The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff Returns for 13th Year, August 25-28

High School Sports

The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff Returns for 13th Year, August 25-28

The GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff returns for its 13th year, Thursday, Aug. 25 – Sunday, Aug. 28. The seven-game slate features 28 players ranked in the ESPN 300 and ESPN Junior 300 and will be featured across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and the ESPN App. Of the ESPN 300 athletes participating, nine have already committed to top Division I college football programs including Alabama, Clemson, Georgia, Ohio State, Penn State, Texas A&M and USC.

2022 ESPN GEICO High School Football Kickoff Schedule
*Notes: All times are ET.
*Player rankings from ESPN 300 (Seniors in the Class of 2022) and ESPN Junior 300 (Class of 2023)
*Colleges listed in parenthesis after player names include a listing of recruits’ top schools/offers

Thursday, August 25
Lake Travis (Texas) vs. Arlington Martin (Texas)
8 p.m. on ESPNU from Choctaw Stadium in Arlington, Texas

  • Lake Travis was the first high school in Texas to win five consecutive state championships (2007-11), claiming six titles in the past 15 seasons. After losing to eventual state champion North Shore in the 6A Division 1 semifinals last season, the Cavaliers will look to get back to the state finals behind senior QB Bo Edmundson (Michigan State commit).
  • Arlington Martin is a regular playoff contender in Texas 6A. The Warriors will be led on defense by No. 35 Javien Toviano – CB and will lean on RB Sergio Snider (Auburn, Baylor, & Oregon) on offense.

Friday, August 26
Mill Creek (Ga.) vs. Norcross (Ga.)
7 p.m. on ESPN2 from Norcross High School in Norcross, Ga.

  • Mill Creek suffered only two losses last season – one to state champion Collins Hill and the other to state runner-up Milton. The Hawks feature No. 14 Caleb Downs – S (the No. 1 ranked player in GA), as well as No. 123 Jamal Anderson – OLB (Clemson commit).
  • Norcross is a regular GHSA 7A playoff contender and offensive targets won’t be a problem with No. 250 Lawson Luckie – TE (Georgia commit), as well as WRs Nakai Poole (Mississippi State commit) and Zion Taylor (Georgia Tech commit).

Saturday, August 27
St. Joseph’s Prep (Penn.) vs. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fla.)
Noon on ESPN from Brian Piccolo Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

  • Thomas Aquinas has won three straight FHSAA 7A titles and the Raiders show no signs of slowing down with No. 247 King Mack – S (Penn St. commit) along with three ESPN Junior 300 ranked players – No. 31 James Madison II – WR, No. 233 Earl Kulp – CB and No. 264 Chance Robinson – WR.
  • Joseph’s Prep is just one season removed from a three-peat of their own in Pennsylvania (20019-21). The Hawks will be tough on defense with a pair of LB’s heading to West Virginia, Josiah Trotter and James Heard, while CB Omillio Agard is the No. 177 player in the junior class.

Los Alamitos (Cali.) vs. American Heritage (Fla.)
4 p.m. on ESPN2 from Brian Piccolo Stadium in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.

  • Los Alamitos has the highest ranked passing combo in the country with No. 2 Malachi Nelson – QB and No. 19 Makai Lemon – WR, both headed to USC. No. 263 Damian Henderson – ATH and No. 33 junior T.A. Cunningham – DE round out both sides of the ball.
  • American Heritage is never short on talent and their senior class is no different with four ESPN 300 players including: No. 25 Brandon Inniss – WR (Ohio St. commit), No. 174 Mark Fletcher (Ohio St. commit), No. 220 Damari Brown – CB and No. 288 Santana Fleming – WR.

Duncanville (Texas) vs. South Oak Cliff (Texas)
7 p.m. on ESPN2 from Dallas ISD Kincaide Stadium in Dallas, Texas

  • Duncanville is often one of the most talented teams in the state of Texas and their junior class proves it with three ESPN Junior 300 ranked players: No. 9 Colin Simmons – DE (the No. 1 ranked player in Texas and No. 1 DE in the junior class), No. 245 Caden Durham – RB and No. 251 Ka’Davion Dotson-Walker – S.
  • South Oak Cliff was 15-1 last season on their way to the school’s first ever 5A Division II State Championship. Their only loss came to Duncanville the first game of the season. The Bears look to avenge that loss with three ESPN 300 ranked players of their own: No. 38 Malik Muhammad – CB, No. 124 Jayvon Thomas – ATH (Texas A&M commit) and No. 140 junior Jamyri Cauley – ATH.

Lipscomb Academy (Tenn.) vs. Thompson (Ala.)
9 p.m. on ESPNU from Thompson High School in Alabaster, Ala.

  • Lipscomb was 13-1 last season on their way to the Tennessee 2A State Championship. On defense the Mustangs feature two ESPN Junior 300 ranked players: No. 127 Edwin Spillman – OLB and No. 149 Kaleb Beasley – CB. On offense senior WRs Junior Sherrill and Nate Spillman are headed to Vanderbilt and Tennessee, respectively
  • Thompson was also 13-1 last season, capturing their third straight Alabama 7A state title. The defense features No. 9 Peter Woods – DT (No. 1 defensive lineman, Clemson commit) and No. 16 Tony Mitchell – CB (Alabama Commit). The offense is anchored by No. 87 Stanton Ramil.

Sunday, August 28
Saint Xavier (Ohio) vs. Loyola Academy (Ill.)
1:00 p.m. on ESPN from Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois.

  • Interstate matchup between two power programs from the Midwest
  • Saint Xavier looks to get back to the Ohio State Championship after going 10-3 last season. Senior OL Rob Folger (Georgia Tech, Indiana & Pitt) and junior DE Ted Hammond (Cincinnati, Iowa & Minnesota) anchor the offensive and defensive lines.
  • Loyola went 12-1 last season and will look to get over the hump in Illinois this season. Senior DE Brooks Bahr is a Michigan commit.

2023 ESPN 300 Participants

Rank Player Pos. High School College Commitment
2 Malachi Nelson QB-PP Los Alamitos (CA) USC
9 Peter Woods DT Thompson (AL)
14 Caleb Downs S Mill Creek (GA)
16 Tony Mitchell CB Thompson (AL) Alabama
19 Makai Lemon WR Los Alamitos (CA) USC
25 Brandon Inniss WR American Heritage (FL) Ohio State
35 Javien Toviano CB Arlington Martin (TX)
38 Malik Muhammad CB South Oak Cliff (TX)
87 Stanton Ramil OT Thompson (AL)
123 Jamal Anderson OLB Mill Creek (GA) Clemson
124 Jayvon Thomas ATH South Oak Cliff (TX) Texas A&M
174 Mark Fletcher RB American Heritage (FL) Ohio State
220 Damari Brown CB American Heritage (FL)
247 King Mack S St. Thomas Aquinas (FL) Penn St.
250 Lawson Luckie TE-H Norcross (GA) Georgia
263 Damian Henderson ATH Los Alamitos (CA)
288 Santana Fleming WR American Heritage (FL)

2024 ESPN Junior 300 Participants

Rank Player Pos. High School College Commitment
9 Colin Simmons DE Duncanville (TX)
31 James Madison II WR St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
33 T.A. Cunningham DE Los Alamitos (CA)
127 Edwin Spillman OLB Lipscomb Academy (TN)
140 Jamyri Cauley ATH South Oak Cliff (TX)
149 Kaleb Beasley CB Lipscomb Academy (TN)
177 Omilio Agard CB St. Joseph’ Prep (PA)
233 Earl Kulp CB St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)
245 Caden Durham RB Duncanville (TX)
251 Ka’Davion Dotson-Walker S Duncanville (TX))
264 Chance Robinson WR St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)


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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 manages the GEICO ESPN High School Football Kickoff and has collaborated with ESPN over the past 19 years to deliver over 800 live high school sports 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 Girls Volleyball Invitational
GEICO Top Flight Invite
GEICO ESPN High School Basketball Showcase
U.S. Marines NIBC Series
GEICO State Champions Bowl Series
ESPN Girls Basketball Invitational
GEICO High School Basketball Nationals
GEICO High School Lacrosse Showcase
GEICO High School Lacrosse Nationals

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