2016 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase: College Football’s Next Generation

High School Sports

2016 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase: College Football’s Next Generation

  • Beginning September 2, Weekly Coverage of Top High School Football Matchups, Totaling 12 Games
  • Top players from ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 will Participate, Totaling 67 Ranked Athletes
  • More than 20 Participants Have Verbally Committed to Division I Schools

The 2016 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase will feature matchups between some of the top high school football programs from across the country. The 12-game schedule, which spans over ten weeks, begins Friday, Sept. 2, and will continue through Friday, Nov. 4. This year’s showcase will see 67 ranked players from ESPN 300 (Class of 2017) and ESPN Junior 300 (Class of 2018), including athletes who have committed to Division I programs—Alabama, Clemson, Florida, FSU, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, TCU, Texas A&M and USC. Among those schools, eight will have quarterback commitments on display. Additionally, numerous other potential and verbally committed Division I college football players will participate who are not ranked.

Two of the top teams will face off on Friday, Sept. 30, when No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas visits No. 3 Bishop Gorman at 10 p.m. ET on ESPNU. Other teams highlighted in this year’s showcase include No. 4 IMG Academy, No. 9 DeMatha, No. 15 DeSoto and No. 16 John Curtis, as well as California School for the Deaf, which was spotlighted on Silent Night Lights, an E:60 feature.  A total of 11 states will be represented in this season’s showcase.

Combined with the previously announced 2016 ESPN High School Kickoff, ESPN will televise 22 high school football games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU this season.

2016 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase Highlights

  • No. 1 Position Players: Six players are ranked No. 1 in the country in their respective positions: ATH Dylan Moses (IMG Academy), CB Shaun Wade (Trinity Christian), DE Robert Beal (IMG Academy), OC Cesar Ruiz (IMG Academy), RB Najee Harris (Antioch) and S Jeffrey Okudah (South Grand Prairie)
  • No. 3 Ranked Player: Alabama verbal commitment and No. 3 overall player Najee Harris will be tested on Friday, Sept. 23, when Antioch faces De La Salle
  • QB Battle: Two top-5 pocket-passer QBs will square off when No. 2 Dylan McCaffrey and Valor Christian host No. 4 Davis Mills and Greater Atlanta Christian on Friday, Sept. 9
  • Future Buckeyes: Six Ohio State verbal commitments will participate including No. 13 CB Shaun Wade (Trinity Christian), No. 30 DE Chase Young (DeMatha), No. 48 S Isaiah Pryor (IMG Academy), No 112 DT Haskell Garrett (Bishop Gorman), No. 127 QB Tate Martell (Bishop Gorman), and No. 128 CB Marcus Williamson (IMG Academy)

2016 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase Schedule
Note: All game times are ET. Team rankings are per USA Today High School Sports. Individual Rankings are per ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300.

Week 1

Friday, Sept. 2
St. Frances Academy (Md.) vs. Paramus Catholic (N.J.)
6 p.m. on ESPNU from Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Mich.

  • Playing a tough national schedule, Paramus Catholic is led on defense by No. 131 LB Drew Singleton and DT Corey Bolds, who has offers from Alabama, Clemson, Michigan and Ohio State
  • Frances will have a fresh look with an entirely new coaching staff, and this matchup will provide a unique venue at “The Big House” in Michigan

Week 2

Friday, Sept. 9
Greater Atlanta Christian (Ga.) vs. Valor Christian (Colo.)
10 p.m. on ESPNU from Valor Christian High School in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

  • Two of the top quarterbacks in the class of 2017 will face off in Colorado; Valor Christian’s Dylan McCaffrey, Michigan commit and younger brother of Heisman Trophy runner-up Christian McCaffrey, and Greater Atlanta Christian’s Davis Mills
  • 82, QB Davis Mills is verbally committed to Stanford
  • Valor Christian has won the Colorado 5A State Championship five times in the last six years

Week 3

Friday, Sept. 16
St. Joseph Prep (Pa.) vs. Archbishop Wood (Pa.)
7:30 p.m. on ESPNU from William Tennent High School in Warminster, Pa.

  • This matchup brings together two highly regarded 3A and 4A programs that have both won state championships in recent years
  • Joseph Prep is led by No. 65 RB D’Andre Swift, while Archbishop Wood features No. 181 WR Mark Webb

Week 4

Friday, Sept. 23
Brother Martin (La.) vs. No. 16 John Curtis (La.)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Zephyr Field in Metairie, La.

  • Brother Martin is led on offense by No. 196, RB Bruce Jordan-Swilling and on defense by his brother, No. 295 DB Tre Swilling
  • 16 John Curtis is a perennial Louisiana power who will look to avenge a 40-37 overtime loss to Brother Martin last year

Antioch (Calif.) vs. De La Salle (Calif.)
11 p.m. on ESPNU from De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif.

  • De La Salle won the CIF Open Bowl Division Championship last season, finishing 13-1 on the year with a No. 4 ranking in the USA Today Super 25
  • Antioch looks to improve on an impressive 11-1 season in 2015; with the return of the No. 3 ranked player in the country, and No. 1 RB Najee Harris (verbal to Alabama)

Week 5

Friday, Sept. 30
No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) vs. No. 3 Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
10 p.m. on ESPNU from Bishop Gorman HS, Las Vegas, NV

  • This game will likely help determine who the best team in the country is, with a possibility that the teams could be ranked No. 1 and No. 2 by USA Today when they meet
  • Thomas Aquinas won the FHSAA 7A title for the second year in a row, while Bishop Gorman has claimed back to back “National Titles” and is on a 39-game winning streak
  • There will be fifteen ESPN 300 ranked players on the field from the class of 2017 and 2018 during this game

Week 6 – Bye Week

Week 7

Thursday, Oct. 13
Saraland (Ala.) vs. Spanish Fort (Ala.)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from Spanish Fort High School in Spanish Fort, Ala.

  • Spanish Fort was an undefeated state champion in 2015, finishing the season ranked No. 18 nationally
  • Saraland hopes to improve on a 10-3 record last season, and will look to No. 29 junior QB Jack West (Stanford verbal) to lead the way

Week 8

Friday, Oct. 21
No. 4 IMG Academy (Fla.) vs. Trinity Christian (Fla.)
7 p.m. on ESPN2 from Trinity Christian Academy in Jacksonville, Fla.

  • Trinity Christian finished with a No. 24 national ranking in 2015, capturing the 3A FHSAA title with a perfect 14-0 season
  • IMG Academy was 9-0 in 2015 and is ranked No. 4 in the USA Today High School Sports Super 25 rankings
  • Twenty-eight ESPN 300 players from the class of 2017 and 2018 class will play in this game

Week 9

Thursday, Oct. 27
Woodland Christian (Calif.) vs. California School for the Deaf (Calif.)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from California School for the Deaf in Fremont, Calif.

  • California School for the Deaf returns with senior RB Jax Pederson, who has previously had two 1,000-yard rushing seasons
  • Woodland Christian senior QB Eric Wyatt and main weapon WR Miguel Witham will lead a potent offense

Friday, Oct. 28

No. 2 Grayson (Ga.) vs. Hoover (Ala.)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Hoover Metropolitan Stadium in Hoover, Ala.

  • Hoover is an Alabama powerhouse that is no stranger to playing national games, and this Georgia-Alabama matchup is much anticipated
  • Grayson is coming off a strong 13-1 season last year and touts five ESPN 300 ranked players, which is creating a lot of buzz for them as one of the best teams in the country

Week 10

Thursday, Nov. 3
No. 15 DeSoto (Texas) vs. South Grand Prairie (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from Gopher-Warrior Bowl in Grand Prairie, Texas

  • DeSoto hopes to rebound from a slight “down” year in 2015, and transfer QB Shaun Robinson (TCU verbal), the No. 165 player, looks to provide that spark. No. 99, OG Edward Ingram (LSU verbal) will lead the way up front
  • South Grand Prairie opened some eyes when they shocked one of the top ranked teams in the nation—Euless Trinity—in a first-round playoff game last season. Standout player include No. 8 Jeffrey Okudah and No. 185 junior Atanza Vongor

Friday, Nov. 4
No. 9 DeMatha (Md.) vs. Our Lady of Good Counsel (Md.)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Our Lady of Good Counsel in Olney, Md.

  • DeMatha was 11-1 with a WCAC title in 2015 and will look to reload this season with four ESPN 300 players: No. 30, DE Chase Young, No. 58, RB Anthony McFarland, No. 226, OG Marcus Minor and No. 38 junior DT Austin Fontaine
  • Good Counsel’s defense features DE Joshua Paschal and LB Ayinde Eley (Maryland commit). The offense will be highlighted by a strong run game with three D1 linemen making the way for RB Mohamed Ibrahim


ESPN 300 Participants (Class of 2017)

Rank Pos. Athlete High School College Commitment*
No. 3 RB Najee Harris Antioch Alabama
No. 4 DE Robert Beal IMG Academy Georgia
No. 5 ATH Dylan Moses IMG Academy
No. 8 S Jeffrey Okudah South Grand Prairie
No. 10 ATH DeAngelo Gibbs Grayson
No. 13 CB Shaun Wade Trinity Christian Ohio St
No. 16 DE Joshua Kaindoh IMG Academy Maryland
No. 27 WR Trevon Grimes St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 30 DE Chase Young DeMatha Ohio St.
No. 37 CB Jamyest Williams Grayson
No. 45 QB Dylan McCaffrey Valor Christian Michigan
No. 48 S Isaiah Pryor IMG Academy Ohio St
No. 51 OG Robert Hainsey IMG Academy Notre Dame
No. 56 S Grant Delpit IMG Academy LSU
No. 57 QB Kellen Mond IMG Academy Texas A&M
No. 58 RB Anthony McFarland DeMatha
No. 65 RB D’Andre Swift St. Joseph’s Prep
No. 69 WR D.J. Matthews Trinity Christian Florida St
No. 70 OC Cesar Ruiz IMG Academy
No. 81 OT Tony Gray Grayson
No. 82 QB Davis Mills Greater Atlanta Christian Stanford
No. 99 OG Edward Ingram DeSoto LSU
No. 112 DT Haskell Garrett Bishop Gorman Ohio St
No. 125 ATH Jordan Anthony IMG Academy
No. 127 QB Tate Martell Bishop Gorman Ohio St
No. 128 CB Marcus Williamson IMG Academy Ohio St
No. 131 LB Drew Singleton Paramus Catholic
No. 144 WR Jhamon Ausbon IMG Academy LSU
No. 148 OLB Breon Dixon Grayson Georgia
No. 155 CB Alex Perry Bishop Gorman
No. 165 QB Shawn Robinson DeSoto TCU
No. 171 QB Jake Allen St. Thomas Aquinas Florida
No. 181 WR Mark Webb Archbishop Wood
No. 196 RB Bruce Jordan-Swilling Brother Martin
No. 209 QB Chase Brice Grayson Clemson
No. 213 S Bubba Bolden Bishop Gorman
No. 226 OG Marcus Minor DeMatha
No. 249 TE Tre’ McKitty IMG Academy Oregon
No. 295 CB Tre Swilling Brother Martin



ESPN Junior 300 Participants (Class of 2018)


Rank Pos. Athlete High School College Commitment*
No. 13 DT Taron Vincent IMG Academy
No. 14 CB Tyreke Johnson Trinity Christian
No. 25 WR Brian Hightower IMG Academy
No. 29 QB Jack West Saraland Stanford
No. 38 DT Austin Fontaine DeMatha
No. 46 CB Asante Samuel St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 49 CB Houston Griffith IMG Academy
No. 53 DE Nikolas Bonitto St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 54 CB Al Blades Jr. St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 56 S Isheem Young IMG Academy
No. 72 WR Elijah Moore St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 84 DT T.K. Chimedza IMG Academy
No. 96 QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson Bishop Gorman
No. 108 OT Reuben Unije IMG Academy
No. 113 LB Palaie Gaoteote Bishop Gorman
No. 120 TE Brevin Jordan Bishop Gorman
No. 144 RB Jamal Currie-Elliott IMG Academy
No. 147 LB Eriq Gilyard Trinity Christian
No. 152 S Mike Jones Jr. IMG Academy Clemson
No. 159 S Chamarri Conner Trinity Christian
No. 162 OT Chris Bleich IMG Academy Penn State
No. 174 OG Sebastian Sainterling St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 180 OG Curtis Dunlap Jr. IMG Academy
No. 185 S Atanza Vongor South Grand Prairie
No. 197 RB Asa Martin IMG Academy
No. 221 LB Rocky Shelton St. Thomas Aquinas
No. 281 TE Glenn Beal John Curtis
No. 299 WR Darryle Simmons St. Joseph’s Prep

*Please note: No player has signed with a school



Anna Negron

It was always a dream of mine to work at ESPN, and here I am! I joined the College Sports PR team in March 2016. Hailing from the great Garden State, I graduated from Seton Hall University (Go Pirates!) with a degree in sport management, where I not only sang the National Anthem at games, but was also a member of the Seton Hall Sapphires Dance Team and a student reporter for Pirate Sports Network. Before joining ESPN, I served as a Public Relations Associate for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
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