Receivers….The Return Of The Pure Route Runner

Rolling into this year’s receiver position, high school football fans will experience a trip back to the old school.  That’s correct, it is the actual route running by this year’s top receivers that makes them one of the best class of receiver prospects in at least the past 5 years.  Maybe it’s the numerous position camps out there that emphasize route running and fundamental footwork that is helping the class of 2018 raise the bar for high school receiver prospects.  Or it could be that the defensive backs are becoming faster therefore there is an obligation for potential prospects to develop different skills in order to haul in passes.  Whatever the case may be, you can watch the film on the top 20 receivers and you will come to the conclusion that the route running is about as good as it was a decade ago.  Between 2006 and 2008 there were plenty of great high school route runners including NFL pro bowlers Julio Jones and AJ Green.

What makes a great route runner?  Footwork, attention to detail, and the ability to start and stop on a dime.  Some of the greatest route runners in the history of football are hall of famers Jerry Rice and Terrell Owens.  Most high school receiver prospects can only dream to be in the same conversation as Rice and Owens, but they can at least take multiple pages out of the books of the former players that had all pro careers most notably for the 49’ers and Cowboys.   A receiver should have the ability to make precise cuts and get into his route making sure he runs through the route to give the quarterback a good window to throw into.  While the intricacies seem something that would be taught and attained on the college level there are many high school receivers that are attending summer camps and gaining these abilities.  Of course this doesn’t make their respective offenses unstoppable but it does give them a better chance of getting onto a college campus and adjusting to the speed and talent that football at the college level brings.  Take a look at BeSquadSport’s Bone-A-Fide Bluechip list of top receivers and you be the judge.  I’m pretty sure after you watch film on the top half of the ranked 100 you will agree that these guys are not just deep ball pattern runners.  Stay tuned…