2023 HSSN football position-by-position breakdown: Scouting the wide receivers

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Friday, August 18, 2023 | 2:09 AM


TribLive HSSN will break down the top players at one position per day until Week Zero. Here’s a look at the top wide receivers for the 2023 season.

1. Peter Gonzalez

Central Catholic

Senior, 6-3, 200

Gonzalez’s size, athleticism and strong hands make him a big-play threat who opponents have to worry about. The Penn State recruit caught 42 passes for 735 yards and scored six touchdowns last season despite missing the first three games after knee surgery. He earned first-team all-state honors. He averaged 17.5 yards per catch, and his longest touchdown was a 55-yarder. His father played quarterback at Pitt. The younger Gonzalez chose Penn State over offers from Pitt, West Virginia, Miami (Fla.) and Virginia Tech, among others.

Watch Peter Gonzalez highlights

2. Khiryn Boyd

North Allegheny

Senior, 5-11, 170

Boyd contributed in many ways to North Allegheny winning a WPIAL title last season, and easily could’ve been ranked among the WPIAL’s top defensive backs after intercepting seven passes. But his offensive skills can’t be overlooked, especially after scoring twice in the WPIAL finals on catches of 68 and 51 yards. He finished the year with 42 catches for 742 yards, added 291 yards rushing and scored 12 total touchdowns (seven receiving). All-state voters named him first team on defense. He received college offers this summer from Duquesne, Robert Morris and Howard.

Watch Khiryn Boyd highlights

3. Scoop Smith

Woodland Hills

Sophomore, 5-6, 140

Smith’s play-making abilities made an instant impact on the Wolverines’ offense. He earned first-team all-conference honors as a freshman after catching 32 passes for 587 yards and scoring seven touchdowns. His longest TD catch was a 44-yarder. The multi-sport athlete lists Division I college offers for both football (Nebraska, Toledo, UNLV) and basketball (Stony Brook). He helped the Wolverines reach the WPIAL semifinals last fall.

Watch Scoop Smith highlights

4. Ruben Gordon

Washington

Senior, 6-2, 170

Gordon already owns a collection of WPIAL medals from track and field. He won WPIAL gold in the high jump and long jump as a sophomore, and finished second in the long jump and 100-meter dash as a junior. That athleticism is evident on the football field where he had more than 1,000 total yards and scored 15 touchdowns last season. He made 32 catches for 594 yards, earning all-conference honors. His longest TD catch was an 89-yarder. He’s also a dangerous kick returner and brought back kickoffs 84 and 70 yards for touchdowns.

Watch Ruben Gordon highlights

5. Sean Sullivan

Thomas Jefferson

Senior, 6-0, 180

Sullivan played a big part in the Jaguars reaching the WPIAL semifinals last season. He led the team with 880 receiving yards on 45 catches and scored 11 total touchdowns (10 receiving). He earned all-conference honors. One of his best games was a four-catch, 143-yard, two-touchdown effort in a win over McKeesport. His longest TD catches of the season covered 63, 70 and 75 yards. He also returned kicks and finished the year with 1,485 total yards. He showed his quickness when he returned a kickoff 97 yards for a score.

Watch Sean Sullivan highlights

One to watch

Samir Crosby

Greensburg Central Catholic

Sophomore, 5-10, 160

Crosby played quarterback in youth leagues and still throws an occasional pass, but with a veteran QB in the lineup, he found a role as a wide receiver and defensive back. He caught a team-high 27 passes for 464 yards as a freshman and scored 14 total touchdowns. He also intercepted eight passes, and earned first-team all-conference honors as a ninth grader. He received his first college offer from UNLV, where former WPIAL wide receiver Brennan Marion is offensive coordinator. Crosby’s longest TD was a 72-yard kickoff return.

Watch Samir Crosby highlights

• • • • •

Position breakdowns

QB | RB | WR | OL | TE | DL | LB | CB | S | K

Top five coaching changes for 2023

Chris Harlan is a TribLive reporter covering sports. He joined the Trib in 2009 after seven years as a reporter at the Beaver County Times. He can be reached at charlan@triblive.com.

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