The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff Returns for 12th Year, August 26-29

High School Sports

The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff Returns for 12th Year, August 26-29

  • Seven Games Available Across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN App
  • Kickoff Features 37 Players ranked in ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300

The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff returns for its 12th year Thursday, Aug. 26 – Sunday, Aug. 29. The seven game slate features 37 players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300, including the No. 1 junior Lebbeus Overton – DE (Milton, Ga.) and the No. 2 senior Quinn Ewers – QB (Southlake Carroll, Texas). Three other Top 100 ESPN ranked senior quarterbacks join Ewers in leading their teams this kickoff weekend: No. 36 Connor Weigman (Bridgeland, Texas), No. 39 AJ Duffy (IMG Academy, Fla.) and No. 100 Gunner Stockton (Rabun County, Ga.), as well as junior quarterback No. 275 Malachi Singleton (North Cobb, Ga.).

Of the athletes participating, 12 have already committed to top Division I college football programs including Clemson, Florida State, Georgia, Oklahoma, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M, TCU and UCLA.

2021 ESPN GEICO High School Football Kickoff Schedule
*All times are ET.
*Player rankings from ESPN 300 (seniors in the Class of 2022) and ESPN Junior 300 (Class of 2023)

Thursday, August 26
Southlake Carroll (Texas) vs. Highland Park (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas

  • Carroll has eight previous state titles and will look to get over the hump again after a runner-up finish in the 6A Division I finals last season. Ohio State commit Quinn Ewers is the No. 1 ranked QB in the country.
  • Highland Park has the most all-time wins in the state of Texas. The Scots have won six state titles, including three straight from 2016-2018. Last season their only loss was to eventual 5A state champ Denton Ryan

Friday, August 27
Milton (Ga.) vs. North Cobb (Ga.)
7 p.m. on ESPN2 from North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Ga.

  • Milton is led on defense by No. 1 ranked junior Lebbeus Overton. The Eagles were 11-1 in 2020 and look to push past their third round 7A playoff appearance last season.
  • North Cobb is also coming off a strong 2020 season, going 10-2 in the second round of the 7A playoffs. The Warrior’s offense will look to the connection between No. 292 senior De’Nylon Morrissette – WR (Georgia commit) and No. 275 junior Malachi Singleton – QB to lead the way on offense.

Saturday, August 28
St. Frances (Md.) vs. St Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)
Noon on ESPN from St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

  • Defending state champion St. Thomas Aquinas is a national contender every year. No. 176 senior Julian Armella – OT will set the tone on offense up front, while No. 201 junior King Mack – S will sure up the defensive backfield for the Raiders
  • Frances’ defense is deep on talent with four ESPN 300 ranked seniors: No. 22 Derrick Moore – DE (OU commit), No. 71 Jaishawn Barham – OLB, No. 150 Cam Johnson – CB and No. 262 Nasir Pearce -DT.

Oakland (Tenn.) vs. Madison-Ridgeland (Miss.)
3 p.m. on ESPN2 from Madison-Ridgeland Academy Madison, Miss.

  • Oakland is coming off a 15-0 state championship season with no signs of slowing down. Their offensive firepower comes from No. 203 senior Jordan James – RB (Georgia commit) and No. 273 senior Isaiah Horton – WR, while No. 227 junior Robby Washington – ATH adds depth.
  • Madison Ridgeland was also undefeated last season, claiming its second straight Mississippi 6A title. No. 219 senior Stone Blanton – LB anchors the defense.

Pace Academy (Ga.) vs. Rabun County (Ga.)
6 p.m. on ESPN2 from Rabun County High School in Tiger, Ga.

  • Rabun County was 12-2 last season and will look to improve on a 2A semifinal appearance behind the play of No. 100 senior Gunner Stockton – QB (Georgia commit).
  • Pace Academy’s season ended last year in the first round of the 2A playoffs. Xavier Agostino (Harvard commit), will try to put the pressure on Stockton up front.

Bridgeland (Texas) vs. Klein Cain (Texas)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Klein Memorial Stadium in Spring, Texas

  • Bridgeland survived this season-opening meeting last year 47-42 on their way to a third round 6A playoff appearance with only one loss. No. 36 senior Conner Weigman (Texas A&M commit) is the No. 2 ranked pocket passer in the nation.
  • Klein Cain suffered only two other losses after the Bridgeland opener last season, advancing to the second round of the 6A playoffs. No. 257 senior Mathew Golden – WR (TCU commit) returns as their top offensive weapon.

Sunday, August 29
IMG Academy (Fla.) vs Bishop Sycamore (Ohio)
1:30 p.m. on ESPN from Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio

  • IMG reloads as one of the top teams in the country, with an incredible 20 players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 player rankings.
  • Bishop Sycamore is a new program with young talent and several players on both sides of the ball have multiple Division 1 offers including QB Trillian Harris and OL Justin Daniel.

ESPN 300 Participants

Rank Player Pos. High School College Commitment*
2 Quinn Ewers QB-PP Southlake Carroll (TX) Ohio State
7 Tyler Booker OT IMG Academy (FL)
22 Derrick More DE St. Frances (MD) Oklahoma
23 Kamari Wilson S IMG Academy (FL) Ohio State
36 Conner Weigman QB-PP Bridgeland (TX) Texas A&M
39 AJ Duffy QB-PP IMG Academy (FL) Florida State
48 Daylen Everette CB IMG Academy (FL)
61 Drew Shelton OT IMG Academy (FL) Penn State
71 Jaishawn Barham OLB St. Frances (MD)
100 Gunner Stockton QB-DT Rabun County (GA) Georgia
124 Jihaad Campbell OLB IMG Academy (FL) Clemson
149 Keon Sabb S IMG Academy (FL)
150 Cam Johnson CB St. Frances (MD)
154 Kaytron Allen RB IMG Academy (FL)
165 Jack Pedersen TE-Y IMG Academy (FL) UCLA
176 Julian Armella OT St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
203 Jordan James RB Oakland (TN) Georgia
219 Stone Blanton ILB Madison Ridgeland (MS)
232 Dominick James DT IMG Academy (FL)
257 Matthew Golden WR Klein Cain (TX) TCU
262 Nasir Pearce DT St. Frances (MD)
273 Isaiah Horton WR Oakland (TN)
292 De’ Nylon Morrissette WR North Cobb (GA) Georgia


ESPN Junior 300 Participants

Rank Player Pos. High School
1 Lebbeus Overton DE Milton (GA)
7 Malik Bryant OLB IMG Academy (FL)
8 Francis Mauigoa OT IMG Academy (FL)
19 Samuel M’Pemba ATH IMG Academy (FL)
22 Joenel Aguero ATH IMG Academy (FL)
78 Carnell Tate WR IMG Academy (FL)
107 Malik Muhammad CB IMG Academy (FL)
118 Cameron Lenhardt DE IMG Academy (FL)
143 Knijeah Harris OC  IMG Academy (FL)
199 Justin Benton DE IMG Academy (FL)
201 King Mack S St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
214 Jordan Hall ILB IMG Academy (FL)
227 Robby Washington ATH Oakland (TN)
275 Malachi Singleton QB-DT North Cobb (GA)

*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 July 28, 2021 

Who’s Next:
For in-depth coverage of the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff, including highlights and exclusive behind the scenes content, follow @whosnexths on Twitter, Instagram and TikTok.

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ESPN media contact: Kimberly Elchlepp at [email protected]; @kimelchlepp

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