Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas takes a look at top returning players in the state position by position. Keep in mind, our lists aren’t just prospect based as we cover the high school seasons of football by every class, not just potential or recruiting.
This list is not ranked by player or a recruiting list. Research is compiled from our all-state teams last year, stats from last year, all-league selections, off-season combines and input from other media members/coaches. Chet Kuplen of Sports in Kansas conducts premium player evaluations of players every year that are looking to play at the next level. If you’re interested in this premium service, please contact [email protected] as we have helped hundreds of athletes across the state over the last 11 years.
Check out the latest list below. Tight ends are listed first following by wide receivers, then a combined list of TE/WRs on the others to watch.
Tight Ends to Watch
Gavin Hoffman, BV West
Hoffman blew up in the last several months. Once Eastern Michigan offered it sparked an offer from about everywhere. The non-senior all-state TE from SIK has committed to Iowa who is known for producing NFL TE’s. Hoffman had nearly 700 yards receiving last year.
DaSaahn Brame, Derby
Brame is a 2025 TE prospect that has 6’6” and 235-pound size. His father played at Kansas State while his mother played basketball at Kansas State. He has multiple Division I FBS offers.
Brody Litton, Beloit
Litton will look to be an impact player on both sides of the ball for Beloit this season in 2A. While many may not know of him yet, you will soon as he continues to improve. The size is already there at 6’5” and 230 pounds in the class of 2026. Litton could also play on the offensive line with his size.
Linkon Cure, Goodland
Cure is 6’6” and 215 pounds, he can fit into multiple spots on offense and defense as an ATH. He has multiple power five offers after blowing up over the summer as we predicted. Cure is also the state champion in the 300 hurdles and is only a junior.
Brody Weir, Wellington
Weir is 6’4” and 235 pounds for the Wellington Crusaders as he doubles as a two-way standout. He could blow up on the recruiting scene this season after a non-senior all-state season from SIK in 2022.
Talon Browne, Aquinas
Browne was a non-senior pick for STA last season from SIK. Aquinas will bring a loaded group back in 4A that will be a major contender.
Jeron Askren, Maize South
Askren was an all non-senior TE last year for Maize South. With their QB and star WR back expect a lot of production from this offense in 2023.
Tristen Davidson, Kingman
Davidson was a first team all-2A pick at TE last season for state runner-up Kingman. He will look to be one of the best two way players in the class this season.
Nash McCarty, Basehor Linwood
McCarty is back after an All non-senior season from SIK in 2022 at tight end. He was also a first team all-league pick out of the United Kansas Conference last season.
Christian McAfee, Sabetha
McAfee was an all-league selection on both sides of the football last season for Sabetha. Sabetha returns a lot on both sides to make them a team to beat in 2A this season. McAfee is an all-state hopeful along with DB Marcus Bauman.
Cole Webber, Ellsworth
Ellsworth was a first team all-state tight end in 2A last season. Ellsworth is loaded on both sides of the ball with an improved season a year ago. Keep an eye on them in 2A.
Jake Jasnoski, Goddard
Jasnoski was an all-league pick last season as well as a non-senior all-state pick from SIK.
Grady Buessing, Axtell
Buessing had 543 yards and 11 touchdowns for the Eagles in 2022. They will be looking for their third straight state title.
WR’s to Watch
Michael Lopez, Wichita Northwest
Lopez was a first team All City league WR last fall for the Grizzlies. With Jayce Glasper back and Cencere Thompson, expect the Grizzlies to be one of the better offenses in the state under HC Steve Martin. Lopez had 717 yards receiving in 2022 with 10 TD.
Donald Collier, Wichita Trinity
Collier led the state of Kansas in receiving yards last season as a junior with over 1,700 (25 TD). He expects a big-time senior year and has multiple MIAA offers at the Division II level.
Sammy Dresie, Maize South
Dresie was a first team all league pick last season and a non-senior all-state pick from Sports in Kansas. Maize South returns their QB along with a standout TE to make them a very dangerous offense in 5A.
Zayden Martinez, Liberal
Martinez is one of the best in Western Kansas and an all-league pick in the WAC last season. He returns alongside his starting QB to form likely the best combination in the WAC?
Bryson Hayes, Maize
Hayes was an all-league honorable mention pick last season but with the graduation of several star players we expect him to emerge into a frontline player for Maize this season. Hayes has 4.34 HH speed in the 40 and is only a junior. He has multeiple FBS offers.
Production as Sophomores Last Fall
While several are already mentioned on this list in this convo, a few that not many are talking about will make this spot. Cooper Williams of Clearwater, Jayden Norman of Topeka, and Jacob Grant of Baxter Springs were all amongst the leaders in the state in receiving yards last fall as sophomores. Norman had 879, Grant with 956, Williams with 820. Bryson Hayes in his own spot on this list had 582 last year and has multiple FBS offers. BJ Canady , a senior teammate of Norman on our DE list was injured last fall, can also play multiple spots around the field (TE/QB/ATH). Both will be two of the best in their class this season.
Adrion Seals, Eudora
Seals was an all-state pick last season and All-Frontier League pick. While Eudora does lose some production on both sides they do have some nice pieces to make them a team to look for on the 4A East. With that being said, 4A east is absolutely loaded with Aquinas, Miege and St. James, not to mention the already very competitive Frontier teams.
Elijah Hakim, Olathe West
Hakim could open up the eyes of many this season. He is a 6’11” high jumper and claimed the state title at 6’8” this last May in 6A. He was also a SFL all-league honorable mention pick last season. Jon Wiemers takes over head coach and you can expect that there will be production at the WR and QB spots in the program. While there are many new spots to fill, we feel like the group of receivers for Olathe West will have a big year led by Hakim.
Isaiah Holthaus, Tonganoxie
Holthaus is one of the fastest players in the state with sub 4.5 speed in the 40. He doubles as a OLB/DE type as well on defense. Expect a big year for the first team All-Frontier League WR.
Jack Voth, Cheney
Voth is a returning all-state selection at the position and also doubles as a standout linebacker. Along with Josh Burdick at QB they will form one of the best combos in the state. Cheney is a serious contender in 3A. Colter McDaniel (WR/DB) is also back as a standout player on both sides of the ball.
M.J. White, Wichita East
White was a first team all-league selection last season for the Blue Aces. He returns with a loaded group of receivers and four year starting quarterback Daeonte Mitchell and running back Rayvelle Leaks. L.T. Robinson and Ashton White are also back at WR.
Teryn Jackson, Bishop Miege
Jackson was a non-senior pick from SIK last fall for the state champion Stags. Look for a big year of offensive production as they will once again contend to win it all. Jackson had 876 yards on 56 catches with eight touchdowns in 2022.
Dagen Vinduska, Rock Creek
While Rock Creek graduates Dalton Whitworth and Ethan Burgess, Vinduska was a steady part of that production over the last two seasons with 13 TDs and 900 yards. While there may be a new supporting cast around him, we expect a big year for the 6’3” 170-pound senior.
Luke Holthusen, Bishop Carroll
Holthusen was an honorable mention all-league pick last season but we expect his production to go way up with the graduation of Tate Blasi and the return of QB Jackson King. Carroll has the making to be one of the best offenses in 5A and will be led up front by Hank Purvis (UNLV commit). The Holthusens have been a standout multi-sport family for BC especially in track and field/football with older brother Joseph (WSU T&F All-American), Matt (Southwestern football), Luke a senior at BC and younger brother, Noah, a sophomore at BC. Their father, Josh, was a Top 11 football player at Maur Hill in 1992, winning a 4A state title.
We expect a lot of production through the air at Sedgwick this fall as always. Dallas Lagree was a first team all-league selection last year as a sophomore, Jeff Nold was a second team selection as a junior and Sterling Lies is back after an honorable mention season with QB Corey Crumrine back. Should be a solid offense of 1A football. Jackson Scarlett also had nearly 400 yards last year as a receiver.
Hunter Mowery, Salina Central & Ryker Grossner, Salina Central
Mowery returns for his senior season after earning AVCTL-II first team honors in 2022. QB Gunnar Gross is also back and the two will form a great combination for SC. Keep an eye on Grossner as well as he transfers in from Baldwin HS where he had 385 receiving yards in six games due to injury. Also keep an eye on Jameer Moore, who is more known as a CB, but should have big play ability with 39” vertical and 4.5 speed at 6’3” 170.
Gus Grote, Jayhawk Linn
Grote returns after a dominating junior year which saw him near the leaders in 1A receiving. His QB does graduate from last year but JL still expects to have major production at the spot and a passing threat in 1A this fall.
Stetson Schafer, Cherryvale
Schafer was a standout 2A two-way player last year and was a ball-hawk on the defensive side of the ball as well as an All-2A caliber receiver. We expect him to be the top player in the TVL this season. He had 942 yards receiving and 15 TD in 2022.
Titan Osburn, Washburn Rural
Osburn, 6-3 180 senior, had 668 yards receiving on 32 catches with 12 TDs last season. His QB returns along with a loaded cast of players that make WaRu a team to circle in 6A.
Callen Barta, Seaman
Barta is one of the top defensive backs in the state but was also a second team all-league pick at receiver last season. He has committed to play defensive back at Nebraska.
Zac Evans, Valley Falls
Evans had a big junior season in all of his sports picking up multiple all-state honors. He also 821 yards receiving and nine TDs last year in football.
J.J. Kendrick, Parsons
We expect a lot of production from Kendrick this season with the return of Tra Mack at QB. Parsons has been known to have senior recievers have breakout all-state campaigns. Kendrick had 482 yards receiving as a junior in 2022 with six touchdowns.
Tate Everard, BV Southwest & Alex Parks, BV Southwest
With QB Dylan Dunn back you have to expect another big year of production for Everard. He had 639 yards receiving in 2022 (8 TD). You also need to expect a big year out of Alex Parks who had over 400 yards receiving in 2022.
Mason Baker, Thunder Ridge
While Baker can shine in multiple spots, he shined catching the football last year as he had 664 yards receiving and 11 TDs on the way to a state runner-up finish.
Jaedeon Granere, Marmaton Valley
Granere had a huge sophomore season last year in which he had over 600 yards receiving for Marmaton Valley. MV returns a lot of pieces that could see them as a breakout team in Southeast Kansas at the 8-man level.
Daniel Cramer, Dighton
Cramer had a huge sophomore season last year and will be relied upon heavily with the graduation of several key players. He had 757 yards receiving along with eight TDs for the Hornets in 2022.
Lexton Grafke, Lansing
Grafke was a first team all conference pick in the United Kansas Conference last season. Lansing has two first team all league picks back along with Luciano Riggi at linebacker. Grafke had 1,148 yards receiving last season to rank amongst the leaders in Kansas.
Brandon Schmelzle, Axtell & Eli Broxterman, Axtell
While Schmelzle is likely one of the top three 8-man players in the state of Kansas this season, he may not get to be a WR this year but he will make this list based upon his production the last two seasons. He will have the ball in his hands, we do know that, whether that be at WR/QB/RB/ATH. He can do it all and will be relied upon heavily after the graduation of one of the best of all-time in 8-man history in Isaac Detweiler. Broxterman had 585 yards receiving as a sophomore last fall along with 12 TDs.
Kaiden Seamster, Chanute
Seamster is more of an ATH, playing multieple spots in his career, even QB as a freshman a few years back. He could be all-state on either side of the ball in 4A this season at WR/DB/ATH.
Dez Winton, Wellsville
Winton returns after a solid two-way junior campaign for the Eagles. The good news is Willie Dorsey is back at the QB position and the two should be one of the better small school combos in the state.
Sports in Kansas Other Top WR/TEs to Watch for 2023:
L.T. Robinson, Wichita East, Ashton White – Wichita East, M.J. White – Wichita East Brandon Busher – Wichita West, Jackson Henry – Clay Center, Jensen Schrickel – Topeka Hayden, Sam Hull – Humboldt, Eli Barnes – Silver Lake, Zac Evans – Valley Falls, Jeff Nold – Sedgwick, Nate Hutley – St. Marys, Dallas Lagree – Sedgwick, Gage Burk – La Crosse, Wyatt Gardner – Wichita County, Colton Harbin – Wichita County, Andrew Smith – Little River, Jackson Risley – South Sumner, Donavyn Rhoades – Elkhart, Talan Pickering – Bennington, Lukas Dunham – South Barber, Tharyan Appelhans – Wallace Co., Tyson Klotz – Minneola, Kaden Tilley – Bucklin, Seth Schwien – Victoria, Landen McPhail – Ashland, Luke Albers – Cunningham, Brady Ketzner – Cheylin, Cam Schmidt – Burrton, Colton Reudy – Derby, Jaeden Martin – Maize, Carter Pabst – Eisenhower, Dez Gibson – Salina Central, Blaise Hoover – McPherson, Cole Glaves – Circle, Percy Duncan – Riverside, Jayden Norman – Topeka, Dwayne Newby – Manhattan, Carter Helm – Kingman, Cooper Hosman – Ellinwood, Connor VanBecelaere – Colgan, Crew Myers – BV West, Grady Westphal – Blue Valley, Quentin Wallace – BV North, Cooper D’Albini – Spring Hill, Jace Kerley – Paola, Avry Noll – Scott City, Taccari Brown – Wichita Northwest, Brayden Pauly – Norwich, Jeter Purdy – Atchison, Roman Hauser – Norton, Mason Younger – Ellis, Walker Middleton – Russell, Layton Leiker – Ellsworth, Maddox Waters – Beloit, Weston Rock – Abilene, Lakin Getz – Quinter, Ethan Gruenbacher – Quinter, Kyle Strother – Santa Fe Trail, Brody Lee – Wellsville, Amanie Luten – Coffeyville, Jaden Brown – Olathe East, Andres Driver – SM East, Devon Hamilton – Free State, Colton Hawkinson – Gardner Edgerton, Bralin Preston – Free State, Chris Wade – SM West, Grant Lincoln – Free State, Maveryk Becker – Centralia, Brody Gorssnickle – Centralia, Jayden Jolly – Shawnee Heights, Jayden Moore – Shawnee Heights, Maddox Spray – Great Bend, Colton Brack – Great Bend, Pablo Bermudez – Cheylin, Evan Damron – Piper, Conner Proffitt – Pittsburg, Scott Moore – Girard, Cooper Pound – MHMA, Gage Illges – BVSW, Emmitt Peters – BVSW, Tony Gillispie – Pleasanton, Jackson Fry – Hesston, Luke Siebert – MHMA, Porter Deters – Mission Valley, Caden Butler – Olathe North, Yamnoel Oyola – Trinity Academy, Bryce Bunger – Mission Valley, Tyson Klotz – Minneola, Kaden Tilley – Bucklin, Dane Winters – Burlingame, Camron Jueneman – Hanover, Trent Hardin – Frankfort, Spencer Krause – Solomon, Andrew Smith – Little River, Colton McDaniel – Cheney, Trevor Garlington – Blue Valley Northwest, Brandon Krainbill – Rock Creek, Darius Felton – Maize South, Landen Gatto – Maize South, Tucker Groh – Chase County, Jameer Moore – Salina Central, Jimi Oleson – Stafford, Brax Fisher – Abilene, Gradyn Memphis – De Soto, Ryan French – Lansing, Bear Moddelmog – Moundridge, Cooper D’Albini – Spring Hill, Ryan Kice – Andover, Hayden Lucas – Ark City,