A week ago, seniors inked their names on National Letters of Intent all over the country. The 2015 class is in the books; the 2016 class (like Santa Margarita QB K.J. Costello, pictured) is now taking over the recruiting headlines. What the quarterback was to the 2015 class, the wide receiver is stud position for the 2016 class. Here are the top 10 CIF Southern Section players in the 2016 class as ranked by Scout.com -- half of which are WRs.
Breland Brandt, DE, Windward
In what is a class loaded at the receiver position, arguably, the top player in the 2016 class is a defensive end. Windward isn't known for its football prowess but Brandt is the second consecutive top flight recruit to come out of the school -- joining former teammate Roy Hemsley, who's currently at USC as an early enrollee. Brandt's offers include Alabama, Miami, Notre Dame, and USC. However, he's committed to Jim Mora and the UCLA Bruins.
Tyler Vaughns, WR, Bishop Amat
The Lancers were the surprise team of the 2014 season. A huge reason for that was the play of a talented junior class led by Vaughns. Scout.com lists Vaughns as the No. 1 wide receiver in the country. Vaughns led Bishop Amat with 83 catches and 1,183 yards last season and was tied for the team lead with 12 receiving touchdowns. His offers include USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Notre Dame, and Florida.
Javon McKinley, WR, Corona Centennial
The 2014 FOXSportsWest.com Offensive Player of the Year had one of the greatest postseason runs in recent memory. As the Huskies won the PAC-5 in their first year in the division and advanced to a state bowl game, McKinley put up 50 catches for 1,013 yards, and 11 touchdowns in the postseason alone. For the season, McKinley led the Huskies with 97, 2,059 and 22 TDs. His offers include USC, UCLA, Tennessee, Oregon, and Notre Dame.
K.J. Costello, QB, Santa Margarita
The top quarterback in the state is also in the top-five at his position in the country. He certainly looks the part at 6-foot-5, 220-pounds and he delivers as well. Costello has, arguably, the best deep ball around. He has as much experience as anyone having already started for two seasons in the gauntlet that is the Trinity League. He threw for 3,123 yards, 23 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions last season while completing 60.3 percent of his passes. USC, UCLA, Michigan, Florida State, and Alabama are among those who've offered the Santa Margarita signal caller.
Michael Pittman, WR, Oaks Christian
A big wide receiver at 6-foot-3, 200 pounds who comes from good stock. His father, who carries the same name, won a Super Bowl with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Pittman, who's verbally committed to UCLA, led Oaks with 47 catches for 914 yards and 12 touchdowns last season. He could have a bigger year in 2015 with the addition of Jim Benkert as co-head coach.
Dylan Crawford, WR, Santa Margarita
St. Francis ran the table during the 2014 regular season and Crawford was a huge reason why. He had over 1,000 yards receiving last season on just 44 catches and 13 touchdowns, all three of which led the team. This fall, he'll be the top target for Costello at Santa Margarita. USC, UCLA, Michigan, and Miami are among the schools Crawford holds offers from.
Lokeni Toailoa, LB, Rialto Carter
A top-five linebacker in the country, Toailoa had 98 tackles including 17 for loss last season. He also had six sacks and 11 hurries. The 6-foot-2, 212-pound Toailoa is a national recruit with offers from USC, UCLA, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, Duke, and Rutgers to name a few.
Oluwole Betiku, DE, Serra
Still new to the game, Betiku has made tremendous strides since moving to the States from Nigeria in 2013. Betiku was a part of a loaded Serra defense a season ago but carried his own weight leading the team with 24 tackles for loss and 11.5 sacks -- in his first year playing football. His guardian, LaVar Arrington, has helped him get acclimated to America and the game of football. Betiku has offers from all over -- USC, UCLA, Penn State, Florida State and Nebraska -- to name a few.
Theo Howard, WR, Westlake
Howard is with the Warriors, for now. It's uncertain where he'll play during the 2015 season considering the mass exodus that took place inside the Westlake program following Jim Benkert's decision to join the staff at Oaks Christian. Last season, Howard was the No. 1 target for former quarterback Malik Henry with 52 receptions for 869 yards, and seven touchdowns. Howard's offers include USC, UCLA, Cal, TCU, Texas A&M, and Oregon.
Mique Juarez, LB, North Torrance
He plays all over the field for the Saxons. The 6-foot-3, 220-pounder plays quarterback, running back, wide receiver, linebacker and free safety for North Torrance. Offensively, he had 2,200 all-purpose yards and 22 touchdowns. But he projects as a linebacker at the next level. Defensively he had over 100 tackles and 8.5 sacks last season. Juarez is verbally committed to USC.