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Catch 'em ... if you can: 2019 is the year of the pass catcher and the state is loaded with them

Catch 'em ... if you can: 2019 is the year of the pass catcher and the state is loaded with them

Football Tab, 7.30

Papillion La Vista South's Will Swanson (left to right), Omaha Burke's Xavier Watts, Johnson Brock's Ty Hahn and Zavier Betts are among the state's top players this year.

2018 was the year of the quarterback. But this coming high school football season in Nebraska, the focus is on the guys on the other end of the pass plays.

Eight wide receivers or tight ends have already committed to Division I colleges with three of them — Super-Stater wide receivers Zavier Betts of Bellevue West and Xavier Watts of Omaha Burke and Will Swanson of Papillion-La Vista South — pledging to FBS programs. And while Ty Hahn, the all-stater from Johnson-Brock, is still undecided about where to play his college football, the fact he has an offer from Wyoming makes it almost certain he’ll end up at an FBS school as well. The list of Division I receivers will likely grow during the season as colleges uncover more talented pass catchers in September and October.

There could be some FCS commits making the move up to FBS or Power Five as well. The Lincoln Journal Star’s preseason high school football edition highlights the four current FBS prospects, each with a unique story and special talents that separate them on the football field.

Class-by-class breakdowns: Class A  |  Class B  |  Class C-1  |  Class C-2  |  Class D-1  |  Class D-2  |  Six-man

Division I pass catchers in the state

Already committed

WR Zavier Betts, Bellevue West (Nebraska)

WR Xavier Watts, Omaha Burke (Notre Dame)

TE Will Swanson, Papio South (Kansas State)

WR Nate Sullivan, Bellevue West (South Dakota State)

WR Isaac Appleget, Lincoln Southeast (South Dakota State)

TE Kaedyn Odermann, Millard West (Harvard)

WR Dalys Beanum, Millard West (South Dakota State)

TE Wyatt Seagren, Oakland-Craig (South Dakota State)


WR Ty Hahn, Johnson-Brock | Six D-1 offers

Reach the writer at 402-473-7437 or On Twitter @ronpowell_ljs.


Sports reporter

Ron Powell is a longtime prep writer for the Journal Star. He covers high school football, boys basketball and track as well as state college football and Husker and professional tennis.

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