Mississippi has a rich tradition of producing great wide receivers. From Jerry Rice to A.J. Brown, the Magnolia State always seems to have two or three big-time prospects tearing through defensive secondaries.
But the class of 2021 is certainly an exception. This year, the state has no fewer than 10 receivers who are projected to be multi-year starters at big-time college programs in the near future.
Here’s a look at the 10 of the highest-ranked senior receivers across the state headed into the 2020 football season.
Deion Smith, Provine
Any discussion of the top receivers in the state has to start with Deion Smith. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound outside threat is Mississippi’s top-rated recruit, per 247Sports, and the 4-star prospect is rated as the nation’s 13th-best receiver recruit.
Smith had a breakout season as a sophomore in 2018 with 23 catches for 465 yards and nine touchdowns, then followed that up with 43 catches for 1,059 yards and 19 touchdowns as a junior.
He held offers from Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Mississippi State when he decided to commit to defending national champion LSU in December.
Isaiah Brevard, Southaven
Southaven’s Isaiah Brevard is certainly one of the more interesting prospects in state. At 6-foot-4 and 190 pounds, he has all the makings of a big-time receiver. The 4-star recruit is the second-highest rated receiver in Mississippi and the No. 25 receiver recruit in the country, according to 247Sports.
Brevard started getting attention from college scouts during his sophomore season, when he caught 32 passes for 713 yards and four touchdowns. He was hurt almost out of the gate in 2019, but still brought in 32 receptions for 405 yards and seven touchdowns in just six games.
Brevard has a good relationship with former Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead, who continued to recruit him in his new post as Oregon’s offensive coordinator. Brevard committed to the Ducks on July 4.
Antonio Harmon, Kosciusko
The state is loaded with great two-way players, and Kosciusko’s Antonio Harmon would certainly be high on that list as well. The 4-star recruit is ranked as the No. 48 receiver in the nation, according to 247Sports.
He has been a consistent threat for the Whippets, making 31 receptions for 849 yards with 10 combined touchdowns in his freshman and sophomore seasons, then breaking out with 35 catches for 429 yards and four more touchdowns as a junior. He also excels as a defensive back, with two interceptions and 53 total tackles in 10 games last year.
At 6-foot-4 and 205 pounds, Harmon will be a big get for whoever lands his commitment. He currently holds offers from 11 schools, including Georgia, LSU, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Oregon and Texas, among others.
Brandon Buckhaulter, Hartfield Academy
The only entry on this list from the MAIS ranks is Hartfield Academy’s 6-foot-3, 205-pound receiver Brandon Buckhaulter. He dazzled scouts as a junior and shot up the recruiting rankings, landing at the No. 4 overall recruit for the state of Mississippi and the No. 80 receiving prospect in the nation, according to 247Sports.
That jump in the rankings was fueled by a big junior season in which Buckhaulter caught 35 passes for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns. He was one of the lone bright spots for Kosciusko, which struggled to a 3-9 record last year.
Buckhaulter holds at least five FBS offers, including from all of the big three in Mississippi. He is currently committed to Mississippi State.
Kanarius Johnson, Laurel
Laurel’s Kanarius Johnson is proof that size isn’t everything. At 6-foot-2 and 190 pounds, Johnson is one of the smaller guys on our list, but he plays much, much bigger. The Golden Tornadoes’ most lethal receiving threat is rated as a 3-star recruit and the nation’s No. 82 receiving prospect in the country by 247Sports.
As a junior, Johnson turned heads with a team-high 42 catches for 714 yards and eight touchdowns. He helped Laurel to an 8-2 finish in the regular season, and scored two touchdowns in a loss to Picayune in the 5A South State playoffs.
Johnson remains uncommitted, but holds offers from at least 13 FBS programs, including all three in-state schools, as well as Auburn, Missouri, Penn State, Louisville and Tulane.
Corey Ellington, Holmes County
At 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Holmes County Central star Corey Ellington is another great two-way player who is easily one of the best wideouts in the state. He is ranked as a 3-star prospect and a top-100 safety recruit in the country by 247Sports.
But his skills as a receiver are undeniable. Ellington caught 48 passes for 858 yards and 15 touchdowns as a junior, helping Holmes County Central to an 8-4 regular-season finish.
Ellington will likely play safety in college. He held offers from Arkansas, Memphis, Louisiana Tech and Southern Miss, among others, when he committed to Mississippi State back in April.
Cameron Wright, South Panola
What’s not to like about South Panola’s big 6-foot-4, 200-pound target Cameron Wright? 247Sports has him listed as the No. 14 overall prospect in the state and the No. 147 receiver in the nation.
The rising senior caught 39 passes for 592 yards last season, scoring nine touchdowns.
Wright held offers from no fewer than 13 schools – including Ole Miss, Southern Miss, Indiana and several others – when he decided to commit to Memphis in early July.
Xavier Franks, Magee
A constant receiving threat can be lethal in the smaller classifications, and 6-foot-2, 180-pound Magee receiver Xavier Franks is proof. His fast start in 2019 shot him up the recruiting rankings, according to 247Sports, which currently lists him as the No. 20 prospect in Mississippi and the No. 178 receiver among seniors nationwide.
Franks ate opposing cornerbacks for lunch early in the season, going over 100 yards and catching multiple touchdowns in four of Magee’s first five games in 2019. He finished the season with a stellar 70 catches for 1,001 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He remains uncommitted, but holds offers from eight FBS programs, including Southern Miss, Central Florida, Arkansas State, South Alabama and Tulane, among others.
Caleb Anderson, Brandon
Brandon has produced some great wide receiver prospects over the past couple of seasons, and 6-foot-4, 200-pound Caleb Anderson is looking to continue that trend. Despite limited playing time, he ranks as the No. 22 overall prospect for the state of Mississippi according to 247Sports, which rates him as a 3-star prospect.
Anderson caught five passes for 43 yards and a touchdown in the season opener against Starkville before missing the next seven games due to injury. In the five games in which he played, the big playmaker caught 27 passes for 276 yards and two touchdowns.
The injury has made him an under-the-radar recruit, but he’s healthy headed into 2020 and will likely garner several scholarship offers before the season’s end. Ole Miss, Mississippi State, Southern Miss and Georgia State are among the schools who have shown interest.
Jamarcus Jones, Union
Union’s run-first offense has helped the Yellowjackets to playoff berths, but it’s also masked the undeniable talent of 6-foot-4, 190-pound receiver Jamarcus Jones. Despite limited action, Jones’ size and ball-catching skills have him ranked as the No. 24 overall recruit for the state of Mississippi.
Jones caught just 20 passes as a junior, but averaged better than 23 yards a catch and finished the season with more than 500 yards and six touchdowns as a junior.
He is currently committed to South Alabama, but also holds an offer from Toledo and could garner more attention with a breakout season in 2020.