Just get Bonita’s Garrett Horine the ball and he’ll take care of the rest
NOTE: Like QB, there is no better position to get a read on a player during summer passing games than receiver. Now, the trouble with this is that some receivers will look much better than what they really are because of the nature of a passing game. There’s no rush on the QB, who can usually get off a pretty nice pass, and it’s probably easier to get open sans pads. Anyway, you could still see who has nice hands, runs good routes and has good speed. Lastly, let me add, WR is a position where there could SEVERAL sleepers this season.
1. Taylor Lagace, Arcadia — Lagace moves into the top spot after an excellent summer that saw him flash the strengths that led him to a scholarship to play in 2012 at Washington. Lagace has become the top beneficiary of QB Myles Carr taking yet another step forward. The Apaches had some great showings this summer and probably tipped their hand about what a great offense awaits fans this fall. Lagace does it all; speed, hands, smart route runner. He deserves the top spot in an area loaded with excellent wideouts.
2. Travis Talianko, St. Francis — Talianko just picked up an offer from San Jose St. and more figure to come. What I like about Talianko is that he is probably the most physical receiver around. Throw in good speed and very good hands, and you’ve got a nice package. The Knights had some nice showings this summer, so QB Jared Leibowitz is probably a good bet to have a nice year, which means Talianko should as well.
3. Chris Gilchrist, Charter Oak — Consistency is all that’s needed from Gilchrist to move him even further up the list. At 6-foot-5, he simply laughed at defenders, literally laughed, on some plays this summer. Gilchrist probably has the best all-around package of skills in the area and has a QB like Travis Santiago to ensure he gets the ball. If he dominates play in and play out, a monster season is forthcoming.
4. Brett Bartolone, La Habra — Bartolone was No. 1 on the previous list, and the main reasons he got there have not changed. He’s extremely fluid, has excellent speed and is very reliable to catch even the most difficult balls. The reason he drops is because the Highlanders will shift him to running back in a lot of sets because of all the talent they have at WR (could be best group in school history). And the QB situation at La Habra still needs to work itself out. If you put Bartolone out wide with a D-1 kid throwing him the ball, he may be one of the top 10 targets in the Southland. But given that he’ll wear a couple different hats this year, he drops on this list a tad. The offer from Air Force is still there and one from BYU is apparently forthcoming.
5. Vinny Venegas, Covina — Venegas is a very proven product. He can take over games once the ball gets in his hands. He doesn’t have the size of some of the others on the list, but can do everything they can do. Venegas had a strong summer. Most reports said he was right at home with all the other athletes on the field when Covina visited Charter Oak this summer. Having QB Billy Livingston delivering him the ball ensures another big year from Venegas is coming.
6. Kevon Seymour, Muir — It’s hard to get a firm read on what exactly Seymour will be doing on offense this fall. In the passing games I saw, he was not at QB. But he will surely get into wildcat formations like last year. He was mostly used at WR, but I have to think he’ll see some time at RB. But most of Seymour’s time will be spent at WR when the pads come on and that should mean big things IF Muir’s QB can get him the ball. Seymour is far and away the best DB in the entire area, with offers from Florida and USC. Hopefully, he gets the chance to shine on offense, too.
7. George Katrib, Diamond Bar — Katrib, like the entire Brahmas offense, had a monster summer. He remains the sure target of QB Henry Omana. The emergence of fellow wideout Dante Harris, at least in passing league, eliminated some of the attention that’s usually focused on Katrib. With Omana looking like a major force this year, Katrib’s numbers will only benefit.
8. Adam Aguirre, Cantwell — I didn’t get a chance to see Cantwell this summer, so there’s not much new to report here. I will just reiterate that last season Aguirre averaged a sparkling 19.6 yards per catch. With Cantwell expected to be even better in the pass game and the focus of the offense shifting more that way a bit, Aguirre is ready for another big year.
9. Garrett Horine, Bonita — Man, if Bonita finds a QB, Horine is set to do something special. His size really stands out and he’s about as savvy as they come when it comes to getting the edge on DBs. Horine is the total package and should take the load off Tanner Diebold in pressure situations.
10. Andrew Fischer, Diamond Ranch — I saw Fischer go against Charter Oak and Muir, and he was right at home with all the athletes on the field. Fischer has some of the best deep speed I saw this summer and hands to match. D-Ranch needs QB Isiah Locke to play this fall how he did this summer. If he does, Fischer is sure to benefit.
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