Greatest High School Wide Receivers of All Time
Football used to be dominated by running backs on offense and linebackers on defense. It was all about "three yards and a cloud of dust." Oh, how things have changed.
Football's awakening came through the skies. Now, spread offenses and wide receivers and quarterbacks with the talent, size and speed to stretch the field can score touchdowns no matter where the ball is.
Every state keeps records differently for high school football (some don't keep them at all), so it sometimes takes a little investigative work to find the right players. But we pulled it off. These are the greatest high school football wide receivers of all time from all 50 states.
Alabama: Terrell Zachery — 4,410 Receiving Yards
High school: Wadley High School (Wadley, Alabama)
Receiving stats: 190 receptions, 53 touchdowns, 4,410 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Terrell Zachery
If you got to see Wadley High play in the early 2000s, you were probably watching history out there with running back Terrance Wilkes and wide receiver Terrell Zachery.
Wilkes, who was tragically murdered after the final game of his senior season, set the state record for touchdowns while Zachery set the state record with 4,410 receiving yards.
Zachery went on to play for Auburn and kept up his flair for the dramatic, capping his career with a national title in 2010, when he was second on the team in receiving yards. Zachery was hired as Wadley High's boys' basketball coach in 2018.
Alaska: Casey Flair — 2,376 Receiving Yards
High school: East Anchorage High School (Anchorage, Alaska)
Receiving stats: 114 receptions (2002 and 2003 only)
Bottom Line: Casey Flair
There aren't official state records kept for Alaska high school football, but in this case, we're giving the nod as the state's greatest all-time receiver to East Anchorage's Casey Flair.
Flair broke the state's single-season records for yards and receptions his junior and senior season and was a two-time all-state pick. As a senior in 2003, Flair led East to a state title by catching 59 passes for 1,237 yards and was voted Alaska State Player of the Year.
Flair walked on at UNLV and became one of the most reliable wide receivers in Mountain West Conference history. He is second on UNLV's all-time career receiving list with 202 receptions in 47 games and caught a pass in every game he played in.
Arizona: Colby Dickie — 3,471 Receiving Yards
High school: Perry High School (Gilbert, Arizona)
Receiving stats: 206 receptions, 38 TDs, 3,471 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Colby Dickie
Colby Dickie led Perry High to back-to-back Class 6A state runner-up finishes in 2017 and 2018 and ended his career with state records for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns.
Dickie's career was truly blessed when it came to who was throwing him the ball — Iowa State star and two-time All-Big 12 selection Brock Purdy the first two seasons, then his younger brother, Florida State quarterback Chubba Purdy, for his senior season.
Dickie, who was just 5-foot-9 and 175 pounds, signed with NCAA Division II Colorado State-Pueblo in 2019 but wasn't listed on the active roster in 2019 or 2020.
Arkansas: Allie Freeman — 5,744 Receiving Yards
High school: Episcopal High School (Little Rock, Arkansas)
Receiving stats: 302 receptions, 43 TDs, 5,744 receiving yards
College: Ouachita Baptist
Bottom Line: Allie Freeman
The son of former University of Arkansas point guard Allie Freeman, Episcopal High's Allie Freeman lit up the Arkansas state record books three decades after his son's exploits on the football field.
Freeman, only 5-foot-9 and 160 pounds, also owns the state records for receptions and receiving touchdowns.
Overlooked by Division I programs, Freeman stayed in state at NCAA Division II Ouachita Baptist, where he was a four-time All-Great American Conference selection and also played on the basketball team.
California: Trenton Irwin — 5,268 Receiving Yards
High school: Hart High School (Santa Clarita, California)
Receiving stats: 285 receptions, 57 TDs, 5,268 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Trenton Irwin
There are a lot of impressive players on this list — and some of the records they set and numbers they put up are mind-boggling.
None more so than former Hart High star Trenton Irwin, who owns California state records for both receiving yards and receptions and was a Parade All-American as a senior.
Irwin was a standout wide receiver and return specialist at Stanford, made the roster of the Cincinnati Bengals as an undrafted free agent, and was on the team in the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
Colorado: Ryan Lenderman — 3,900 Receiving Yards
High school: Grand Junction High School (Grand Junction, Colorado)
Receiving stats: 251 receptions, 49 TDs, 3,900 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Ryan Lenderman
Few players in America have held their record as long as Grand Junction High's Ryan Lenderman, who is still Colorado's career leader in receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns 32 years after he played his last game.
Lenderman also set the state's single-game record with 23 receptions as a senior in 1989.
Lenderman left Colorado to go play in the Pac-10 at USC, where he had his best season in 1993 with eight catches for 84 yards and one touchdown.
Connecticut: Aaron Hernandez — 3,677 Receiving Yards
High school: Bristol Central High School (Bristol, Connecticut)
Receiving stats: 172 receptions, 47 TD, 3,677 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Aaron Hernandez
Former Bristol Central High star Aaron Hernandez was the top tight end recruit in the country in 2007 and still holds state records for career, single-season and single-game receiving yards.
Hernandez helped lead the University of Florida to a national championship as a sophomore and won the John Mackey Award as the nation's top tight end as a junior.
He played three seasons for the New England Patriots, signed a $40 million contract in 2012, was arrested for the murder of Odin Lloyd in 2013, and convicted and sentenced to life in prison in 2015. Hernandez committed suicide in prison in 2017. He was 27 years old.
Delaware: Steve Watson — 4,102 Receiving Yards
High school: St. Mark's High School (Wilmington, Delaware)
Receiving stats: 224 receptions, 27 TDs (adjusted stats)
Bottom Line: Steve Watson
Because historical records aren't kept for high school football stats in Delaware, we had to use our common sense and name St. Mark's Steve Watson as the state's greatest high school wide receiver.
Watson led St. Mark's back-to-back state championships in football in 1973 and 1974 and had a standout career at Temple before going undrafted in 1979.
Watson made the Denver Broncos as an undrafted free agent in 1979 and stayed with the team for nine seasons and played in two Super Bowls. In a bit of "creative" math to make up for Delaware's lack of records, we used a four-year stretch in the NFL for Watson's statistics, including when he led the NFL in touchdown receptions in 1981.
Florida: Darrell Jackson — 4,594 Receiving Yards
High school: Tampa Catholic High School (Tampa, Florida)
Receiving stats: 191 receptions, 50 TDs, 4,594 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Darrell Jackson
Darrell Jackson was one of the greatest athletes in Florida history, leading Tampa Catholic to a state championship in basketball and finishing his football career with the national record for receiving yards.
Jackson played three seasons for the University of Florida and left school early for the NFL after an All-American junior season in 1999.
Picked in the third round of the 1999 NFL draft by the Seattle Seahawk, Jackson played nine seasons in the NFL and is among the Seahawks' career leaders in receiving yards, receiving touchdowns and receptions.
Georgia: Stanford Rome — 4,477 Receiving Yards
High school: Valdosta High School (Valdosta, Georgia)
Receiving stats: 209 receptions, 43 TDs, 4,477 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Stanford Rome
Stanford Rome was the best player on one of the greatest high school football teams of all time — the 1971 national championship team at Valdosta High.
Rome was 6-foot-5 and 215 pounds and had 1,573 receiving yards and 21 touchdowns in 1971 on the way to being named a Parade All-American. He went on to play both football and basketball for Clemson.
Rome was drafted in the NBA by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 1978 and in the NFL by the Kansas City Chiefs in 1979, where he played four seasons. Rome's son, Brandon Frye, played three seasons in the NFL for the Houston Texans.
Hawaii: Kanawai Noa — 3,510 Receiving Yards
High school: Punahou School (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Receiving stats: 172 receptions, 36 TDs
Bottom Line: Kanawai Noa
Kanawai Noa led the Punahou School to a state championship and two state runner-up finishes on the way to setting the Hawaii state record for career receiving yards.
He played four injury-riddled seasons at Cal, where he was good enough to be on the Biletnikoff Award watch list twice before he played his final season at Nebraska as a graduate transfer.
Campbell High signee and UCF signee Titus Mokiao-Atimalala needed 595 receiving yards to break Noa's record in 2020 before the season was canceled because of the pandemic.
Idaho: Chris Horn — 4,368 Receiving Yards
High school: Notus High School (Notus, Idaho)
Receiving stats: 246 receptions, 46 TDs (adjusted stats)
College: Rocky Mountain
Bottom Line: Chris Horn
Chris Horn is the only true eight-man player to make the list, coming out of tiny Notus High in Notus, Idaho, with an estimated population of just over 600.
Horn went from Notus to NAIA program Rocky Mountain College, where he led the nation in receiving for three years. It's also the place where we pulled his stats from in a creative bit of math because Idaho doesn't keep a high school football record book.
Horn made the leap from the NAIA to the Indoor Football League to the NFL in 2003, where he spent three seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Illinois: Jordan Westerkamp — 4,548 Receiving Yards
High school: Montini Catholic High School (Lombard, Illinois)
Receiving stats: 238 receptions, 68 TDs
Bottom Line: Jordan Westerkamp
Jordan Westerkamp won three consecutive state championships at Montini Catholic High, where he broke all of the receiving records set by his father, Bob, decades earlier.
Westerkamp saved his greatest performance for his final game at Montini, when he had 12 catches for 353 yards and five touchdowns in a 70-45 win over Joliet Catholic in the Class 5A Division II state championship game.
Westerkamp was a two-time All-Big Ten selection at Nebraska and played professional football in four different leagues in four years — the NFL, CFL, AAF and XFL.
Indiana: Anthony Warrum — 4,942 Receiving Yards
High school: Heritage Christian School (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Receiving stats: 269 receptions, 62 TDs
College: Illinois State
Bottom Line: Anthony Warrum
Anthony Warrum finished his high school career in the top 10 nationally for receiving yards and set Indiana state records for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns.
One amazing stat about Warrum is that from his sophomore year of high school through his senior year of college at Illinois State — seven seasons — he had over 1,000 receiving yards in five seasons.
Warrum set Illinois State's single-season record with 1,290 receiving yards in 2015 and was a two-time All-Missouri Valley Conference selection.
Iowa: Levi Jungling — 3,818 Receiving Yards
High school: Pella Christian High School (Pella, Indiana)
Receiving stats: 192 receptions, 46 TDs
Bottom Line: Levi Jungling
Levi Jungling set the Iowa single-season record with 1,602 receiving yards as a junior in 2015 and as a senior saw his numbers drop drastically to 1,177 receiving yards playing in Iowa's Class 1A division.
Jungling's Division I recruiting momentum fell off a little bit with the drop-off in performance, and he went to a local NAIA college, Dordt University, which didn't begin playing football until 2008.
With Jungling, Dordt's fortunes changed rapidly. The Defenders had their first .500 season in 2017, then posted their first winning season and national ranking in 2018, when they went 7-3. Dordt was 7-3 again in 2019 and 7-2 in 2020.
Kansas: Aaron Wedel — 3,839 Receiving Yards
High school: Sacred Heart Catholic High School (Salina, Kansas)
Receiving stats: 207 receptions
Bottom Line: Aaron Wedel
Aaron Wedel set the single-season record with 78 catches for 1,343 receiving yards as a junior in 2006 before breaking the state's career record as a senior.
Wedel had the distinct advantage of playing with one of the greatest quarterbacks in Kansas high school football history, Dane Simoneau, who was a four-time NCAA Division II All-American at Washburn University and was the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy in 2011.
Wedel did not play college football but graduated from the University of Kansas and lives in the Kansas City area.
Kentucky: Jake Johnson — 5,614 Receiving Yards
High school: Pulaski County High School (Somerset, Kentucky)
Receiving stats: 414 receptions, 64 TDs
Bottom Line: Jake Johnson
Jake Johnson torched the Kentucky state record books as a senior in 2016, setting the single-season record with 139 receptions for 1,701 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns.
Johnson, who won one state championship and finished as runner-up three more times at Pulaski County High, also was named Class 5A Player of the Year in 2016.
Johnson led Georgetown College with 46 receptions for 703 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2019 and will play his senior season in the spring of 2021.
Louisiana: Trey Quinn— 6,566 Receiving Yards
High school: Barbe High School (Lake Charles, Louisiana)
Receiving stats: 357 receptions, 70 TDs
Bottom Line: Trey Quinn
Trey Quinn was in the spotlight from an early age. He threw a no-hitter in the opening round of the Little League World Series in 2008.
Widely thought of as the greatest wide receiver in Louisiana high school football history, Quinn broke Dorial Green-Beckham's national career receiving record in 2013 by just 20 yards.
Quinn played his first two seasons at LSU before he transferred to SMU and had 114 catches for 1,236 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2017. Quinn was the final pick in the 2018 NFL draft — "Mr. Irrelevant" — and now plays for the Las Vegas Raiders.
Related:Most Passing Yards in High School Football History
Maine: Chandler Shostak — 1,789 Receiving Yards
High school: Cony High School (Augusta, Maine)
Receiving stats: 124 receptions, 28 TDs
Bottom Line: Chandler Shostak
Like many great high school football wide receivers, Chandler Shostak paired up with a record-setting quarterback — Maine's career leading passer Ben Lucas.
While Shostak's career totals pale in comparison to many players on this list, it's a remarkable statistic considering Maine is way behind the rest of the country when it comes to opening up their offenses.
Shostak had his best season as a senior in 2012, with 58 receptions for 853 yards and 12 touchdowns on the way to being named Kennebec Journal Player of the Year.
Maryland/D.C.: Trevon Diggs — 4,149 Receiving Yards
High school: The Avalon School (Wheaton, Maryland)
Receiving stats: 78 receptions, 15 TDs (junior year)
Bottom Line: Trevon Diggs
The younger brother of NFL superstar wide receiver Stefon Diggs, Trevon Diggs started his career at Wooton High School before transferring to The Avalon School.
Trevon Diggs started his career at Alabama playin both ways and returning kicks, switched full-time to cornerback as a sophomore, won a national championship as a junior, and was an All-American as a senior. Diggs was drafted in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys, led the NFL in interceptions and was an NFL All-Pro in 2021 and is a two-time Pro Bowler.
Massachusetts: Greg McMurtry — 3,794 Receiving Yards
High school: Brockton High School (Brockton, Massachusetts)
Receiving stats: 239 receptions, 20 TDs (adjusted stats)
Bottom Line: Greg McMurtry
Massachusetts is another state where they don't keep official high school record books, but it wasn't hard to find the greatest high school wide receiver in Massachusetts history — Brockton High's Greg McMurtry.
McMurtry was the No. 14 overall pick in the 1986 MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox but decided to play football at the University of Michigan after leading Brockton to back-to-back Division I Super Bowl titles, the Massachusetts equivalent of a state championship.
McMurtry was the first Gatorade Player of the Year in Massachusetts in 1985, played in the Rose Bowl three times and five seasons in the NFL.
Michigan: D.J. Mershman — 3,741 Receiving Yards
High school: Stevenson High School (Sterling Heights, Michigan)
Receiving stats: 194 receptions, 43 TDs
Colleges: Northwood/Central Michigan
Bottom Line: D.J. Mershman
D.J. Mershman was one half of the most prolific passing and receiving combination in Michigan high school history — quarterback Jason Fracassa ended his career as the state's career leading passer.
As seniors, the duo led Stevenson High to a state runner-up finish, and both signed with NCAA Division II Northwood University, with Mershman racking up 1,896 receiving yards and 21 receiving touchdowns as a senior.
Online records show Mershman transferred to Central Michigan for his final two seasons but didn't record any statistics.
Minnesota: Michael Floyd — 3,218 Receiving Yards
High school: Cretin-Derham Hall High School (Saint Paul, Minnesota)
Receiving stats: 143 receptions, 41 TDs
College: Notre Dame
Bottom Line: Michael Floyd
Possibly the greatest high school football player in Minnesota history, Michael Floyd worked off his scholarship at Cretin-Derham Hall High by working as a custodian before school started in the morning.
Floyd was a two-time Minnesota Gatorade Player of the Year, two-time Associated Press Minnesota Player of the Year and USA Today All-American in 2007.
He had two 1,000-yard receiving seasons at Notre Dame but struggled with alcohol issues throughout college and in the NFL, where he was the No. 13 overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft but only lasted five seasons.
Mississippi: Chase Rogers — 3,729 Receiving Yards
High school: St. Stanislaus School (St. Louis, Mississippi)
Receiving stats: 216 receptions, 44 TDs
Colleges: Louisiana/Ole Miss
Bottom Line: Chase Rogers
Chase Rogers set the Mississippi state record for receiving touchdowns as a tight end while paired up with future LSU starting quarterback Myles Brennan at St. Stanislaus.
Rogers and Brennan led St. Stanislaus to two state championship games, and Rogers was named a MaxPreps All-American in 2016 and signed with the University of Louisiana.
He transferred to Ole Miss after two injury-riddled seasons and played mainly on special teams in 2020.
Missouri: Dorial Green-Beckham — 6,536 Receiving Yards
High school: Hillcrest High School (Springfield, Missouri)
Receiving stats: 300 receptions, 75 TDs
Bottom Line: Dorial Green-Beckhham
Perhaps the greatest high school wide receiver of all time — and undoubtedly the top receiver recruit — Dorial Green-Beckham set the national record for receiving yards and is the only receiver to win the Hall Trophy as the nation's top high school football player.
Green-Beckham stayed in the state to play for Missouri but was dismissed from the team after two seasons due to a series of off-field issues and arrests.
He was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NFL draft by the Tennessee Titans and only lasted two seasons before off-field issues led to his release.
Montana: Gabe Sulser — 4,007 Receiving Yards
High school: Billings Senior High School (Billings, Montana)
Receiving stats: 261 receptions, 50 TDs
Bottom Line: Gabe Sulser
Gabe Sulser is a dynamo with the football in his hands. He led Billings Senior High to two state championships and set state records for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns, although he scored a further 30 touchdowns on defense, rushing and special teams.
At 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds, Susler was a three-time All-State selection at wide receiver, the 2017 Montana Gatorade Player of the Year, and signed with the University of Montana, where his father played football in the late 1980s and his older sister ran track.
Sulser started nine games as a true freshman, and the first time he touched the ball as a college football player, he scored on a 53-yard touchdown against Sacramento State. Sulser played his final year of college football at Texas in 2022.
Nevada: Ryan Smith — 3,208 Receiving Yards
High school: Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas, Nevada)
Receiving stats: 132 receptions, 51 TDs
Bottom Line: Ryan Smith
Only 5-foot-7 and 170 pounds, Ryan Smith played way bigger during his four years at Bishop Gorman, winning four state championships and going 56-4 overall.
The son of longtime college football coach DeAndre Smith, who is now the running backs coach at Texas Tech, Ryan Smith originally committed to New Mexico when his father was coaching there but signed with Duke after his father switched jobs.
Ryan Smith lettered all four seasons at Duke and finished his career at No. 6 for punt return yardage in school history, and also ran track for the Blue Devils.
Nebraska: Matt Davison — 3,623 Receiving Yards
High school: Tecumseh High School (Tecumseh, Nebraska)
Receiving stats: 51 TDs
Bottom Line: Matt Davison
Matt Davison barely played his freshman and sophomore seasons but lit it up in his final two years and became one of the few in-state players offered a scholarship to national power Nebraska by head coach Tom Osborne.
Davison also owns Nebraska state records for single-season receiving yards and career touchdowns.
More than anything, Davison is known for one of the more famous plays in Nebraska history when he caught a touchdown pass against Missouri as time expired after it bounced off a teammate's foot to tie the game and send it to overtime. The Huskers went on to win the game, then the national championship.
New Hampshire: Ryan Griffin — 2,468 Receiving Yards
High school: Londonderry High School (Londonderry, New Hampshire)
Receiving stats: 183 receptions, 22 TDs (adjusted stats)
Bottom Line: Ryan Griffin
We had to put our objective minds to work to pick Londonderry High tight end Ryan Derry as the best wide receiver in New Hampshire high school football history. The state doesn't keep all-time statistics records.
But what we came away with, thanks to some creative math, was an incredibly complete player who was a star at UConn as a two-time All-Big East tight end and named the Huskies' Offensive Player of the Year in 2012.
Griffin, 6-foot-6 and 250 pounds, completed his eighth season in the NFL in 2020 after being a sixth-round pick by the Houston Texans in the 2013 NFL draft.
New Jersey: Anthony Fasano — 2,500 Receiving Yards
High school: Verona High School (Verona, New Jersey)
Receiving stats: 168 receptions, 42 TDs
College: Notre Dame
Bottom Line: Anthony Fasano
Anthony Fasano is one of the few tight ends on this list. He was a high school All-American at Verona High School and played in the U.S. Army All-American game following his senior season.
Fasano signed with Notre Dame and played on some of the great Irish teams of the early 2000s alongside quarterback Brady Quinn. Fasano finished his career second on Notre Dame's career list for receiving yards and receptions by a tight end.
Fasano was a John Mackey Award finalist as a senior and had a lengthy NFL career, playing 12 seasons for four teams.
New Mexico: Parker Johnson — 4,718 Receiving Yards
High school: Ruidoso High School (Ruidoso, New Mexico)
Receiving stats: 277 receptions, 50 TDs
Colleges: Simon Fraser/New Mexico State
Bottom Line: Parker Johnson
Like a lot of players on this list, Parker Johnson's receiving statistics don't tell the full story of his career despite setting New Mexico career records for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns at Ruidoso High.
Johnson added another 1,459 rushing yards and 28 rushing touchdowns as well as 1,561 yards and two touchdowns on kick and punt returns.
Johnson was listed on the 2015 roster for NCAA Division II Simon Fraser University but appears to have transferred to New Mexico State, where records show he played one game in 2016.
New York: Bruce Williams — 3,405 Receiving Yards
High school: Christian Brothers Academy (Syracuse, New York)
Receiving stats: 216 receptions, 51 TDs
Bottom Line: Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams was one half of a record-setting duo at Christian Brothers Academy alongside quarterback Greg Paulus, who ended his career with the state passing record while Williams set the records for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns.
Williams also set the New York single-season records for the same categories when he had 103 receptions for 1,546 yards and 24 touchdowns as a senior in 2004.
Williams lettered all four seasons at Syracuse University, where he was a versatile player who bounced back and forth between offense and defense.
North Carolina: Sage Surratt — 5,926 Receiving Yards
High school: Lincolnton High School (Lincolnton, North Carolina)
Receiving stats: 366 receptions, 80 TDs
College: Wake Forest
Bottom Line: Sage Surratt
Sage Surratt set North Carolina career records for receiving yards, receptions and touchdowns at Lincolnton High but almost came away with an even more impressive record. He finished his career as the second-leading scorer in state basketball history with 2,951 career points.
Surratt was an All-ACC receiver as a sophomore at Wake Forest in 2019 and had over 1,000 receiving yards despite playing in just nine games because of a shoulder injury.
Surratt, 6-foot-3 and 215 pounds, opted out of the 2020 season in order to prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft but went undrafted. He's been in the USFL the last two seasons and won the USFL championship with the Birmingham Stallions in 2022.
North Dakota: Weston Dressler — 3,382 Receiving Yards
High school: Bismarck High School (Bismarck, North Dakota)
Receiving stats: 243 receptions, 38 TDs (adjusted stats)
College: North Dakota
Bottom Line: Weston Dressler
Even without official records for high school football in North Dakota, you still don't have to make much of a leap to see Bismarck High's Weston Dressler is the best high school wide receiver in state history.
Dressler helped lead Bismarck to the state title in 2001 and a state runner-up finish in 2003 on the way to being named North Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year. He still owns the state record with a 10.44-second time in the 100-meter dash.
He was a three-time All-American at NCAA Division II University of North Dakota and a two-time Harlon Hill Trophy finalist. He played 11 seasons in the CFL and was a four-time CFL All-Star.
Ohio: Justin Sawmiller — 6,277 Receiving Yards
High school: Kenton High School (Kenton, Ohio)
Receiving stats: 445 receptions, 59 TDs
Colleges: Cincinnati/Bowling Green
Bottom Line: Justin Sawmiller
Justin Sawmiller has one record that may never be broken — the national record with 445 receptions in four seasons at Kenton High School.
Sawmiller smashed the previous Ohio record for receiving yards by over 1,000 yards. Fairview High's Ben Wonderly set the previous record in 2008 with 5,172 receiving yards.
Sawmiller started his career as a walk-on at the University of Cincinnati, then finished his career at Bowling Green, where he registered his only college statistics with eight receptions for 88 yards and one touchdown in 2018.
Oklahoma: Jason Pirtle — 4,843 Receiving Yards
High school: Locust Grove High School (Locust Grove, Oklahoma)
Receiving stats: 249 receptions, 59 TDs
College: North Texas
Bottom Line: Jason Pirtle
Locust Grove High's Jason Pirtle wass as good as any tight end on this list in high school.
Pirtle set Oklahoma state career records for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns and saved his best for last when he crafted perhaps the best season of any tight end in high school football history as a junior in 2014 — 99 receptions for 2,096 yards and 29 touchdowns.
Pirtle was a two-time All-Conference USA selection at the University of North Texas.
Oregon: Silas Starr — 3,315 Receiving Yards
High school: Central Catholic High School (Portland, Oregon)
Receiving stats: 174 receptions, 38 TDs
Bottom Line: Silas Starr
The son of University of Oregon track and field All-American LaReina Starr, Silas Starr was a two-time all-state pick at Central Catholic and led his team to a state championship in 2019.
Starr has the size, at 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, to transition into being a hybrid tight end/wide receiver in college and picked Stanford after being courted by almost every Pac-12 school.
Pennsylvania: Julian Fleming — 5,481 Receiving Yards
High school: Southern Columbia Area High School (Catawissa, Pennsylvania)
Receiving stats: 255 receptions, 77 TDs
College: Ohio State
Bottom Line: Julian Fleming
The top wide receiver recruit in the country over the last decade, Southern Columbia Area High's Julian Fleming was a two-time USA Today All-American and ESPN's No. 1 recruit in the nation for the Class of 2020.
Fleming didn't lose a game his final three years of high school, leading Southern Columbia to 48 consecutive wins and three state championships.
Fleming had seven catches for 74 yards as a true freshman at Ohio State in 2020 and made his only start of the year in the Big Ten championship game against Northwestern, where he had four catches for 53 yards but has battled injuries throughout his career.
Rhode Island: Marven Beauvais — 2,381 Receiving Yards
High school: Cranston East High School (Cranston, Rhode Island)
Receiving stats: 125 receptions, 36 TDs
College: Rhode Island
Bottom Line: Marven Beauvais
Marven Beauvais is the greatest high school wide receiver in Rhode Island history and led Cranston East High to Rhode Island's Division I Super Bowl in 2013 — their equivalent of a state championship game — which was the first time in almost a decade a public school had advanced that far.
Beauvais, 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds, had 20 of his 36 career touchdowns as a senior, although they lost the Super Bowl to Rhode Island powerhouse Bishop Hendricken.
Beauvais had a standout career at the University of Rhode Island, where he was an All-Colonial Athletic Conference pick as a junior with 46 receptions for 732 yards and five touchdowns.
South Carolina: A.J. Green — 5,365 Receiving Yards
High school: Summerville High School (Summerville, South Carolina)
Receiving stats: 279 receptions, 53 TDs
Bottom Line: A.J. Green
A.J. Green was a high school football phenom at Summerville High, a USA Today All-American in 2007 and one of the greatest wide receiver recruits of all time.
In 2006, Sports Illustrated ran a profile about Green that predicted he would be in the NFL by 2011 as a high draft pick. He was selected No. 4 overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2011 NFL draft.
Before that, Green was a two-time All-American at the University of Georgia. He's played with the Cincinnati Bengals a decade, where he was a seven-time Pro Bowler and three-time NFL All-Pro.
South Dakota: Canyon Bauer — 2,731 Receiving Yards
High school: O'Gorman High School (Sioux Falls, South Dakota)
Receiving stats: 168 receptions
College: South Dakota
Bottom Line: Canyon Bauer
In South Dakota, they've successfully privatized state records for high school football, and it will run you $40 if you want that information.
Or you can track it down yourself. Either way, you should come up with O'Gorman High's Canyon Bauer, who was named the 2018 South Dakota Gatorade Player of the Year after setting the state record for receiving yards.
Bauer stayed in-state and signed with the University of South Dakota, where he was the Scout Team Player of the Year in 2019 and has been part of the wide receiver rotation and a key special teams player the last two seasons.
Tennessee: Davis Howell — 4,830 Receiving Yards
High school: Christian Academy of Knoxville (Knoxville, Tennessee)
Receiving stats: 358 receptions, 50 TDs, 4,830 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Davis Howell
Davis Howell broke the national record for career receptions in his final game at Christian Academy of Knoxville, catching 15 passes for 172 yards and two touchdowns in a 48-14 win over Milan in the Class 3A state championship game.
Howell, at 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, led the nation with 143 receptions for 1,947 yards and 22 touchdowns as a senior in 2012 but only received one Division I offer.
Howell played one season at Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2013, when he redshirted, but never registered any stats for the Mocs and wasn't listed on the 2014 or 2015 official rosters.
Vermont: Gavin Johnson — 1,489 Receiving Yards
High school: Mount Anthony High School (Bennington, Vermont)
Receiving stats: 85 receptions, 17 TDs, 1,489 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Gavin Johnson
We have little doubt Mount Anthony High tight end Gavin Johnson would have leapfrogged several spots up this list — unfortunately his senior season was canceled due to the pandemic.
At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, Johnson was a game-changing tight end for two seasons and set a school record with 12 touchdown receptions as a junior, when he led the state with 39 receptions for 893 yards.
Johnson was the only player from Vermont out of 1,000 players nationally selected to the Sports Illustrated All-American Watch List in August 2020. Johnson had eight receptions for 100 yards as a freshman wide receiver for NCAA Division II Assumption University in 2022.
Texas: Marvin Mims — 5,485 Receiving Yards
High school: Lone Star High School (Frisco, Texas)
Receiving stats: 267 receptions, 58 TDs, 5,485 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Marvin Mims
Along with Trenton Irwin's record in California, Marvin Mims' career receiving record in Texas is truly something to behold.
Mims, 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, put together arguably the greatest season by a high school wide receiver in history as a senior at Lone Star High in 2019 when he caught 117 passes for 2,629 receiving yards and 23 touchdowns.
Mims was a two-time All-Big 12 selection at Oklahoma and drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Utah: Puka Nacua — 5,270 Receiving Yards
High school: Orem High School (Orem, Utah)
Receiving stats: 261 receptions, 58 TDs, 5,270 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Puka Nacua
The younger brother of NFL safety Kai Nacua and University of Utah wide receiver Samson Nacua, Puka Nacua might end up being the best of the bunch.
Puka Nacua led Orem High to back-to-back state championships in 2017 and 2018 and was the Utah Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Offensive Player of the Year for Utah as a senior.
Puka Nacua shocked USC, where he'd been a longtime commit, by signing with the University of Washington on national signing day in 2019. Nacua played two seasons for Washington before playing his final two seasons for BYU and was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Virginia: Jeremy Gilchrist — 3,334 Receiving Yards
High school: Landstown High School (Virginia Beach, Virginia)
Receiving stats: 201 receptions, 33 TDs, 3,334 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Jeremy Gilchrist
There's not a clear consensus on who the No. 1 receiver in Virginia high school history is, but enough places have Jeremy Gilchrist in the top spot so we're going with him, although there's many who think the Virginia High School League record book isn't totally accurate.
Either way, Gilchrist lit it up in the early 2000s before signing with Virginia Tech, where he played one season and then transferred to Hampton University. At Hampton, Gilchrist was an All-American punt returner and became the first wide receiver in school history to break 1,000 receiving yards in a single season.
Gilchrist played in the CFL for the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
Washington: Cody Bruns — 5,177 Receiving Yards
High school: Prosser High School (Prosser, Washington)
Receiving stats: 310 receptions, 72 TDs, 5,177 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Cody Bruns
Cody Bruns already held the state record for receiving touchdowns before his junior season and capped off his career by leading Prosser High to a 14-0 record and the Class 2A state championship.
Bruns led the nation in receptions as a junior in 2006 and had his best season statistically with 109 receptions for a state single-season record of 1,891 yards and 28 touchdowns.
Bruns played for the University of Washington but didn't score a touchdown until his redshirt senior season in 2012.
West Virginia: Drew Hatfield — 5,168 Receiving Yards
High school: Mingo Central High School (Delbarton, West Virginia)
Receiving stats: 343 receptions, 64 TDs, 5,168 receiving yards
Colleges: Glenville State/West Virginia State
Bottom Line: Drew Hatfield
Drew Hatfield was a four-time All-State selection and won the Randy Moss Award in 2019 as the top high school wide receiver in West Virginia, named after the former DuPont High star and NFL Hall of Famer.
Hatfield finished as the runner-up for the Moss Award as a junior and broke the former state record for receiving yards set by Nitro's Chris Fulmer by just 100 yards.
Hatfield signed with NCAA Division II Glenville State and transferred to West Virginia State in 2022.
Wisconsin: Kole Heckendorf — 3,831 Receiving Yards
High school: Mosinee High School (Mosinee, Wisconsin)
Receiving stats: 235 receptions, 36 TDs, 3,831 receiving yards
College: North Dakota State
Bottom Line: Kole Heckendorf
Mosinee High's Kole Heckendorf's career totals for receiving yards, receptions and receiving touchdowns are all state records, and his 119 receptions as a junior led the entire nation.
Heckendorf played for FCS powerhouse North Dakota State right before they caught fire and won five consecutive national championships beginning in 2011, but he was in the NFL for three seasons as a practice squad player for five different teams.
Since 2018 he's been the offensive coordinator at Saint John's University — the winningest program in NCAA Division III history.
Wyoming: Andrew Johnson — 2,165 Receiving Yards
High school: Cheyenne Central High School (Cheyenne, Wyoming)
Receiving stats: 140 receptions, 30 TDs, 2,165 receiving yards
Bottom Line: Andrew Johnson
Wyoming doesn't keep career records for high school football, but Andrew Johnson has two of the top 10 receiving seasons in state history so he gets the nod.
Johnson, 6-foot-1 and 190 pounds, was a two-time all-state pick at both wide receiver and defensive back at Cheyenne Central High, where his father, Steve Zimmerman, was an all-state linebacker in the early 1990s.
Johnson was the only Wyoming player on the Sports Illustrated Preseason All-American watch list for high school football and signed with the University of Wyoming, where he moved full time to free safety.