North Gwinnett wide receiver Josh Downs (11) makes a move after a catch in the second half of the Corky Kell Classic Saturday, Aug. 18, 2018, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. North Gwinnett won, 37-2, over Brookwood.
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com
Photo: Hyosub Shin/hshin@ajc.com

Projected top players by position: Wide receivers/tight ends

Ze’Vian Capers transferred to a new school last season. That’s not typically the best way for a college prospect to get noticed, but it worked. Capers had 1,182 yards receiving and 11 touchdowns in 10 games, and Forsyth County’s newest school, Denmark, went 5-5, quite impressive for a first-year program. 

Video has spread, and now Capers is one of the fastest-rising recruits in the country. 

“When you look at that film, it doesn’t take long to figure out that he’s a really good player,” Denmark coach Terry Crowder said. “Then with all the seven-on-seven and The Opening [showcase], he’s started to shine a bit.” 

More on position previews

» Quarterbacks
» Running backs
» Wide receivers/tight ends
» Offensive linemen
» Defensive linemen
» Linebackers
» Defensive backs
» Athletes
» Kicking specialists

Capers thrives on physical mismatches. 

“He’s just so long, being 6-5,” Crowder said. “If you put a 5-10 guy at corner, they’re going to have hard time. Ze’Vian [pronounced ZAY-vian] is big, strong, physical and fast. He just sucks the ball out of the air with his hands. He’s got the best hands of any player I’ve had as a coach.” 

Below are 10 of the state’s best receivers and tight ends for 2019. GHSF Daily will publish its 10 best at each position over nine issues in preseason. The players’ status as recruits is a factor, but the choices are made largely on production as high school players. 

• Jaheim Bell, Valdosta: A tight end, Bell had 53 receptions for 801 yards and eight touchdowns in 13 games last season. He also played fullback, running back and quarterback, scoring seven rushing touchdowns, and participated on every special team. Bell (6-2, 210) is an uncommitted top-400 national recruit. 

• Juke Boozer, Rockmart: Boozer had 32 receptions for 804 yards (25.1 per catch) with 11 touchdowns for the Class AA runner-up. That was in a run-first offense. Boozer (6-3, 185) is a three-star recruit with several mid-major offers. 

• Ze’Vian Capers, Denmark: Capers was rated the consensus No. 370 player in his class immediately after the 2018 season. He's now No. 115, perhaps the highest-rated player in Forsyth County history. 

• Josh Downs, North Gwinnett: Downs had 854 receiving yards and nine touchdowns last season. In 2017, he had 63 catches for 1,019 yards on a state-championship team. A four-star recruit, Downs (5-10, 165) has committed to North Carolina. 

• Arik Gilbert, Marietta: A tight end who lines up wide at times, Gilbert had 88 receptions for 1,210 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 games. He set single-game school records for catches (15), yards (294) and touchdowns (five). Gilbert is a five-star recruit. 

• Marcayll Jones, Warner Robins: Jones had 116 receptions for a state-record 2,071 yards in 2018. He had 26 touchdowns for the Class AAAAAA runner-up. A three-star recruit, Jones (5-9, 170) is committed to Memphis. 

• Rico Powers, Hapeville Charter: Powers played running back and receiver for Benedictine last season and finished with 1,005 yards rushing and 561 receiving with 23 touchdowns. One opposing coach observed: “He’d have 2,500 yards of total offense if he played in a different offensive system.” Powers (6-2, 180) will play wide receiver exclusively at Hapeville. He’s a four-star recruit who’ll play for a Power 5 Conference team. 

• Jontavis Robertson, Jones County: Robertson had 57 receptions for 936 yards and 10 touchdowns in 11 games last season. A three-star recruit, Robertson (6-0, 180) has offers from Tennessee and Duke, among others. 

• Justin Robinson, Eagle’s Landing Christian: Robinson had 36 catches for 748 yards and 12 touchdowns for the Class A private-school champions last season. That was while also playing cornerback, a position that he handled at least as well. Robinson is a four-star recruit committed to Georgia. 

• Ricky White, Marietta: White caught 55 passes for 1,006 yards in just 10 games for Wheeler last season. He’ll join Gilbert and Boston College-commit Taji Johnson to form the state’s most star-studded receiver corps. A three-star recruit, White (6-1, 175) has committed to Michigan State. 

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