Top-notch receiving talent is spread all over the area. Waubonsie Valley’s Charles Robinson rules the western suburbs, Notre Dame recruit Micah Jones is up north and Jayshon Jackson and T.J. Ivy rule the city. Here’s a look at the area’s top ten receivers.
1. Charles Robinson, Waubonsie Valley, Sr., WR/TE (6-4, 215): Robinson was had 35 receptions for 682 yards and averaged 19.1 yards a catch last season. His stock has continued to skyrocket during the offseason. He’s got big play capabilities thanks to his long frame and ability to get vertical.
2. Micah Jones, Warren, Sr., WR (6-5, 205): An imposing receiver, Jones has been a varsity presence for the last several years. He’s continued to grow into his game and his frame and shown standout potential. Over the last few seasons his consistency has improved and the Notre Dame commit is primed for his senior year.
3. Mike O’Laughlin, Fenwick, Sr., WR (6-5, 215): A two sport standout, O’Laughlin excels in basketball and on the gridiron. He caught 54 passes for 939 yards as a junior, including eight touchdowns for a team that advanced to the Class 7A semifinals.
4. Jayshon Jackson, Simeon, Sr., WR (5-11, 160): An all-around athlete, Jackson has seen time at nearly every offensive position for the Wolverines. Likely a slot receiver at the next level, his speed and athleticism have helped him excel. He’s explosive and is a playmaker.
5. Brian Kaiser, New Trier, Sr., TE (6-7, 210): A match-up nightmare because of his size, Kaiser found ways to get open much of his junior season. He’s hard to guard and has sure hands, plus is incredibly tough to bring down after the catch. The Northwestern recruit helped New Trier to the second round of the Class 8A playoffs last season.
6. Jaylen Alexander, Hoffman Estates, Sr., WR (6-2, 240): An all-conference selection as a junior, Alexander had 58 reception for 795 yards last season. He scored seven touchdowns and averaged more than 13 yards per catch. He’s a reliable target with big play capability.
7. Destin Talbert, Hinsdale South, Sr., WR (6-1, 165): Speed is Talbert’s weapon. He’s a quick athlete who can play out of the slot or out wide. The primary option for the Hornets offense as a junior, expect his role to continue to grow as he moves into his senior season.
8. T.J. Ivy, Marist, Sr., WR (6-5, 220): A big-bodied wide receiver that plays like a rough and tumble tight end, which is likely his position in college at West Virginia. Ivy burst onto the scene as a sophomore and after adding weight and strength as a junior he’s primed to continue his rise this season.
9. I’Shawn Stewart, Bolingbrook, Sr., WR (5-11, 165): Makes good cuts, an athlete who is slippery on the run. He’s a name that’s been attracting recruiting attention for years because of his athleticism. Stewart could also excel as a defensive back in college. With good hands he’s a threat in the slot, deep and after the catch.
10. Alec Pierce, Glenbard West, Sr., WR (6-3, 200): A long and quick athlete with reliable hands, he has the ability to cover the field. Pierce has a solid frame and the ability to tack on yards after the catch. An integral part of a Glenbard West team that advanced to the class 8A state semifinals last season, will be needed to make another run this year.
This is the fourth story in the Sun-Times 2017 Football Countdown series. Here’s what you can expect over the next couple weeks:
Aug. 15: Top 10 defensive players
Aug. 16: No. 4 Waubonsie Valley
Aug. 23: Week 1’s top games
Aug. 24: A capsule look at the Super 25, Top 50 players