2017 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase: College Football’s Next Generation

High School

2017 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase: College Football’s Next Generation

  • Beginning September 1, Weekly Coverage of Best High School Football Matchups
  • Showcase to Feature Top Players from ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr. 300
  • More than 30 Participants Have Verbally Committed to Division I College Football Programs

The 2017 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase will feature matchups between some of the top high school football programs from across the country. The 11-game schedule begins Friday, Sept. 1, and will continue through Friday, Oct. 27. This year’s showcase will feature more than 50 ranked players from ESPN 300 (Class of 2018) and ESPN Junior 300 (Class of 2019), including athletes who have committed to some of the top Division I programs—Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisville, Maryland, Miami, Michigan, Mississippi St., Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St., Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech, UCLA, USC and Washington.  A total of 13 states and Washington, D.C., will be represented in this season’s showcase.

Among this year’s teams are seven nationally ranked teams, according to USA Today High School Sports: No. 2 IMG Academy (Fla.), No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Nev.) No. 10 De La Salle High School (Calif.), No. 17 Miami Central (Fla.), No. 18 Bergen Catholic High School (N.J.), No. 19 St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) and No. 21 Carol City High School (Fla.).

Combined with the 2017 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff , ESPN will televise 18 high school football games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU.

2017 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase Highlights

  • 1 Ranked Player: Quarterback Justin Fields of Harrison High School (Kennesaw, Ga.), the No. 1 overall player in the ESPN 300, will face Dalton High School (Dalton, Ga.) on Thursday, Oct.19
  • Top 25 Matchups: 21 St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) travels to No. 10 De Las Salle High School (Calif.) on Friday, Sept. 1, and No. 18 Miami Central (Fla.) is set to face No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Nev.) on Friday, Sept. 8
  • Top-Ranked Quarterbacks: Six ESPN 300 ranked quarterbacks will be on display, including No. 1 Justin Fields of Harrison (Ga.), No. 30 Jacob Sirmon of Bothell (Wash.), No. 48 Justin Rogers of Parkway (La.), No. 53 Dorian Thompson-Robinson of Bishop Gorman (Nev.), No. 109 Artur Sitkowski of IMG Academy (Fla.) and 112 Spencer Sanders of Ryan (Tex.)

2017 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase Schedule
Note: All game times are ET. Team rankings are per USA Today High School Sports. Player Rankings are per ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300.

Week 1
Friday, September 1
No. 19 St. John’s College High School (Washington, D.C.) vs. No. 10 De La Salle High School (Calif.)
11 p.m. on ESPNU from De La Salle High School in Concord, Calif.

  • East Coast up-and-comer St. John’s from Washington, D.C. makes the cross-country trip to the San Francisco Bay Area to face traditional West Coast power De La Salle. Both top-twenty ranked teams look to avenge runner-up finishes in their respective state/conference championships in 2016
  • De La Salle’s notable players include No. 104 Tuli Letuligasenoa (USC commit), as well as two on ESPN Jr. 300: No. 14 Henry To’oto’o, and No. 114 Isaiah Foskey

Week 2

Friday, September 8
St. Frances Academy (Md.) vs. No. 2 IMG Academy (Fla.)
7 p.m. on ESPNU from IMG Academy in Bradenton, Fla.

  • In his first year as St. Frances’ head coach last season, coach Henry Russell turned the Panther program around from 2-10 to 10-2; they will try to ride that momentum into this season as they face IMG Academy, who is currently ranked No. 2 in the country, where they finished last season
  • IMG has eleven players ranked in the ESPN 300, including the No. 2 Xavier Thomas, defensive end (Clemson commit), as well as eight players ranked in ESPN 300 Junior class
  • Frances features linemen on both sides of the ball with No. 4 Eyabi Anoma, and No. 64 Jaelyn Duncan (Maryland commit); St. Frances as boasts three athletes on the ESPN Jr. 300, including No. 38 Shane Lee

No. 17 Miami Central (Fla.) vs. No. 4 Bishop Gorman (Nev.)
10 p.m. on ESPNU from Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, Nevada

  • Miami Central travels to Las Vegas with No. 57 James Cook, running back (brother of rookie Vikings RB Dalvin Cook) and No. 263 Robert Hicks (Louisville commit)
  • Bishop Gorman finished last season on a 54-game winning streak and ranked No. 1 in the country; they return two seniors who rank in the top 50 in the country

Week 3
Friday, September 15
Parkway High School (La.) vs. Pulaski Academy (Ark.)
10 p.m. on ESPNU from Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Arkansas

  • Neighboring states battle it out as 2016 Louisiana 5A quarterfinalist Parkway travels to Arkansas to take on 5A state champ Pulaski
  • Parkway will rely heavily on the high-profile connection between No. 9 Terrace Marshall Jr., and No. 48 Justin Rogers (TCU commit)
  • Pulaski’s offense is led by head coach Kevin Kelley whose fearless, high-tempo play-calling has received national attention because he rarely, if ever, punts. Junior Hudson Henry is No. 67 in the 2019 class

Week 4
Friday, September 22
Chaminade-Madonna (Fla.) vs. American Heritage (Fla.)
7 p.m. on ESPNU from American Heritage School in Plantation, Florida

  • About 15 miles separates these two Ft. Lauderdale area schools, who both boast rosters full of Division I recruits
  • Chaminade was the 3A runner-up in 2016, but returns with five players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr. 300, led by the No. 29 Xavier Williams (Alabama commit)
  • American Heritage is the returning 5A state champion, and tout seven ESPN 300 and ESPN Jr. 300 players, including the top two ranked cornerbacks in the senior class: No. 6 Patrick Surtain Jr. and No. 8 Tyson Campbell

Mullen (Col.) vs. Bothell (Wash.)
10 p.m. on ESPNU from Pop Keeney Stadium in Bothell, Wash.

  • In the second game of an ESPNU doubleheader, Mullen will make the trip from Colorado to Washington to take on Bothell; both teams look to improve on 9-3 records in 2016
  • Mullen features No. 172 Adrian Jackson,(Oregon commit), along with wide receiver A’Jon Vivens and offense lineman Florian McCann, who are both committed to play at Colorado State
  • Bothell will look to advance past the 4A quarterfinals this year, and will depend on the play of quarterback and No. 30 Jacob Sirmon

Week 5
Thursday, September 28
Ryan High School (Texas) vs. Denton High School (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from C.H. Collins Stadium in Denton, Texas

  • North Texas cross-town rivalry game
  • Ryan came up just shy of a 5A state championship appearance in 2016 when No. 112 Spencer Sanders went down in the semis with a knee injury. This season, Ryan is likely the favorite to win a 5A state title with Sanders, is back at full strength along with wide receiver Gabriel Douglas
  • Denton will look to play spoiler in this one, as the Broncos hope to make the playoffs for the fourth straight season, this time under first-year head coach Billy Miller, who was an assistant coach at Ryan last season

Friday, September 29
Cathedral High School (Ind.) vs. Ryle High School (Ky.)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Ryle Union High School in Union, Ky.

  • Both 6A quarterfinalists in their respective states, Cathedral will make the two-hour trip from Indianapolis to Union, Kentucky, to face Ryle High School
  • Cathedral played a tough Midwest schedule in 2016, and will look to build on that experience with the return of two ESPN 300 players: No. 54 Emil Ekiyor (Michigan commit), and top running back Markese Stepp (Notre Dame commit)
  • Ryle was 12-1 last season with their lone loss coming in the quarterfinals, 42-40. The Raiders look to take the next step behind senior running back Jacob Chisholm, who had 1,700 rushing yards and 22 touchdowns last season).

Week 6 – Bye Week

Week 7
Thursday, October 12
No. 21 Carol City (Fla.) vs. Miami Northwestern (Fla.)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from Traz Powell Stadium in Miami, Fla.

  • These two Miami teams split a pair of games last season, with a total differential of only 12 points between the two games
  • Carol City comes off a 6A state championship and is ranked No. 21 nationally. Notable players include No. 164 Camron Davis and junior Nayquan Wright
  • Northwestern looks to redeem a second round playoff loss to Carol City last year. Notable players include cornerback Divaad Wilson. (Florida commit) and defensive back Rachad Wildgoose (Georgia commit)

Week 8
Thursday, October 19
Dalton High School (Ga.) vs. Harrison High School (Ga.)
7:30 p.m. on ESPN2 from Harrison High School in Kennesaw, Ga.

  • Dalton was 13-1 last season, beating Harrison on the way to the 6A semifinal, where they suffered their only loss to eventual state champion, and GEICO State Champions Bowl Series participant Valdosta
  • Harrison will attempt to improve on their 10-2, second round playoff season from 2016, behind Justin Fields, the No. 1 overall ranked player on the ESPN 300

Week 9
Friday, October 27
No. 18 Bergen Catholic High School (N.J.) vs. Don Bosco Prep (N.J)
6 p.m. on ESPN2 from Don Bosco Prep in Ramsey, N.J.

  • Classic New Jersey battle between two Catholic school powers; a game that Bosco won in overtime over Bergen last season
  • Bergen is ranked No. 18 and returns with quarterback Johnny Langan (Boston College commit), running back Rahmir Johnson, as well as senior Javontae Jean-Baptiste
  • Bosco will be tough on the defensive side of the ball, with No. 125 Tyler Friday Marcellus Earlington and safety Kevin Brennan.

ESPN 300 Participants
(Class of 2018)

Rank Pos. Athlete High School College Commitment*
1 QB Justin Fields Harrison High School
2 DE Xavier Thomas IMG Academy Clemson
4 DE Eyabi Anoma St. Frances Academy
6 CB Patrick Surtain Jr. American Heritage
8 CB Tyson Campbell American Heritage
9 WR Terrace Marshall Jr. Parkway High School
13 DT Taron Vincent IMG Academy Ohio State
21 ILB Palaie Gaoteote Bishop Gorman USC
29 ATH Xavier Williams Chaminade-Madonna Alabama
30 QB Jacob Sirmon Bothell High School Washington
32 TE Brevin Jordan Bishop Gorman Miami (Fla.)
44 LB Ayodele Adeoye IMG Academy Texas
48 QB Justin Rogers Parkway High School TCU
53 QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson Bishop Gorman UCLA
54 OG Emil Ekiyor Cathedral High School Michigan
57 RB James Cook Miami Central
64 OT Jaelyn Duncan St. Frances Academy Maryland
67 WR Anthony Schwartz American Heritage
81 CB Houston Griffith IMG Academy
85 DE Stephon Wynn IMG Academy Alabama
97 RB T.J. Pledger IMG Academy Oklahoma
104 DT Tuli Letuligasenoa De La Salle USC
105 DT Nesta Silvera American Heritage Miami (Fla.)
109 QB Artur Sitkowski IMG Academy Miami (Fla.)
112 QB-DT Spencer Sanders Billy Ryan High School Oklahoma State
118 WR Brian Hightower IMG Academy Miami (Fla.)
122 OG Curtis Dunlap Jr. IMG Academy Florida
125 DT Tyler Friday Don Bosco Prep
158 DE Andrew Chatfield American Heritage
164 RB Camron Davis Carol City High School Miami (Fla.)
172 OLB Adrian Jackson J.K. Mullen Oregon
187 ATH Brendan Radley-Hiles IMG Academy Nebraska
200 OLB Mike Jones Jr. IMG Academy Clemson
223 RB Markese Stepp Cathedral High School Notre Dame
263 ILB Robert Hicks Miami Central Louisville
265 OT Reuben Unije IMG Academy
270 CB Divaad Wilson Miami Northwestern High School Florida
288 RB Shaun Shivers Chaminade-Madonna Auburn
298 WR Gabriel Douglas Billy Ryan High School Texas Tech

ESPN Junior 300 Participants (Class of 2019)

Rank Pos. Athlete High School College Commitment*
4 DE Nolan Smith IMG Academy Georgia
12 RB Trey Sanders IMG Academy Alabama
14 OLB Henry To’oto’o De La Salle High School
22 OG Deyavie Hammond IMG Academy Alabama
23 RB Noah Cain IMG Academy
38 ILB Shane Lee St. Frances Academy
67 TE-Y Hudson Henry Pulaski Academy
114 TE-H Isaiah Foskey De La Salle High School
115 RB Nayquan Wright Carol City High School
130 WR Cameron Coleman IMG Academy
152 OG Evan Neal IMG Academy
169 S Keontra Smith Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School Kentucky
250 ILB Charles Thomas IMG Academy Michigan
257 CB Te’Cory Couch Chaminade-Madonna College Preparatory School Tennessee
269 OLB Mikel Jones IMG Academy
274 OG Darrian Dalcourt St. Frances Academy
275 RB Joachim Bangda St. John’s College High School
289 OG Mark Fox Jr. Miami Northwestern High School
293 RB Rahmir Johnson Bergen Catholic High School
296 QB-DT Jalon Jones St. Frances Academy Mississippi State

*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.