Editor’s Note: This press release was updated on Monday, Sept. 9, announcing that Rutgers’s SHI Stadium would serve as the venue for the IMG Academy vs. St. Joseph’s Prep on Friday, Sept. 13. The venue had previously been listed as “to be announced.”
- Weekly Coverage of Best High School Football Matchups Beginning August 29
- Showcase to Feature 49 Players from ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300
The 2019 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 Thursday, Aug. 29, and will continue through Friday, Nov. 1. This year’s showcase will feature 49 ranked players from ESPN 300 (Class of 2020) and ESPN Junior 300 (Class of 2021), including athletes who have committed to top college programs such as Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Tennessee, Texas, Texas A&M, USC, Vanderbilt and Washington. Teams from nine states are represented in this season’s showcase: California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Washington. Washington D.C. is also represented.
Among this year’s teams are six nationally ranked teams, according to USA TODAY High School Sports’ pre-season poll: No. 2 North Shore (Texas), No. 3 Mater Dei (Calif.), No. 5 St. John’s (Washington D.C), No. 7 IMG Academy (Fla.), No. 9 Marietta (Ga.), and No. 11 St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.).
ESPN’s Jay Alter and Craig Haubert will be on the call for all Showcase games.
Combined with the previously announced 2019 GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff, ESPN will televise 18 high school football games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU this season.
2019 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase Highlights
- Week 1 to Feature No. 1 Player in the Country: On Thursday, Aug. 29, the No. 1 player, RB Zachary Evans will lead the No. 2 ranked team, North Shore from Houston, against perennial Texas power Katy.
- Top Five Matchup in Week 5: On Friday, Sept. 27, two top-five teams will battle when No. 3 Mater Dei travels from California to take on No. 5 St. John’s in Washington D.C.
2019 GEICO ESPN High School Football Showcase Schedule (All game times are ET.)
*Please note: No player has signed with a school. All ESPN 300 Rankings and Verbal Commitments are up-to-date as of August 8, 2019. Team rankings are per USA TODAY High School Sports.
Thursday, Aug. 29 – Katy (Texas) vs. No. 2 North Shore (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Galena Park ISD Stadium in Houston, Texas
- After winning the 6A D1 state title last year, North Shore enters the season as the No. 1 ranked team in the country and features the No. 1 ranked player, RB Zachary Evans, and No. 274 Damieon George – OT (Alabama commit). The Mustangs’ strong junior class is anchored by No. 11 Shadrach Banks (No. 1 WR), No. 20 Jaeden Roberts (No. 1 OG) and No. 140 Dematrius Davis – QB.
- Katy is tied for the most state championships in Texas high school football history (eight titles), with its only two losses last season coming at the hands of North Shore. The Tigers return No. 211 Hunter Washington – CB.
Friday, Aug. 30 – No. 11 St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.) vs. No. 9 Marietta (Ga.)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Marietta High School in Marietta, Ga.
- Joseph’s Prep went undefeated on its way to a 6A state title and a No. 6 national ranking in 2018. The Hawks enter the season ranked No. 21 nationally, with a very talented junior class including No. 35 Kyle McCord – QB (Ohio State commit), as well as with the sons of two NFL All-Pro’s, No. 87 Marvin Harrison and No. 130 Jeremiah Trotter Jr. – OLB.
- Marietta is loaded with Division I talent, including three ESPN 300 ranked seniors: No. 15 Arik Gilbert – TE, No. 194 B.J. Ojulari – DE and No. 247 Harrison Bailey – QB (Tennessee commit).
Thursday, Sept. 5 – Trinity Christian (Texas) vs. Parish Episcopal (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from Parish Episcopal in Dallas, Texas
- Trinity is coming off back-to-back TAPPS DII state titles, with an undefeated season in 2018. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders, son of NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, is the No. 49 ranked player in the 2021 class.
- Parish Episcopal was a TAPPS D1 semifinalist in 2018. The Panthers feature a highly ranked QB of their own, No. 127 junior Preston Stone.
Friday, Sept. 6 – Bethel (Wash.) vs. Kennedy (Wash.)
10 p.m. on ESPNU from CenturyLink Field in Seattle, Wash.
- Kennedy features the No. 10 player in the country with DE Sav’ell Smalls on defense, while on offense the Lancers return the No. 40 ranked junior Sam Huard – QB (Washington commit) along with his top weapon, No. 139 ranked junior Jabez Tinae.
- Bethel looks to make a deeper 3A playoff run this season, after a first-round exit in 2018; senior OLB Peter Latu is an Oregon commit, while his younger brother Will Latu – OLB is the No. 297 ranked junior.
Thursday, Sept. 12 – Longview (Texas) vs. John Tyler (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from Tyler ISD – Christus Trinity Mother Frances Rose Stadium in Tyler, Texas
- Longview is the defending 6A DII state champion, coming off an undefeated season in 2018. Senior QB Haynes King, son of Head Coach John King, is the No. 1 ranked QB and No. 18 ranked player in the country (Texas A&M commit).
- John Tyler went 10-3 last season, advancing to the 5A D1 quarterfinals (losing to eventual state champion Highland Park by one TD). The Lions return the No. 85 player, DB Kitan Crawford (Texas commit).
Friday, Sept. 13 – No. 7 IMG Academy (Fla.) vs. No. 11 St. Joseph’s Prep (Pa.)
7 p.m. on ESPN2 from SHI Stadium at Rutgers University
- Joseph’s Prep went undefeated on their way to a 6A state title and a No. 6 national ranking in 2018. The Hawks enter the season ranked No. 21 nationally, with a very talented junior class, including No. 35 Kyle McCord – QB (Ohio State commit), along with the sons of two NFL All-Pro’s, No. 87 Marvin Harrison and No. 130 Jeremiah Trotter Jr. – OLB.
- IMG Academy enters the season ranked No. 8 nationally, with 11 ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 ranked players including seniors: No. 27 Demonte Capehart – DE (Clemson commit), No. 41 Elias Ricks – CB (LSU commit), No. 66 Jermaine Burton – WR (LSU commit), No. 229 Warren Brinson – DT (Georgia commit), No. 253 Lejond Cavazos – S (Ohio State commit) and No. 277 Jordan Butler – DT (Vanderbilt).
Friday, Sept. 20 – De Smet Jesuit (Mo.) vs. Christian Brothers College (Mo.)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Christian Brothers College High School in St. Louis, Mo.
- De Smet Jesuit advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class 6 playoffs last season, losing to eventual state champion Christian Brothers College. The Spartans return the No. 47 ranked player, senior Jordan Johnson – WR (Notre Dame commit), as well as two ranked juniors: No. 123 Jakailin Johnson – CB and No. 245 Brody Wisecarver – OT
- Christian Brothers College has won three of the last five Class 6 state titles, including the last two state championships, making them the team to beat in the state of Missouri. OG Brad Feeney is committed to Indiana.
Friday, Sept. 27 – No. 3 Mater Dei (Calif.) vs. No. 5 St. John’s (D.C)
8:30 p.m. on ESPNU from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C.
- Mater Dei has won back-to-back CIF Open Division state championships and enter the season ranked No. 4 nationally. The Monarchs are led by senior QB Bryce Young, the No. 88 ranked player (USC commit) and No. 70 Myles Murao – OG (Washington commit). The junior class is well represented by No. 51 Raesjon Davis – OLB, No. 71 Cristian Dixon – WR and No. 190 Jaylin Davies – CB.
- John’s enters the season ranked just behind Mater Dei at No. 5 in the nation, with three seniors ranked at the top of their class: No. 19 Mekhail Sherman is the No. 1 ranked ILB (Georgia commit), No. 30 Rakim Jarrett – WR (LSU commit) and No. 36 Tre William – DT (Clemson commit). Junior DT Taizse Johnson is the No. 213 ranked player in 2021.
Thursday, Oct. 3 – Brentwood Academy (Tenn.) vs. Knoxville Catholic (Tenn.)
8 p.m. on ESPN2 from Knoxville Catholic High School in Knoxville, Tenn.
- Brentwood Academy has claimed the last four 2A/3A DII state titles. They will be tough up front with a DE and LB with D1 offers, as well as two juniors on the offensive line with multiple offers.
- Knoxville Catholic was a 5A semifinalist last season. They will battle up front as well with No. 130 Bryn Tucker – OT (Clemson commit) and No. 176 Tyler Baron – DE.
Week 7 – Bye Week
Friday, Oct. 18 – Mandarin (Fla.) vs. Sandalwood (Fla.)
7 p.m. on ESPNU from Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Fla.
- Mandarin had a huge turnaround season in 2018 under second year Head Coach Bobby Ramsay, capturing the 8A state title. No. 236 Carson Beck – QB (Georgia commit) returns at the helm for the state champion Mustangs
- Sandalwood features a highly ranked QB of their own, No. 131 Jeff Sims (FSU commit), along with fellow Seminole commit Derek Bermudez – DB and Jahquez Robinson – CB (Alabama commit). Junior OLB Branden Jennings is the No. 67 ranked player in the class of 202.
Week 9 – Bye Week
Friday, Nov. 1 – Parkview Baptist (La.) vs. Madison Prep Academy (La.)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Doug Williams Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.
- Parkview Baptist looks to rebound from an uncharacteristic down year, after a decade averaging 10+ wins, including two state championship. Their defense is anchored up front by DeSanto Rollins – DT (Ole Miss commit).
- As a relatively new football program (ninth season), Madison Prep will lean on their defense, featuring No. 76 Major Burns – CB (LSU commit) and No. 278 Joel Williams – ATH, along with a large offensive line up front.
ESPN 300 Participants (Class of 2020)
|1||Zachary Evans||RB||North Shore (TX)|
|10||Sav’ell Smalls||DE||Kennedy (WA)|
|15||Arik Gilbert||TE-Y||Marietta (GA)|
|18||Haynes King||QB-DT||Longview (TX)||Texas A&M|
|19||Mekhail Sherman||ILB||St. John’s College (DC)||Georgia|
|27||Demonte Capehart||DT||IMG Academy (FL)||Clemson|
|30||Rakim Jarrett||WR||St. John’s College (DC)||LSU|
|36||Tre Williams||DT||St. John’s College (DC)||Clemson|
|41||Elias Ricks||CB||IMG Academy (FL)||LSU|
|47||Jordan Johnson||WR||De Smet Jesuit (MO)||Notre Dame|
|66||Jermaine Burton||WR||IMG Academy (FL)||LSU|
|70||Myles Murao||OG||Mater Dei (CA)||Washington|
|76||Major Burns||CB||Madison Prep (LA)||LSU|
|85||Kitan Crawford||ATH||John Tyler (TX)||Texas|
|88||Bryce Young||QB-DT||Mater Dei (CA)||USC|
|130||Bryn Tucker||OT||Knoxville Catholic (TN)||Clemson|
|131||Jeff Sims||QB-DT||Sandalwood (FL)||Florida State|
|176||Tyler Baron||DE||Knoxville Catholic (TN)|
|194||B.J. Ojulari||DE||Marietta (GA)|
|229||Warren Brinson||DT||IMG Academy (FL)||Georgia|
|236||Carson Beck||QB-PP||Mandarin (FL)||Georgia|
|247||Harrison Bailey||QB-PP||Marietta (GA)||Tennessee|
|253||Lejond Cavazos||S||IMG Academy (FL)||Ohio State|
|274||Damieon George||OT||North Shore (TX)||Alabama|
|277||Jordan Butler||DT||IMG Academy (FL)||Vanderbilt|
|278||Joel Williams||ATH||Madison Prep (LA)|
ESPN Junior 300 Participants (Class of 2021)
|Rank||Player||Position||High School||College Commitment*|
|11||Shadrach Banks||WR||North Shore (TX)||Texas A&M|
|20||Jaeden Roberts||OG||North Shore (TX)|
|35||Kyle McCord||QB-PP||St. Joseph’s Prep (PA)||Ohio State|
|40||Sam Huard||QB-PP||Kennedy (WA)||Washington|
|49||Shedeur Sanders||QB-PP||Trinity Christian (TX)|
|51||Raesjon Davis||OLB||Mater Dei (CA)|
|67||Branden Jennings||OLB||Sandalwood (FL)|
|71||Christian Dixon||WR||Mater Dei (CA)|
|72||J.C. Latham||OT||IMG Academy (FL)|
|87||Marvin Harrison Jr.||WR||St. Joseph’s Prep (PA)|
|123||Jakailin Johnson||CB||De Smet Jesuit (MO)|
|127||Preston Stone||QB-PP||Parish Episcopal (TX)|
|130||Jeremiah Trotter Jr.||OLB||St. Joseph’s Prep (PA)|
|139||Jabez Tinae||WR||Kennedy (WA)|
|140||Dematrius Davis||QB-DT||North Shore (TX)|
|167||Markevious Brown||CB||IMG Academy (FL)|
|190||Jaylin Davies||CB||Mater Dei (CA)|
|211||Hunter Washington||CB||Katy (TX)|
|213||Taizse Johnson||DT||St. John’s (DC)|
|245||Brody Wisecarver||OT||De Smet Jesuit (MO)|
|249||Weston Franklin||OG||IMG Academy (FL)|
|273||Greg Crippen||OG||IMG Academy (FL)||Notre Dame|
|297||Will Latu||OLB||Bethel (WA)|
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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 Showcase 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 Showcase and for media credential requests please contact: [email protected]
ESPN media contact: Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected] or 860-424-2923; @kimelchlepp