Spurlin (No. 18). 

Milton senior wide receiver Raymond Cottrell prepares to make a catch during football practice at Milton High School on Monday, Aug. 8, 2022. Cottrell is verbally committed to Georgia.

Lakeland cornerback Cormani McClain continues to hold down the No. 1 spot on the list.

The 6-foot-1, 165-pounder has won the Lakeland Ledger's Big School Defensive Player of the Year award the past two seasons. He recorded 29 tackles and 10 interceptions last fall. The interceptions set a new Lake Gibson record — breaking McClain's previous best of nine in 2020.

This is the second consecutive year that a Lakeland player is ranked No. 1 on the USA Today list. Lakeland defensive lineman Gabriel Brownlow-Dindy, who signed with Texas A&M, was the top player in the class of 2022. 

USA TODAY Florida Network Top 100

No. 1-10

Super 16 Lakeland High School football - Cormani McClain in Lakeland Fl. Monday July 52,  2022.  

1. Cormani McClain (Lake Gibson CB)

6-foot-1, 165 pounds

Offers include: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Ohio State, USC

2. Francis Mauigoa (IMG OT)

6-foot-5, 330 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

3. Keon Keeley (Berkeley Prep EDGE)

6-foot-5, 240 pounds

Offers include: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Notre Dame, Ohio State 

4. Brandon Inniss (American Heritage WR)

6-foot, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Ohio State

5. Damon Wilson (Venice EDGE)

6-foot-4, 230 pounds

Top 5 schools: Alabama, Georgia Miami, Ohio State, Texas 

6. Cedric Baxter (Edgewater RB)

6-foot-1, 215 pounds

Verbal commitment: Texas

7. Samuel M’Pemba (IMG ATH)

6-foot-4, 230 pounds

Top 7 schools: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Miami, Notre Dame, Oregon, Texas

8. Richard Young (Lehigh RB)

5-foot-11, 200 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami 

9. Jordan Hall (Westside DL)

6-foot-4, 300 pounds

Top 10 schools: Alabama, Clemson, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Oregon, South Carolina, USC

10. Carnell Tate (IMG WR)

6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Verbal commitment: Ohio State

No. 11-20

All-Big Bend Defensive Player of the Year Lincoln linebacker Raylen Wilson

11. Raylen Wilson (Lincoln LB)

6-foot-2, 213 pounds

Verbal commitment: Georgia 

12. Jayden Wayne (IMG EDGE)

6-foot-5, 245 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

13. John Walker (Osceola DL)

6-foot-3, 310 pounds

Verbal commitment: UCF

14. Riley Williams (IMG TE)

6-foot-6, 240 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

15. Jalen Brown (Gulliver Prep WR)

6-foot-1, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: LSU

16. Troy Bowles (Jesuit LB)

6-foot-2, 206 pounds

Verbal commitment: Georgia

17. Aiden Mizell (Boone WR)

6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

18.  Pearce Spurlin (South Walton TE)

6-foot-6, 216 pounds

Verbal commitment: Georgia

19. Lucas Simmons (Clearwater Academy International OT)

6-foot-8, 295 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

20. Derrick LeBlanc (Oscoela DL)

6-foot-4, 270 pounds

Verbal commitment: Oklahoma

No. 21-30

Elliot Washington II, Venice High football

21. Malik Bryant (Jones LB)

6-foot-2, 235 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami 

22. Dijon Johnson (Wharton CB)

6-foot-1, 190 pounds

Offers include: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State

23. Reuben Bain (Miami Central EDGE)

6-foot-3, 250 pounds

Offers include: Alabama, Auburn, Florida State, Miami, Oklahoma

24. Makari Vickers (Pope John Paul II DB)

6-foot-1, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Oklahoma

25. Hykeem Williams (Stranahan WR)

6-foot-3, 195 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

26. Nathaniel Joseph (Miami Edison WR)

5-foot-9, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

27. Elliot Washington (Venice S)

5-foot-11, 195 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

28. Raymond Cottrell (Milton WR)

6-foot-2, 203 pounds

Verbal commitment: Georgia

29. Daniel Harris (Gulliver Prep CB)

6-foot-2, 175 pounds

Verbal commitment: Georgia

30. Mark Fletcher Jr. (Plantation-American Heritage RB)

6-foot-1, 225 pounds

Verbal commitment: Ohio State

No. 31-40

Robert Stafford of Eau Gallie breaks up a pass intended for Devin Alves of Melbourne during their game Nov. 4, 2021. Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

31. Lewis Carter (Tampa Catholic LB)

6-foot, 200 pounds

Verbal commitment: Oklahoma 

32. Kamran Jones (Olympia DL)

6-foot-6, 275 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

33. Tyler Williams (Lakeland WR)

6-foot-3, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Georgia

34. Robert Stafford (Eau Gallie ATH)

5-foot-11, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami 

35. Andy Jean (Miami Northwestern WR)

6-foot-1, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

36. Ja'Keem Jackson (Osceola CB)

6-foot-1, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

37. Andrew Harris (Lake Brantley LB)

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: UCF

38. Treyaun Webb (Trinity Christian RB)

6-foot-1, 205 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

39. Robby Washington (Miami Palmetto ATH)

5-foot-10, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

40. King Mack (St. Thomas Aquinas S)

5-foot-11, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Penn State

No. 40-50

Cedric Hawkins of Cocoa is one of Brevard County’s players to watch this football season. Craig Bailey/FLORIDA TODAY via USA TODAY NETWORK

41. Eugene Wilson III (Gaither ATH)

5-foot-11, 165 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

42. Cedrick Hawkins (Cocoa S)

5-foot-11, 163 pounds

Verbal commitment: Ohio State

43. Gavin Hill (Buchholz DL)

6-foot-4, 245 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

44. Sam Singleton (Fleming Island RB)

5-foot-11, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

45. Bryson Rodgers (Wiregrass Ranch WR)

6-foot-2, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: Ohio State

46. Damari Brown (Plantation-American Heritage CB)

6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Top 6 schools: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, LSU, Miami, Oklahoma

47. Sharif Denson (Bartram Trail CB)

5-foot-11, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

48. Jordan Castell (West Orange S)

6-foot-2, 195 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

49. Daemon Fagan (Plantation-American Heritage S)

6-foot-3, 175 pounds

Verbal commitment: N.C. State

50. Roderick Kearney (Orange Park OT)

6-foot-4, 300 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

No. 51-60

Chipley wide receiver Daquayvious Sorey tries to avoid a tackle in a 22-7 win against Baker in the regional championship game in 2021.

51. Jayvant Brown (St. Thomas Aquinas LB)

6-foot, 220 pounds

Top 7 schools: Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State

52. Jordan Hall (IMG LB)

6-foot-2, 225 pounds

Verbal commitment: Michigan State

53. Daquayvious Sorey (Chipley WR)

6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Verbal commitment: Auburn

54. Grayson Howard (Andrew Jackson LB)

6-foot-3, 223 pounds

Verbal commitment: South Carolina

55. Stanquan Clark (Miami CentralLB)

6-foot-1, 210 pounds

Verbal commitment: Louisville

56. Conrad Hussey (St. Thomas Aquinas S)

6-foot, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Penn State 

57. Cameron Lenhardt (IMG EDGE)

6-foot-3, 240 pounds

Top 3 schools: Michigan State, Nebraska, Penn State

58. Phil Picciotti (IMG LB)

6-foot-3, 230 pounds

Verbal commitment: Oklahoma 

59. Michael Harris (Lake Brantley LB)

6-foot, 195 pounds

Verbal commitment: UCF

60. Wilky Denaud (John Carroll Catholic EDGE)

6-foot-4, 245 pounds

Verbal commitment: Auburn

No. 61-70

First Baptist Academy’s Olsen Patt Henry catches the ball during FBA’s football practice and intrasquad scrimmage, Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, at First Baptist Academy in Naples, Fla.

61. Lamont Green Jr. (Gulliver Prep EDGE)

6-foot-5, 220 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

62. Olsen Patt Henry (First Baptist TE/WR)

6-foot-3, 210 pounds

Verbal commitment: Clemson

63. Marcus Stokes (Nease QB)

6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

64. Isaiah Nixon (Lakewood EDGE)

6-foot-4, 215 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

65. Antonio Tripp (IMG OL)

6-foot-3, 300 pounds

Verbal commitment: Miami

66. Kylen Webb (Sumner ATH)

6-foot, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: Clemson

67. Jaremiah Anglin (Lake Wales S)

6-foot-1, 184 pounds

Verbal commitment: Kentucky

68. Michael Mitchell (Middleburg RB)

6-foot, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Utah

69. Jaden Robinson (Columbia LB)

6-foot-1, 215 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

70. Keyon Brown (Rickards WR)

6-foot-3, 188 pounds

Verbal commitment: Oklahoma

No. 71-80

Lake Mary cornerback Braeden Marshall committed to UCF in July. He chose the Knights over Nebraska, North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Wisconsin.

71. Braeden Marshall (Lake Mary CB)

5-foot-10, 170 pounds

Verbal commitment: UCF

72. Traylon Ray (North Florida Christian WR)

6-foot-2, 180 pounds

Offers include: Florida, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Tennessee, UCF

73. Christopher Johnson (Dillard RB)

5-foot-11, 178 pounds

Top 6 schools: Alabama, Clemson, Florida State, Miami, Ole Miss, Texas A&M

74. Javin Simpkins (Miami Norland RB)

5-foot-9, 175 pounds  

Verbal commitment: Georgia Tech

75. Payton Kirkland (Dr. Phillips OT)

6-foot-7, 355 pounds

Verbal commitment: Texas

76. William Fowles (Dade Christian WR)

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Louisville

77. Ahmari Borden (Munroe WR)

6-foot-3, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Stanford 

78. Clay Wedin (Carrollwood Day OL)

6-foot-6, 295 pounds

Offers include: Michigan State

79. Creed Whittemore (Buchholz ATH)

6-foot, 175 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

80. Kaven Call (Apopka EDGE)

6-foot-2, 240 pounds

Verbal commitment: UCF

No. 81-90

Benjamin wide receiver and track star Micah Mays backs up his nickname, "Air Mays," with a jump and catch in the end zone.

81. Kenton Kirkland (Raines S)

6-foot-1, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

82. Luke Evans (Chaminade-Madonna CB)

6-foot-2, 165 pounds

Verbal commitment: Cincinnati 

83. Devin Hyatt (IMG WR)

6-foot-2, 194 pounds

Top 4 schools: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee

84. Sedrick Irvin Jr. (Columbus RB)

5-foot-10, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Stanford

85. Daniel Harris (Palm Bay ATH)

6-foot-5, 180 pounds

Offers include: Auburn, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia 

86. Jaren Hamilton (Buchholz WR)

6-foot-1, 188 pounds

Top 7 schools: Alabama, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Tennessee, USC, West Virginia

87. Micah Mays (Benjamin ATH)

6-foot-2, 175 pounds

Verbal commitment: Wake Forest

88. Kendrick Raphael (Naples RB)

5-foot-11, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Iowa

89. Isaiah Augustave (Naples RB)

6-foot-1, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Arkansas

90. Kelton Henderson (Lehigh ATH)

5-foot-11, 175 pounds

Verbal commitment: South Carolina 

No. 91-100

Mosley High School hit the practice field getting prepared for the upcoming season. Senior Randy Pittman pulls in a pass during practice Friday, August 5, 2022.

91. Kerrington Lee (Dwyer EDGE)

6-foot-5, 225 pounds

Verbal commitment: Wake Forest

92. Bryce Lovett (Rockledge OL)

6-foot-6, 330 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

93. Knijeah Harris (IMG OL)

6-foot-3, 335 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida

94. Amare Ferrell (Columbia S)

6-foot-2, 195 pounds

Verbal commitment: Indiana

95. Randy Pittman (Mosley TE)

6-foot-2, 230 pounds

Offers include: Florida, Florida State, South Carolina, Tennessee, UCF

96. Shawn Russ (Dunbar CB)

6-foot-2, 185 pounds

Top 3 schools: Florida State, Louisville, Michigan

97. Zachary Tobe (Ocoee S)

6-foot-1, 175 pounds

Verbal commitment: Illinois 

98. Nate Johnson (Clearwater Central Catholic ATH)

5-foot-9, 165 pounds

Verbal commitment: Boston College 

99. Darren Lawrence (Seminole WR)

6-foot-2, 190 pounds

Verbal commitment: Florida State

100. Donielle Hayes (Pine Forest WR)

6-foot, 180 pounds

Verbal commitment: Minnesota