Sports in Kansas: 25 Wide Receivers/Tight Ends to Watch for 2021

Casen Stallbaumer is looking for a big year for Topeka-Seaman. (photo: Laura Schwinn)

Sports in Kansas 25 WR/TEs To Watch List for 2021 –

25 to Watch for 2021 – Sports in Kansas (List is not ranked or in order)

Hays High

Hays has quite the talent back at WR position. They also have a lot of hybrid players including senior Jaren Kanak. Jordan Dale, also on the QB list and the WAC POY last season at QB, is expected to play a role at WR this season with Dylan Dreiling being the QB. We also expect Carson Kieffer and Bryce Salmans to have big years for Hays. Roy Moroni is also a big-time playmaker when healthy that should be the feature back this season. You can interchange a lot of the Hays players anywhere.

Tyler Claiborne, St. James Academy, Sr.

Claiborne has great size at 6’2.5” and 195-pounds. He also has a 4.37 GPA. He was a first team All-Non senior pick last season and will be one of the best in Kansas this year for defending 4A state champion St. James Academy.

Tyson Struber, Canton-Galva, Sr.

Struber could go down as one of the best 8-man players in Kansas history with another big season. He has been an all-state player since his freshman year for C-G and was the 8M-I POY from Sports in Kansas as a sophomore from two seasons ago. The KSU commit was also the 200-meter state champion this past spring and will be one of the best two-way players in Kansas, regardless of classification.

Tyler Little, Galena, Jr.

Little is one of the most underrated players in the state. He has 6’4.75” 235-pound size entering his junior season. He is also a two-time all-state pick in basketball after helping Galena to back to back final fours. He is a great pass catcher and also very physical blocker at TE. He also has the ability to play WR and OL. Little may be an even better defender at DE. Very versatile athlete out of 3A that will be one of the best juniors in Kansas.

Landon Dean, Frontenac, Sr.

Dean may be more known for his play on the defensive side of the ball but he will be a big-time target for the Raiders and Collin McCartney this season as a senior. The 6’5” 240-pound senior has committed to Oklahoma State and is a two-time all-state selection at defensive end. Expect him to be one of the best two-way players in Kansas at TE/DE.

Chants Nelson, Basehor Linwood, Sr.

Nelson was a first team all-non senior pick last season for the Bobcats. Basehor Linwood is looking more and more like a team to circle in 4A. Basehor Linwood has 106 kids out for football. Just six years ago they had 68. Rod Stallbaumer has done great work here as the program continues to climb.

Jordan Brown, Free State, Sr.

Brown is one of the best multiple sport athletes in the state of Kansas as an all-state pick in basketball and football. He makes the move to Free State from Basehor Linwood this fall.

Will Anciaux, Kapaun, Jr.

One of the most recruited 2023 TEs in Kansas is Anciaux with his 6’6” 230-pound size entering his junior season. We expect him to be a big-time factor in the Kapaun offense for 2021. Kapaun was one of the most improved teams in Kansas last season.

Mekhi Miller, BV North, Sr., Cole Stratton, BV North, Sr.

Miller may be the most talented on the list and has committed to Mizzou at the next level. With Henry Martin returning you can expect this to be one of, if not, the best QB/WR duo in the state. BV North took state runner-up in 6A in 2020. Stratton earned second team All-Blue Valley last season.

Silas Etter, Eudora, Sr., Jaden Hamm, Eudora, Jr., Jaiden Bender, Eudora, Jr.

These guys have gotten a ton of recruiting hype so we expect them to produce on Friday nights this fall. Although Eudora isn’t a pass heavy team they have two big-time play makers at WR and TE in Etter and Hamm. Both are explosive athletes with great size and speed. Etter has committed to Kansas State as an Athlete while Hamm has committed to Arkansas as a TE. Etter a senior, Hamm a junior, Bender a junior. Bender is a rising talent with 6’4” and 190-pound size at the position in the Class of 2023, he has offers from KU and KSU. It’s not often you have a small 4A high school with three FBS guys on the same team let alone that are catching passes.

Zack Atkins, BV Southwest, Sr.

Atkins was a second team All-Non senior pick last season for Blue Valley Southwest. We expect him to be one of the best wide recievers in 5A this season. He has great size at 6’4” and 200 pounds.

Trey Buckbee, McPherson, Sr., Gus Ruddle, McPherson, Sr.

One of the better duos in 4A football will be this two. McPherson always gets it done through the air and have had a stable of solid quarterback play stepping up over the last several seasons, even if it is one year starters including the huge season that Dylan Rinker had last year. We expect offensive production and these will be their go-to-guys in the air along with running back Jayton Gumm.

Max Muehlberger, BV Northwest, Sr. , Steven Whitter, BV Northwest

Muehlberger is expected to have a big season for one of the most improved teams in Kansas last season in BVNW. Back is all-state QB candidate Mikey Pauley. He has great size at 6’4” and 210 pounds. He also features a 4.15 GPA and is a hybrid type WR/TE. We expect big things from the Huskies this fall. He holds an offer from North Carolina State. Whitter earned second-team All-Blue Valley last season as a junior.

Sterling Lockett, Blue Valley, Sr.

Lockett has committed to Kansas State and is expecting a big year in the Eastern Kansas League. Yes, it is the same family of Lockett’s you’re thinking of. EKL is loaded at the receiver position as always.

Kendrick Jones, Mill Valley, Sr., Jared Napoli, Mill Valley, Sr.

Jones is a two-time All-Non senior pick for Mill Valley after transferring from 8-man Yates Center HS his freshman year. He is a very athletic receiver that can be a hybrid WR/ATH with 6’5” 190-pound size. We also expect Jared Napoli to have a big year at TE. Gone is Cooper Marsh but we expect Hayden Jay to be the quarterback this season for MV.

Rohan Putz, Miege, Jr.

Miege always has big production from its wide recievers and we expect Putz to have a breakout year in 2021. He’s also an all-state baseball player in a family loaded full of talent including older brother and Notre Dame star baseball player Carter Putz, who was the SIK baseball and football all-classes POY not to long ago.

Caleb Crumm, Maize South, Sr.,Blake Reeder,SM Northwest, Sr. Bo Van Bruggen, Buhler, Sr.

All three of these players earned non-senior TE all-state honors from Sports in Kansas one year ago. We expect another big year for all of them.

Lucas Barnes, Ark City, Sr., Cadon Clark, Ark City, Jr.

Ark City was 2-6 last season before exploding onto the scene of the playoffs and 4A state championship game with HC Jon Wiemers. Back is 2k yard passer Gabe Welch for his junior season. If AC can find protection up front, expect these two to be 1,000 yard type receivers for 2021.

Dion Sylvester, Parsons, Sr.

Sylvester had a breakout season last year with over 640 yards for Jeff Schibi’s offense. Last season it was Tanner Barcus that made the all-state headlines, so we could expect Sylvester to put up similar type of numbers. It is unknown if Parsons will have a two-QB system or play one but we do know they like to air it out. Sylvester will be one of the best in 3A.

Levi Knoll, Holcomb, Sr.

Knoll had over 700 yards receiving last year as a junior on his way to earning All-WAC honors. Back is Kaden Johnson at the QB so you should expect the two to be one of the better duos in 3A football for 2021.

Bo Bantz, Goddard, Sr.

Bantz had over 700 yards receiving last year for the Lions. Gone is Kyler Semrad at QB and Jake Shope at WR but we expect Bantz to be the go-to-guy in Tommy Beason’s offense.

Jace Wentling, TMP, Sr.

Wentling is a great athlete and will be a big target this season for Kade Harris. TMP was much improved last season and Wentling will look to be one of the top recievers and kickers in 2A for 2021. He is also the state long jump champion last season in 3A.

Luke Grace, Cheney, Sr.

Grace is the top returning receiver for Cheney with the graduation of all-state WR/K Logan Bartlett. They return one of the best QBs in Kansas in Harrison Voth so you can expect offensive passing production to be there once again with this duo in 3A.

Mason Ellis, Mulvane, Sr. ATH

Ellis can play nearly any skill spot on the field and will be one of the fastest players in Kansas. The NDSU commit has sub 4.4 HH speed in the 40-yard dash with great size at 6’2” and 185-pounds. We expect him to be one of, if not the most, versatile athletes in Kansas this season along with Jaren Kanak of Hays.

Trey Harmison, Riley County, Sr.

Harmison had over 600 yards receiving last season as a junior for RC as they look to be a team to make a run in the loaded 3A classification. He is a hyrbrid type athlete that could see time in both the backfield and as a receiver. His brother was a Shrine Bowl selection in 2020 for RC.

Blake Huebert, Sedgwick, Sr., Ryan Stucky, Sedgwick, Sr. – Sedgwick WRs

With a back-to-back 2k yard passer back you expect there will be major production at the receiver position for the high-flying passing attack of Jeff Werner. Lance Hoffsommer is back for his third year as a starter and Huebert was an all-state honorable mention selection in 1A last season. Huebert had around 700 yards last season and Stucky makes the switch from RB to WR.

Casen Stallbaumer, Seaman, Sr., Braden Colley, Seaman, Sr.

Stallbaumer can do it all. He was also on the running back list and is one of the best hybrids in Kansas. He had 624 yards receiving last year, 201 rushing and 110 passing with 10 total touchdowns. He also intercepted two passes. HE has great size at 6’3” 205-pounds with sub 4.6 in the 40. Colley earned first team all-league at tight end in the Centennial League last season

Bryce Cohoon, Maize, Jr.

With Avery Johnson back at the quarterback position you can expect a huge year from WR/ATH Bryce Cohoon. He has sub 4.5 handheld speed in the 40, a 35” vertical and great size at 6’3” 185 pounds. He also has a 4.47 GPA. Maize is going to be a team to keep a serious eye on the next two years with Cohoon and Johnson.

Tre Richardson, Highland Park, Jr.

Richardson is one of the top playmakers in Topeka with his KR/PR ability but should double as a standout receiver this fall. He has sub 4.5 speed and a 39” vertical entering his junior year. He also has a 4.16 GPA.

Chase Poague, SE Saline, Sr., Michael Murry, SE Saline, Sr.

Gone is the star quarterback but you have two of the fastest players in 3A on this team in Poague and Murry. Poague was a double champ in the hurdles this spring.

Gannon Remer, Silver Lake

Although Remer was listed on the running backs he can double as a pass catching receiver out of the backfield. He has 604 career receiving yards and could be a big-time target for Daigen Kruger. Remer also has nearly 900 career rushing yards with 13 touchdowns.

Derby

You are always going to have production out of Derby it’s just a matter of who steps up. Drake Thatcher is back as a second team all-league TE with 6’4” 200-pound size. Also expect Cayden Brown, Nathan Keener, Talen Neel, and Mercer Thatcher to play a role offensively for Derby in the passing game this season. We know their line protection will be outstanding as they look to 4-peat.

Jacob Parrish, Olathe North, Sr. ATH

Although one of the 25 RBs to watch, he doubles as a great receiver and had over 500 yards last season. With Aquantez Love back you could see Parrish line up more at receiver if needed where he could play in college

Matt Holthusen, Bishop Carroll, Sr.

Carroll always has solid production at the receiver position and Holthusen was a second team all-league pick last season for the Golden Eagles. Expect a big year for him. Carroll loses a lot offensively but he’s a key piece back. His father, Josh, was an all-state Top 11 pick for Maur Hill in 1992. Brother is hurdler at Wichita State.

Caquoy Patterson, Wichita East, Sr.

We expect a huge year for Patterson with the return of their quarterback for his sophomore year. They opened the eyes of many offensively last season and it should be the same for 2021.

Ben Hansen, Plainville, Sr.

Hansen was the lone junior receiver on the loaded MCL first team from a season ago.

Hagan Johnson, Wamego, Jr.

Johnson was a first team all-league selection last year in the NCKL. Hayden Oviatt returns at the quarterback and Wamego has over 90 players out for 4A. It looks like the program is going in the right direction.

Logan Oberle, SM North, Sr.

Oberle is a rising D1 prospect with 6’5” 245-pound size. Expect a big year out of him for North High. He should be one of the better tight ends in the KC metro.

Cole Watson, Lawrence, Jr.

Watson is an interesting prospect that can play on the offensive line or tight end. Last season Watson saw time at tackle as a sophomore. He has great size at 6’5” and 225-pounds. He should step into a bigger role for the Chesty Lions and Clint Bowen this season.

Joe Hall III, Manattan, Sr.

Hall earned second team All-Centennial League last season as a junior. He has put on some size in the last couple of years and enters his senior year at 6’2” 195 pounds.

Dameion Hatten – Sedan, Jett Vincent, Wheatland-Grinnell, Jr., Braxton Lafferty, Little River, Jr., Jace Schoen, Lakeside-Downs, Cade Johnson – Wallace Co., Theron Wedel – Medicine Lodge, Kyle Reese – Lebo, Drew Stutesman, Madison, Sr., Emmitt Jueneman, Hanover, Sr., Dalton Mackley, Weskan, Sr.

8-man is very-talented at the WR/TE spot for 2021 headlined by Tyson Struber who is mentioned above. Hatten has great size at 6’3.5” and 190 pounds entering his senior year for Sedan. He’s also an all-state pick in basketball. Vincent is a star on both sides of the ball and one of the best defensive backs in 8-man history statistically with two seasons left. Lafferty had a breakout year last season for Little River on the way to the 8M-I title and he will be relied upon to make up some offensive production lost to graduation of Jayden Garrison/Graham Stpehens. Johnson had over 700 yards last season for Wallace County as Schoen had over 900 yards for Lakeside-Downs on his way to earning all-state honors with his 6’3” 170-pound size. Wedel and Reese also had breakout seasons in 2020. Stutesman is expected to have a big year for Madison with the return of all-state QB hopeful Casey Helm who has one of the best arms in the 8M-I class. Jueneman is as athletic as anyone on this list in any class with a 41” vertical. He was the 1A-II basketball player of the year. Matt Heuer is an offensive genius so he will figure out a way to have him as a huge part of his offense that graduated several stars from 2020’s state championship team in 8M-II. Mackley is a 6-man receiver out of tiny Weskan but is looking for another big year after earning All-WKLL the last three seasons.

Others WR/TEs to Watch from Sports in Kansas:

Robby Bollin – Washburn Rural, Drake Thatcher – Derby, Zach Knowlton – Spring Hill, Briggs Adkinson – Cherryvale, Brayden Schilling – Hesston, Haven Lysell-Stewart – Haven, Lane Martin – Wichita Trinity, Landin Midgett – Columbus, Garrett Fager – Osage City, Garrison Spoonts – Eureka, Frank WIchert – Hillsboro, Alex Pfaff – Chaparral, Jaxson Goldberg – BV North, Lucas Bullock – Blue Valley, Cade Mecklenberg – Hugoton, Will Schmidt – Oakley, Caden Rathgeber – South Barber, Dalton Regan – Otis Bison, Christian Roth – Otis Bison, Kaleb Wagenblast – Thunder Ridge, Anders Dewey – Plainville, Ryan Feldkamp – Jefferson County North, Tanner Heckel – Inman, Patrick Friess – Conway Springs, Daxton Dunlap – Thunder Ridge, Tucker Locke – South Haven, Cole Lamatsch – Central Plains, Wyatt Linegenfelter – MDCV, Tony Gillespie – Pleasanton, Jalen VanBecelare – Colgan, Eli Oliver – Wabaunsee, Brayden Meseke – Wabaunsee, Camden Liebau – Chapman, Frank Wichert – Hillsboro, Ridley Swader – Herington, Jack Meylan – SMNW, Kenrick Osei-Bonsu – Olathe North, Baylor Bowen – Lawrence, Chase Cottam – Wamego, Colin Donnahue – Wamego, Nick Cusick – BV Northwest, Josh Cusick – BV Northwest, Braxton Symonds – BV West, Ryan Heier – Wheatland-Grinnell, Keagan Dimler – Hanover, Toby Miller – Lyndon, Joel Deters – Mission Valley, Scott Price – Bucklin (RB/WR), Fernando Hererra – Larned, Ruendy Portillo – Syracuse, Aidan Fleming – Colgan, Sam Kleidosty – Tonganoxie, Austin Cochran – Fairfield, Luke Davies – Lebo, David Signs – Wellsville, Jerry Arteaga – Garden City, Austin Turner – Aquinas, Spencer Coup – Solomon, Michael Matteuci – Sacred Heart, Logan Losey – Salina Central, Owen Rush – Eisenhower, Ian Comer – Mulvane, Nick Warren – Clearwater, Kale Kochick – Rose Hill, Will Tice – Garden Plain, Keshawn Martin – Trinity Academy, Brayden Schilling – Hesston, Jace Gosch – Norwich, Charlie Johnson – BV West, Michael Glenn – Topeka West, Cole Maheefey – Baldwin, Lance Bassett – Lawrence, Isaiah Coppage – Piper, Tristan Friesen – Sublette, Jonathan Lowe – Minneapolis, Braden Blaufauss – Anderson Co., Kaden Walker – Prairie View, Derek Jones – Labette Co., Brady Deterding – Kiowa Co., Brady Deges – South Gray (WR/RB), Jerrit Norris – Troy, Jaylin Slaten – Liberal, Sam Honas – Ellis, Xavier Horn – Aquinas, Jackson Turnbull – Pittsburg

Several return after having big seasons in 2020. Check out who to watch in 2021 from the most complete list in Kansas by the most trusted source in sports information in Kansas. This lists main purpose is to represent the entire state from every class. Stay tuned over the next few weeks as we will do this position by position. Chet Kuplen, CEO/Founder of Sports in Kansas, evaluates players every year based on performance from prior year, our all-state lists from last year and events (camps/combines) he sees players across the state with input from several coaches and media members. This is not a recruiting list or prospect list and players are not ranked or in any special order. This list is powered by Seatbelts Are For Everyone, Nex-Tech Wireless, American Implement and Mammoth Sports Construction. Be on the lookout for our postseason honors after the 2021 season on who will be the Top 100 seniors in Kansas and who will make the Sports in Kansas All Non-Senior Team, Player of the Year honors etc. While its impossible for us to check out every player in the state, we have a pretty good track record at going into detail like no other outlet in the state and don’t rank players just to sell a subscription to an online service that cost, WE ARE FREE and a trusted source. If you ever have a player that you think we should take a look at be sure to DM @sportsinkansas or [email protected] as tips coming in can always help out on who we should check out! If you are interested in a premium player evaluation contact Chet Kuplen by TEXT at 620-719-0283 or email [email protected] Several player evaluations landed major offers over the last ten football seasons.

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