The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff Returns for 10th Year (August 23-25)
- Seven Games Available Across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN App
- Kickoff Features 38 Players ranked in ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300
The ESPN High School Football Kickoff returns for its 10th year Friday, Aug. 23 – Sunday, Aug. 25. The seven game slate features 38 players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 including three players in the top 10: No. 4 Julian Fleming – WR (Southern Columbia, Pa.), No. 5 Jordan Burch – DE (Hammond, S.C.) and No. 7 Chris Braswell – DE (St. Frances, Md.). Games will be available throughout the weekend on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN App.
Of the athletes participating, 24 have already committed to top Division I college football programs including Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Miami, Michigan, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Pittsburgh, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Among this year’s teams are six pre-season nationally ranked teams, according to USA TODAY High School Sports: No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.), No. 4 St. John Bosco (Calif.), No. 6 St. Frances (Md.), No. 14 Narbonne (Calif.), No. 15 Miami Central (Fla.) and No. 20 DeMatha (Md.).
2019 ESPN GEICO High School Football Kickoff Schedule
*Notes: All times are ET.
*Player rankings from ESPN 300 (Seniors in the Class of 2020) and ESPN Junior 300 (Class of 2021)
*Team rankings per USA TODAY HS SPORTS Pre-Season Rankings
Friday, August 23
Mallard Creek (N.C.) vs. Dutch Fork (S.C.)
6 p.m. on ESPN2 from Dutch Fork High School in Irmo, S.C.
- For the past decade, Mallard Creek has consistently been one of the most successful teams in North Carolina including winning three straight states titles in 2013-2015. The Mavericks’ defense is led by No. 105 Trenton Simpson – OLB (Auburn) as the team eyes a return to the state championship.
- Dutch Fork has seen a run of success recently that includes three straight South Carolina 5A state championships. The Silver Foxes return senior quarterback Tyler Olenchuk (Clemson baseball commit) along with a pair of WR’s and DB’s with D1 offers.
No. 1 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.) vs. De La Salle (Calif.)
9:30 p.m. on ESPNU from De La Salle High School in Concord, Ca.
- The St. Thomas Aquinas has five ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 ranked players including: No. 45 Marcus Rosemy – WR (Georgia), No. 72 Marcus Dumervil – OT, No. 193 Derek Wingo – ATH (Florida) and No. 298 Jahvante Royal – ATH (Pitt), and junior No. 244 Tyreak Sapp – DE (Florida).
- Perennial California power De La Salle was 12-1 last season, advancing to the CIF Open Division Finals. The Spartans return their starting backfield – senior RB Shemar Garrett (Air Force, New Mexico, San Jose State) and junior quarterback Dorian Hale (12 TD’s passing last season), along with the traditional stout defense that De La Salle is known for.
Saturday, August 24
No. 6 St. Frances (Md.) vs. No. 15 Miami Central (Fla.)
Noon on ESPN from Traz Powell Stadium in Miami, Fla.
- Frances boasts the highest number of ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 players (9) of any team participating in Kickoff, including seniors: No. 7 Chris Braswell (Alabama), No. 93 Luke Hill – CB (Oregon), No. 132 Dominic Bailey – DT (Tennessee), No. 167 Jordan Toles – S (LSU), No. 174 Demon Clowney – DE (LSU) and No. 177 Blake Corum – RB (Michigan)
- Miami Central, known for producing Division I athletes, has consistently shown up in the race for the state championship in Florida in recent years. The Rockets top senior is No. 96 Henry Gray – CB, and their junior class is adds depth with three ranked players in the 2021 class: No. 161 Laurence Seymore – OG (Miami), No. 270 Amari Daniels – RB, and No. 294 Chamon Metayer – OLB (Miami).
Deerfield Beach (Fla.) vs. Carol City (Fla.)
4 p.m. on ESPNU from Traz Powell Stadium in Miami, Fla.
- Deerfield Beach advanced to the 8A semifinals last year. This year’s team is led on offense by No. 84 Jaylan Knighton – RB (FSU), along with a trio of WR’S with D1 offers, while on defense Phillip O’Brien Jr. – CB is the No. 298 ranked player in the junior class
- After suffering an early round loss to Miami Central in the 6A playoffs last year, Carol City will look to make a deeper run this season. Offensive weapons include No. 87 Thaiu Jones-Bell – WR (Alabama), along with No. 187 Samuel Anaele – DE (Kentucky) anchoring the defense.
No. 20 DeMatha (Md.) vs. No. 4 St. John Bosco (Calif.)
9 p.m. on ESPN2 from St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif.
- DeMatha is a Maryland power that is no stranger to the national stage. The Stags travel to California with a top 25 national ranking to uphold, and two ranked seniors, No. 52 Marshawn Lloyd – RB (South Carolina)and No. 153 Coziah Izzard – DE (Penn State). Their junior class adds depth on defense with No. 247 Gregory Penn III – ILB and No. 280 Colin Mobley – DE.
- In recent years, St. John Bosco has consistently been a high-ranking national power and are led by No. 48 D.J. Uiagalelei – QB (Clemson) along with No. 245 Kourt Williams II – OLB. Junior No. 61 Beaux Collins – WR provides Uiagalelei with firepower on offense, while No. 62 Ma’a Gaoteote joins Williams at linebacker.
No. 14 Narbonne (Calif.) vs. Buchanan (Calif.)
11 p.m. on ESPNU from Buchanan High School in Clovis, Calif.
- Narbonne improved as the season progressed last year, winning nine consecutive games on their way to an LA City Section Open Division Championship. Nearly a dozen seniors field multiple Division I offers, including No. 211 Darion Green-Warren – CB and No. 270 – WR transfer Traeshon Holden (Alabama). Junior quarterback Jake Garcia is ranked No. 22 in the class of 2021, along with No. 148 Anthony Beavers – ATH is committed to Oregon.
- Buchanan advanced to the CIF Central Section D1 semifinals last season behind their RB, No. 38 Kendall Milton (Georgia), who is joined on offense by nine starters returning from a team that went 10-3 last year.
Sunday, August 25
Southern Columbia (Pa.) vs. Hammond School (S.C.)
2 p.m. on ESPN2 from Hammond School in Columbia, S.C.
- Both Southern Columbia and Hammond School are coming off undefeated state championship seasons.
- Southern Columbia features the No. 4 ranked player in the country Julian Flemming, who is the No. 1 ranked WR (Ohio State).
- Hammond School’s stout defensive line features the No. 5 player – DE Jordan Burch, as well as No. 225 Alex Huntley – OG (South Carolina).
ESPN 300 Participants
|Rank||Player||Pos.||High School||College Commitment*|
|4||Julian Fleming||WR||Southern Columbia (PA)||Ohio State|
|5||Jordan Burch||DE||Hammond (SC)|
|7||Chris Braswell||DE||St. Frances (MD)||Alabama|
|38||Kendall Milton||RB||Buchanan (CA)||Georgia|
|45||Marcus Rosemy||WR||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Georgia|
|48||D.J. Uiagalelei||QB-PP||St. John Bosco (CA)||Clemson|
|52||Marshawn Lloyd||RB||DeMatha (MD)||South Carolina|
|72||Marcus Dumervil||OT||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)|
|84||Jaylan Knighton||RB||Deerfield Beach (FL)||FSU|
|87||Thaiu Jones-Bell||WR||Carol City (FL)||Alabama|
|93||Luke Hill||CB||St. Frances (MD)||Oregon|
|96||Henry Gray||CB||Miami Central (FL)|
|105||Trenton Simpson||OLB||Mallard Creek (NC)||Auburn|
|132||Dominic Bailey||DT||St. Frances (MD)||Tennessee|
|153||Coziah Izzard||DE||DeMatha (MD)||Penn State|
|161||Samuel Anaele||DE||Carol City (FL)||Kentucky|
|167||Jordan Toles||S||St. Frances (MD)||LSU|
|174||Demon Clowney||DE||St. Frances (MD)||LSU|
|177||Blake Corum||RB||St. Frances (MD)||Michigan|
|193||Derek Wingo||ATH||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Florida|
|211||Darion Green-Warren||CB||Narbonne (CA)|
|225||Alex Huntley||OG||Hammond (SC)||South Carolina|
|245||Kourt Williams II||OLB||St. John Bosco (CA)|
|270||Traeshon Holden||WR||Narbonne (CA)||Alabama|
ESPN Junior 300 Participants
|Rank||Player||Pos.||High School||College Commitment*|
|22||Jake Garcia||QB||Narbonne (CA)|
|61||Beaux Collins||WR||St. John Bosco (CA)|
|62||Ma’a Gaoteote||OLB||St. John Bosco (CA)||USC|
|134||Clinton Burton Jr||CB||St. Frances Academy (MD)|
|148||Anthony Beavers||ATH||Narbonne (CA)||Oregon|
|161||Laurence Seymore||OG||Miami Central (FL)||Miami|
|180||Aaron Willis||OLB||St. Frances Academy (MD)|
|194||Katron Evans||DT||St. Frances Academy (MD)|
|244||Tyreak Sapp||DE||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Florida|
|247||Gregory Penn III||ILB||DeMatha (MD)|
|270||Amari Daniels||RB||Miami Central (FL)|
|280||Colin Mobley||DE||DeMatha (MD)|
|294||Chamon Metayer||OLB||Miami Central (FL)||Miami|
|298||Phillip O’Brien Jr||CB||Deerfield Beach (FL)|
*Please note: No player has signed with a school
All ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 Rankings and Verbal Commitments are up-to-date as of August 13, 2019
For in-depth coverage of the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff, including highlights and exclusive behind the scenes content, follow @whosnexths on Twitter and Instagram.
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About Paragon Marketing Group
Paragon Marketing Group is a corporate consulting agency specializing in sports, entertainment and cause related sponsorships. Paragon owns and operates the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff and has collaborated with ESPN over the past 16 years to deliver over 600 live high school football, basketball, and lacrosse telecasts featuring many of the top teams and players in the nation. Paragon collaborates with ESPN on the following live properties:
GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff & Showcase
GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase
GEICO State Champions Bowl Series
GEICO High School Basketball Nationals
GEICO High School Lacrosse Showcase
GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals
GEICO Baseball City Series
For further information on the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff and for media credential requests please contact: [email protected]
ESPN media contact: Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp