IMG Top Underclassmen WR Performers

D.J. Matthews

There were some spectacular wide receivers in the 2016 and 2017 class here at the IMG Nationals like Nate Craig, Tyler Vaughns and freshman D.J. Matthews.

Tavares Chase (Plant City, Fla.)
Chase continues to have a terrific off-season, hence the reason as to why he has already accumulated so many scholarship offers. This 2016 standout has good size (6-2/170) and speed combination. He's not much of a dancer, rather just gets up field in a hurry. Chase also has soft hands. He's raw in the route running department but still has two high school seasons in front of him. Chase can also man the secondary and is a pretty darn good safety.

Nate Craig (Tampa Catholic)
What else can I write about this five-star prospect and the top wide receiver in the 2016 class? He's got the entire package – size (6-3/205), speed and hands. Craig dazzled once again, making play after play after play. I don't think I have ever seen him make more acrobatic catches than what he did these two days. If I had to say the only area of weakness is his route running. But he's still so darn young. I can't even imagine how good he will be two years from now. Like I say at every event I see him participate in, you can make a strong case that he was the top prospect at IMG regardless of class.

Dylan Crawford (La Canada, Calif./St. Francis)
Crawford is a talent and you understand what the chatter is all about out west with this 2016 wide receiver. He's more put together than Tyler Vaughns just not quite as tall and long. Crawford catches the ball well and has speed. At times he's very explosive.

Jacob Mathis (Tampa, Fla./Berkeley Prep)
Mathis is a 2016 tight end on Team Tampa. Pairing him with Mitchell Wilcox, Auden Tate and George Campbell gave this team a huge lineup, as all of these guys have elite size. Mathis has good upside and soft hands. He runs and moves well. He should have a huge season, as he plays with quarterback Brad Mayes at Berkeley Prep. He should be one of the better tight ends in the state next year.

D.J. Matthews (Jacksonville, Fla./First Coast)
You can make a case that Matthews was the most electrifying player at this event. And he's only a freshman. To sum it up, Matthews has incredible ball skills. He made a one handed touchdown grab that caught everyone's attention and the place erupted. He catches everything and I mean everything. What he does with the ball in his hands in unreal. They are playing touch here and he's just breaking guys ankles with open field moves. He has speed and elite short area quickness. It's not like he was the go to guy either. He played on the same team as Tristan Payton, Kalif Jackson and Rashad Blount. The only thing this 2017 standout lacks is size (5-11/170) and you know he's only going to get bigger and stronger. The funny thing about all of this is that Matthews did the exact same thing at the regional event in March. He's going to be special.

Dionte Mullins (Miami Guliver Prep)
Mullins actually played for the South Florida Express on Saturday and for BBT on Sunday. The team from California needed bodies and he was more than willing to lend a hand. Simply, Mullins is a highlight show and does the spectacular on a routine basis. He's not big but he can sure get open and catch the football.

Stephen Sullivan (Donaldsville, La.)
This kid looks like a freak at 6-foot-6, 220-pounds. He plays wide receiver and already has committed to LSU. Sullivan runs well and has giant, soft hands. Yeah, as you can imagine, he's a nightmare matchup for a cornerback because of his size. Combine that with his athleticism and it's just not fair at this level. He made a few great catches in the air. I will be curious to watch this 2016 standout develop physically over the next two years.I absolutely love his upside.

Tyler Vaughns (La Puente, Calif./Bishop Amat)
After watching Vaughns play one game I instantly became a fan. This kid can flat out ball and I just love the way he plays. He's quick off the line of scrimmage and has terrific feet. Vaughns is so fast that he's tough to press. If you miss him as a defender he instantly puts you in trouble. He's a natural pass catcher that doesn't fight the ball. He can get behind a secondary with his speed. I love his body control and his ability to make plays in the air after leaving his feet. Vaughns had one of the receptions of the weekend on Saturday when he laid out for a ball and was completely horizontal to the ground. He just needs to fill out his frame. He's long and lean. And to be honest, Vaughns made a ton of plays on defense as a safety. He's just a football player and one of my favorite players from this event.

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