11 2015 WR Recruits Who Excel After the Catch
The first priority of a receiver is to catch the football. However, if a receiver prospect doesn't have the ability to turn nothing into something after the catch, then he isn't a candidate to make many big plays.
Receivers must have the ability to essentially turn into a running back after they haul in a pass, with traits such as explosiveness, speed, vision, awareness, elusiveness, instincts, creativity and quickness being handy.
For this list, the state of California is represented by multiple receivers who excel after the catch. Georgia has two players featured, plus a receiver in Arizona may be the best in the run-after-catch phase of a play.
At 5'9" and 162 pounds, Brandon Polk is not a receiver who is going to strike fear in the hearts of defensive backs when he breaks the huddle.
However, he is a scary with the ball in his hands. The 4-star Virginia native often uses a quick upfield transfer after the catch to get away from the first defender, then lets his elusiveness, quickness and speed help him make big plays.
Polk is committed to Penn State.
Hailing from California, Lavan Alston is a receiver who works with a lot of speed. At 6'0" and 170 pounds, he does a solid job of looking passes into his mitts, but it's after the catch where the 4-star recruit has the most fun.
Alston darts upfield quickly after the catch, plus he can race by defenders on his way to the end zone. He doesn't panic when a defender has an angle on him, as he can get creative and elude people with ease.
USC and Cal are leading in his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
At 5'8" and 175 pounds, Ryan Newsome doesn't impress many people on the hoof. However, he is a monster with the football in his possession.
Newsome has the vision and instincts of a running back, which is why he is also a dangerous return man. The 4-star Texan totaled eight return touchdowns as a junior, per 247Sports. Newsome can slash and jet through traffic with noticeable explosiveness, plus he's an agile athlete with terrific elusiveness.
Texas, Oregon, Notre Dame and Oklahoma are among his main suitors, says 247Sports.
Listed as an athlete, Brian Cole appears most natural at receiver. The Michigan native has spent some time at running back, however, which is why he has great run-after-catch skills as a receiver.
Cole, who is 6'2" and 190 pounds, is an impressive athlete who runs with intelligence and speed in the open field. He quickly locates open areas after his receptions, then jumps to them with good quickness.
Cole eludes impressively, plus he likely will be able to run with deceptive power as he fills out the rest of his frame. Michigan and Michigan State are his leading schools in his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Kanya Bell is a receiver who makes you pay attention when he gets the ball. Among the nation's most creative players with the football, watching Bell juke defenders is awfully exciting.
The 6'0", 160-pounder displays fantastic stop-and-start ability, which helps him launch through traffic. Bell, who has great speed, is most comfortable and confident on the field after he catches the football.
Look for him to sign with USC.
West Virginia runs an offense that is perfectly suited for receivers with fantastic run-after-catch skills. That is why there should be some fireworks in Morgantown from 4-star receiver Jovon Durante soon.
From Miami, Durante stands out in an exceptional hotbed of talent. The 6'0", 162-pounder possesses terrific speed, athleticism and agility. He loves to make plays as a runner with the football, and he'll take some daring chances from time to time.
While George Campbell doesn't have the best hands in the world, he still is outstanding after the catch.
The 6'3", 184-pounder is a long athlete with outstanding explosiveness. Campbell doesn't need a long time to build up as a runner, and it's almost impossible to catch up to him in a straight line. The big Tampa native is also capable of surprising defenders at the point of attack with a little power.
Florida and Clemson are the favorites to land him, according to 247Sports.
A 4-star prospect, Desean Holmes is a dynamic player who can work on the perimeter and in the slot.
Holmes is 5'10.5" and 170 pounds, and all quarterbacks need to do is get him the ball and let him do his thing. He has the speed, quickness and elusiveness to turn a slant into a big gain, plus Holmes stays patient initially on smoke screens.
The California native weaves around defenders in the open field as well as anyone in the country. USC is the heavy favorite in his 247Sports Crystal Ball.
Terry Godwin is a 5-star athlete who is getting better and better as a receiver. If he reaches his potential, Godwin will be a superstar at Georgia.
At 6'0" and 168 pounds, he has smooth athleticism and excellent speed. Godwin is also awfully light on his feet, evidenced by his release quickness off the line.
His light feet can also be seen on display after the catch, where he uses them to dance around defenders to gain extra yards from where he caught the ball.
On June 6, Godwin told Anthony Dasher of UGASports.com (subscription required), "At Georgia I'm going to play wide receiver and return, but my sophomore year play defense as well."
At 6'5" and 200 pounds, Preston Williams doesn't have the frame of a receiver who would be on a list such as this one.
However, what Williams can do after the catch is rare for his size. He is a great athlete who explodes to the end zone immediately after he secures the football. The Georgia native has impressive elusiveness, evidenced by his ability to wiggle around would-be tacklers. He also knows when to accelerate and decelerate.
Williams is committed to Tennessee.
Although he is more than a run-after-catch specialist, 4-star receiver Christian Kirk is outstanding as a runner.
He looks like a running back in the open field at 5'11" and 195 pounds. Kirk has exceptional speed and explosiveness, and he uses agility to cut quickly to elude defenders. The Arizona native also has natural running instincts, awareness and vision with the ball in his hands.
Kirk may be the most exciting offensive player in the country. Texas A&M and Ohio State are his top suitors, according to 247Sports.