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Football Preview: Top 10 receivers

The receiver spot is loaded around the area with two Notre Dame recruits and two Illinois recruits, including Brother Rice standout Ricky Smalling, a top contender for Player of the Year honors.

1. Ricky Smalling, Brother Rice wide receiver (6-2, 195)

Smalling returns as one of the most touted receivers in the state. He was the only junior to make the the Sun-Times All-Area team last season as he recorded 84 catches for 1,164 yards. He knows how to get open and at has the power to turn heads. Committed to Illinois in the offseason.

2. Isaiah Robertson, Neuqua Valley wide receiver (6-3, 196)

Sure, Robertson could have made an appearance on the top ten defenders list. He’s a dynamic defensive back, but his calling card is wide receiver. He’s an athletic, exciting prospect who is headed to Notre Dame.

3. Jace James, Glenbard North wide receiver (6-1,190)

The Northwestern recruit notched 26 catches for 442 yards last season and averaged 17 yards a catch. With his athleticism and field vision he’s got potential for an impressive stat line as a senior this season.

4. Charlie Jones, Deerfield wide receiver (6-1, 185)

Jones is fast, and he’s got good instincts. The uncommitted senior is starting to add offers on the recruiting trail. He’s hard to stop when he opens up his stride and could be a top name in the area this season.

5. Jake Marwede, Loyola tight end (6-5, 213)

A dynamic prospect who will play his collegiate ball at Duke, Marwede is athletic enough to take snaps as a wildcat quarterback. When the Ramblers needed a big play last season, they often turned to Marwede, who should have a huge senior season.

6. Owen Piche, Neuqua Valley wide receiver (6-3, 210)

Piche is a great athlete who is a reliable and dynamic option out wide. The Navy commit racked up over 1,000 all-purpose yards as a junior and will be counted on for big plays on offense and special teams for the Wildcats this season.

7. Josh Babicz, Barrington senior wide receiver (6-6, 220)

Babicz, a North Dakota State recruit, plays with finesse and poise when he’s split out wide. His size makes him a capable and able blocker. He’s a long, lean target for the Broncos.

8. Kendall Smith, Bolingbrook wide receiver (6-2, 170)

The Illinois recruit is dangerous from nearly anywhere on the field. He is a big target who isn’t afraid to go up and fight for the ball. When he turns on his speed, he’s hard to bring down.

9. Cole Kmet, St. Viator tight end (6-6, 240)

Kmet will play his collegiate ball at Notre Dame. He’s a big targe with sure hands. His big play ability should help the Lions realize their potential this season.

10. Henry Marchese, Stevenson wide receiver (6-3, 185)

Marchese recorded 59 receptions as a junior for just under 1,000 yards. The uncommitted senior is a reliable and consistent contributor for the Patriots and plays the ball well.