Sports Recruiters presents a list of the top senior wide receivers and tight ends in Central Pennsylvania. These players are considered the top players in Central PA according to Sports Recruiters and college coaches across the country. I have seen most of these prospects play in-person.
This eight-part series will take a look at the area’s top quarterbacks, running backs, wide receivers/tight ends, linemen, linebackers, defensive backs, underclassmen, top newcomers, as well as a list of honorable mention student-athletes.
Tyshaun Pollard–Wide Receiver/Slot Back– 5’11”, 185 – Central Dauphin East H.S
Tyshaun is arguably the most dangerous open-field runner in Central PA because of his terrific hips and elusiveness in space. He is a hybrid guy and finished up with 587 rushing yards and 557 receiving yards in 2015. It’s Pollard’s versatility, shiftiness, excellent feet, and terrific hands that make him a lethal weapon for the Panthers. Tyshaun grabbed 60 receptions and hit pay dirt 11 times last season. He is quick off the ball, runs crisp routes, and is explosive in the open field. Pollard can do multiple things on offense which makes him a match-up nightmare for defenses. On defense, he can impact games too and collected 63 tackles and two interceptions from his safety spot. Tyshaun was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection at wide receiver. Pollard is a definite playmaker and recently received his first college offer from Millersville. He is also receiving interest from Stony Brook, Holy Cross, Boston College, Syracuse, and others.
Nate Barnes–Wide Receiver/Linebacker – 6’2”, 210 – Carlisle H.S
Nate hauled in 60 receptions for 977 yards and 10 touchdowns last fall for the Thundering Herd. Barnes has fine size, soft hands, and has the ability to catch the ball in traffic. He has the length, speed, and athleticism that the college coaches covet. Nate gets off the line of scrimmage well and he catches the ball with his hands and does not let it get into his body. Barnes is a talented athlete and consistently creates enough separation against defensive backs to high point the ball and make the spectacular catch. The two-way standout was just as impressive as a linebacker, registering 70 tackles including 7 for loss. Nate was a 2015 Second-Team Mid-Penn Commonwealth Division all-star selection at wide receiver and linebacker and was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class AAA/AAAA award in 2015.
Cody Gustafson–Wide Receiver/Safety – 6’2”, 160 – Shippensburg H.S
Cody is a fine route runner and should start to receive more interest from colleges this fall. Gustafson has excellent speed, accelerates well, and is one of the best playmakers in the region. He had 53 receptions for 800 yards and 5 touchdowns last fall. Cody is one of the leading returning receivers in the area and looks to improve upon those outstanding numbers again this fall. Gustafson is a big target with sure hands, good quickness, and exceptional athletic ability. He was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Colonial Division all-star selection at wide receiver and was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class AAA/AAAA award in 2015.
Mack Focht – Wide Receiver/Safety – 5’9”, 180 – Garden Spot H.S.
Focht has excellent speed and is one of the most underrated wide receiver prospects in the area. Mack burst on the scene last fall with 45 receptions for 892 yards and 9 touchdowns. He is one of the returning stats leaders in the area and is poised to have another outstanding season as a senior. Focht has outstanding hands, runs precise routes at this stage, and has the ability to make tough catches at crucial times in games. Mack was nominated for the Mr. PA Football Class AAA/AAAA award in 2015 and was a 2015 First-Team Lancaster-Lebanon Section 2 all-star at wide receiver. The athletic Focht is very elusive in the open field after the catch and should be receiving a lot of attention from college programs this coming season.
Mason Cooper – Tight End/Defensive End – 6’5”, 210 – Palmyra H.S.
Mason is a two-way standout and one of most versatile athletes in the region. Cooper has impressive size and is a strong looking athlete. He flashes on the field with good quickness, agility, and tremendous hands. Mason is a big play threat on offense and should prove to be a reliable weapon for the Cougars over the middle this season. Cooper is currently receiving a lot of attention from FCS schools across the region. Mason only had a total of 9 receptions but he made the most of his limited opportunities, reaching the endzone 5 times in 2015. Cooper was a 2015 First-Team Mid-Penn Capital Division all-star selection at tight end and and defensive end. He could end up being a better prospect as a defensive end with 4 sacks to his credit last season and by adding some more weight to his large frame.