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The 2018 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff Begins Friday, August 24

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**This press release was updated on August 8, 2018 to reflect the ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr. 300 rankings which became available after the original distribution date. 

  •  Seven Games on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU
  • Kickoff Features 38 Players in  ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr. 300 and 21 Players who have committed to Division 1 College Football Programs
  • 10 States Represented, Including Seven 2017 State Champions

The 2018 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff will conclude Summer of Next, taking place on August 24-26. The seven-game slate will feature 38 players ranked in ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr. 300, including three in the top 10: No. 4 Pierce Quick (Hewitt-Trussville, Ala.), No. 6 Owen Pappoe and No. 7 Wanya Morris (both of Grayson, Ga.) The annual event, in its ninth year, will have 10 states represented, and 21 players who have already committed to top college football programs including Alabama, Auburn, Georgia, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas and USC. Games will be on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

California, Georgia and Florida lead the way with the most recruits participating, with 25 of the 38 ranked players hailing from those three states. The 2018 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff preludes the GEICO ESPN 2018 High School Football Showcase.

2018 ESPN GEICO High School Football Kickoff Schedule

Notes: All times are ET. Player Rankings are per ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300..Team rankings per USA TODAY SPORTS Super 25 Expert Rankings

Friday, August 24
No. 25 Warren Central (Ind.) vs. Trinity (Ky.)
6 p.m. on ESPNU from Trinity High School in Louisville, Ky.
Play-By-Play: David Neal
Analyst: Barrett Jones

  • Trinity went 15-0 on their way to a state championship and a top ten national ranking in 2017. They return No. 171 Stephen Herron Jr., a Stanford commit at DE
  • Warren Central will try to avenge a 42-41 loss to Trinity last season, and will look to their standout WR, No. 229 David Bell to help do so

 No. 4 Mater Dei (Ca.) vs. No. 12 Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nev.
Play-By-Play: Mike Corey
Analyst: Rene Ingoglia

  • Mater Dei is coming off a record year, going 15-0, capturing the CIF Open Division state title and earning a No. 1 national ranking. They will remain hard to beat with four players ranked in the ESPN 300 and five in ESPN Jr. 300
  • Bishop Gorman boasts a talented roster with ten players holding D1 offers, and will be motivated to redeem a 14 point loss to Mater Dei last season

Saturday, August 25
Pinson Valley (Ala.) vs. No. 10 Hoover (Ala.)
Noon on ESPN from the Hoover Met, Hoover, Ala.
Play-By-Play: Jay Alter
Analyst: Craig Haubert
Sideline Reporter: Tom Luginbill

  • A matchup between the 6A and 7A Alabama state champs from 2017
  • Pinson Valley was 15-0 last season and returns their signal caller, QB Bo Nix, the No. 50 ranked player in the country
  • Defending 7A champ and perennial state power Hoover will be a test for Pinson Valley. Hoover features No. 95, WR George Pickens and No. 52 Jr. QB Robby Ashford

Cedar Grove (Ga.) vs. Hewitt-Trussville (Ala.)
3:30 p.m. on ESPN from the Hoover Met, Hoover, Ala.
Play-By-Play: Jay Alter
Analyst: Craig Haubert
Sideline Reporter: Tom Luginbill

  • Cedar Grove had just one loss in 2017, advancing to the Georgia 3A semifinals with a young team. Their offense returns WR Jadon Haselwood (Georgia commit), the No. 12 player overall, while the defense has DT Rashad Cheney up front, the No. 212 ranked player
  • Hewitt-Trussville’s only loss was to Alabama 7A Champ Hoover, and they return a trio of Alabama commits on offense with No. 4 ranked player Pierce Quick at OT, QB Paul Tyson, the great-grandson of legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant, throwing to No. 71 Jr. WR Dazalin Worsham; No. 190 Jr. CB Malachi Moore and No. 289 Jr. DT Eric Taylor return on defense

 

Tucker (Ga.) vs. No. 3 Grayson (Ga.)
6 p.m. on ESPNU from Grayson High School in Loganville, Ga.
Play-By-Play: Tiffany Greene
Analyst: Jay Walker

  • Grayson is one of the most talented teams in the country, with five players ranked near the top half of the ESPN 300 (including two in the top 10), and another six players with major D1 offers
  • Tucker advanced to the Georgia 6A semifinals last season and returns No. 280 ranked player in the Jr. class, ATH Isaiah Dunson. Tucker is led on defense by Derrick McLendon who is fielding offers from Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU and Michigan to name a few

 

DeMatha (Md.) vs. No. 11 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)
7 p.m. on ESPN2 from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Play-By-Play: Bill Roth
Analyst: John Congemi

  • Both DeMatha and St. Thomas Aquinas are coming off of uncharacteristic “down-seasons” in 2017, but that does not mean there is any lack of fire-power on either side for these two national power-house programs
  • Thomas Aquinas has an impressive eight players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr.300, four in each class
  • DeMatha features No. 129 Nick Cross at S, ATH DeMarcco Hellams, the No. 133 ranked player who is an Alabama commit, and a pair of Jr. 300 ranked players: RB Marshawn Lloyd at No. 48 and No. 119 Coziah Izzard at DE

 

Sunday, August 26
Phillips (IIl.) vs. No. 22 Pickerington Central (Ohio)
12:30 p.m. on ESPN from Otterbein University in Westerville, Oh.
Play-By-Play: Mike Couzens
Analyst: Rocky Boiman

  • This Midwest matchup between respectivestate champions will showcase recruits on both teams with offers from the Big 10 and SEC
  • Phillips was 14-0 last season, capturing the 5A state title in Illinois, the first Chicago Public School to ever win a state championship in football
  • Pickerington Central dropped only one game a season ago, on their way to a Division 1 state title in Ohio

 

ESPN 300 Participants (Class of 2019)

Rank Player Position High School College Commitment*
4 Pierce Quick OT Hewitt-Trussville (AL) Alabama
6 Owen Pappoe OLB Grayson (GA) Auburn
7 Wanya Morris OT Grayson (GA) Tennessee
12 Jadon Haselwood WR Cedar Grove (GA) Georgia
50 Bo Nix QB Pinson Valley (AL) Auburn
56 Mase Funa OLB Mater Dei (CA) Oregon
62 Jeremiah Criddell ATH Mater Dei (CA) Oregon
76 Bru McCoy ATH Mater Dei (CA)
86 Anthony Solomon OLB St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) Miami (FL)
93 Kenyatta Watson CB Grayson (GA) Texas
95 George Pickens WR Hoover (AL) Auburn
105 Kevin Harris DE Grayson (GA) Alabama
127 Jordan Battle S St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) Ohio St.
129 Nick Cross S DeMatha (MD)
133 DeMarcco Hellams ATH DeMatha (MD) Alabama
157 Trente Jones OT Grayson (GA) Michigan
171 Stephen Herron Jr. DE Trinity (KY) Stanford
175 Jaden Davis CB St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) Oklahoma
212 Rashad Cheney DT Cedar Grove (GA) Alabama
229 David Bell WR Warren Central (IN)
259 Braylen Ingraham DE St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
294 Sean Dollars RB Mater Dei (CA) Oregon

 

ESPN Junior 300 Participants (Class of 2020)

Rank Player Position High School College Commitment*
16 Elias Ricks CB Mater Dei (CA)
22 Bryce Young QB Mater Dei (CA) USC
31 Myles Murao OG Mater Dei (CA)
48 Marshawn Lloyd RB DeMatha (MD)
52 Robby Ashford QB Hoover (AL)
63 Marcus Rosemy WR St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
71 Dazalin Worsham WR Hewitt-Trussville (AL) Alabama
119 Coziah Izzard DE DeMatha (MD)
141 Marcus Dumervil DT St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
147 Darion Green-Warren CB Mater Dei (CA) Oklahoma
187 Derek Wingo ATH St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
190 Malachi Moore CB Hewitt-Trussville (AL)
259 Sefita Tupe Jr. DT Mater Dei (CA)
275 Devon Betty OLB St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
280 Isaiah Dunson ATH Tucker (GA)
289 Eric Taylor DT Hewitt-Trussville (AL)

*Please note: No player has signed with a school
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For further information on the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff and to request media credentials, please contact [email protected]

ESPN media contact:
Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp