SBLive Power 25: Corner Canyon (Utah) moves up in national high school football rankings

With only a handful of games on the schedule, there wasn’t a ton of movement in this week’s SBLive Power 25 national high school football rankings.

But Corner Canyon (Utah) and QB Jaxson Dart were impressive in a 42-20 win over Bingham, vaulting them to No. 19. And Brownsburg (Ind.) beat a very good St. Xavier (Ohio) team 30-24, leaving them knocking on the door of the Top 25. (Jaxson Dart feature photo by @astrongphotography)

The SBLive Power 25 rankings are compiled by SBLive reporter Connor Morrissette based on observations and conversations with an extensive network of coaching and media sources across the country.

As with everything in the COVID-19 era, the rankings will be fluid week-to-week and only include teams that are scheduled to play football in 2020. We will publish separate rankings later in the year for all schools scheduled to play football in 2021.

There are 34 states already playing football or scheduled to play football in 2020. Teams from all of these states were considered in our rankings: Alaska, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, Texas, Utah, Indiana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Tennessee, Iowa, Nebraska, Wyoming, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Georgia, Florida*, Kansas, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Maine, New York, Wisconsin, Connecticut, South Carolina, New Jersey and Louisiana.

Here are the states and districts that have officially moved high school football to 2021: California, District of Columbia, Colorado, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Minnesota, Maryland, Hawaii, Delaware, Vermont and Michigan.

*(Note: The Florida High School Athletic Association announced that high school football practices can begin on Aug. 24, with games starting Sept. 4, but school districts in South Florida — which includes Miami-Dade and Broward counties — have been heavily impacted by COVID-19 and have not announced when they will allow their schools to start practice. Because of the uncertainty around when the season will start in those counties, we did not include them in our preseason rankings. We will include schools from those counties in future rankings if they begin play in 2020.)

SBLIVE POWER 25

Aug. 31, 2020

1. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)

Season opener: Sept. 4 vs. Venice

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 1

Ranking rationale: Former Syracuse University assistant coach Bobby Acosta took over IMG’s National Varsity team in January and he’s inherited a wagon. IMG has six players listed in the top 50 of 247Sports.com’s 2021 Florida recruiting rankings and nine listed on the website’s top 50 for 2022. No one in the country playing in 2020 can compete with that type of roster.

The most important piece for IMG is 2021 quarterback J.J. McCarthy, a Michigan commit. McCarthy transferred in this offseason from Nazareth Academy in Illinois following a junior season where he threw for 2,704 yards and 33 TD’s.

IMG Academy plays No. 2 Duncanville on Oct. 9. That may be the 2020 regular season game of the season.

J.J. McCarthy

2. Duncanville (Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 24 vs. Nolan Catholic (Fort Worth)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 2

Ranking rationale: Duncanville returns seven starters on offense and four on defense from last year’s 6A Division 1 runner up team.

2021 quarterback Grayson James, a transfer from John Paul II, will be under center for the Panthers in 2020 following the transfer of sophomore quarterback Chris Parson, who left for Red Oak.

Led by senior two way lineman Savion Byrd, a consensus four star recruit, Duncanville will have a great defensive line. Senior receiver Roderick Daniels, a Baylor commit, is another name to know for the Panthers.

Duncanville has a very tough schedule that includes games against No. 1 IMG Academy and DeSoto. They will be battle tested ahead of the playoffs.

Savion Byrd

3. Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)

Season opener: Sept. 4 vs. Jones County

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 3

Ranking rationale: Grayson has the potential to be one of the best high school football teams in the history of the state of Georgia. Seven Grayson players are among 247Sports.com’s top 102 senior prospects in the state.

Senior running back Phil Mafah is committed to Clemson. Senior wide receiver Daejon Reynolds is committed to Florida. Senior defensive lineman Victoine Brown is committed to Louisville and Noah Collins, a second senior defensive lineman has pledged to Georgia Tech. At linebacker, senior Grady Bryant set Grayson’s school record a year ago making 136 tackles.

Senior quarterback Carlos Del Rio-Wilson transferred into Grayson from McEachern this offseason. He’s also a Florida commit. The Rams should run the table in the regular season.

Phil Mafah

4. North Shore (Houston, Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 25 vs. No. 11 Shadow Creek (Pearland)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 4

Ranking rationale: North Shore has won two 6A Division 1 championships in a row in Texas. A year ago, the Mustangs won their final 15 games after dropping their opener to Katy 24-21.

This season North Shore are favorites to win again despite only returning four starters on offense and three on defense. Senior Quarterback Dematrius Davis, an Auburn commit, led the Mustangs to their last two titles as an underclassman. He threw for 31 touchdowns and ran for 23 more in 2019. Davis will be a big factor in the Mustangs’ bid for a three-peat.

North Shore needs to replenish their offensive line, linebacking corps and secondary in 2020 after losing a lot of talent to graduation. How effective they are in replacing key players in those spots will determine if they can win another championship.

Dematrius Davis

5. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.)

Season opener: Oct. 3 vs. La Salle College (Wyndmoor)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 5

Ranking rationale: Last year’s St. Joseph Prep team won a 6A championship in Pennsylvania and this year’s squad is even better.

Ohio State QB commit Kyle McCord is back for his senior season along with receiver Marvin Harrison Jr, another Buckeye pledge. The Hawks also return linebacker Jeremiah Trotter Jr., a Clemson commit, and Sahmir Hagans, a Duke commit who plays on offense, defense and special teams.

Playing against only Pennsylvania competition in 2020 due to COVID-19 means that St. Joseph’s Prep should dominate in the regular season and postseason. The Hawks are trying to schedule additional out of state teams to play in the regular season, but nothing is official as of Aug. 24.

Kyle McCord

6. Katy (Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 25 vs. Clear Springs (League City)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 6

Ranking rationale: Katy lost a lot of offensive firepower from last year’s D1 regional semifinalist team, but the Tigers return seven defensive starters plus starting quarterback Bronson McClelland.

Defense will be Katy’s strength led by senior corner Hunter Washington, a Florida State commit, safety Dalton Johnson, an Arizona commit, and senior linebacker Shepherd Bowling.

Look for the Tigers to go undefeated once again in the regular season, like they did in 2019.

Bronson McClelland and Texas A&M head coach Jimbo Fisher

7. Chandler (Ariz.)

Season opener: Oct. 2 vs. Liberty (Peoria, Ariz.)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 7

Ranking rationale: Chandler is loaded with talent, from quarterback Mikey Keene to running backs Eli Sanders (Boise State commit) and Nicolas Nesbitt, plus wide receiver Jalen Richmond (Boise State commit). The Wolves have the best receiving corps in Arizona and the best defense, led by defensive end Brandon Buckner, an Oregon commit.

All five of those players are senior leaders who played on last season’s 13-0 Open Division state championship team in Arizona. In 2020, Chandler should do it again.

8. Lowndes (Valdosta, Ga.)

Season opener: Sept. 5 vs. Archer (Lawrenceville)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 8

Ranking rationale: Lowndes will try and challenge Grayson for a AAAAAAA championship in Georgia in 2020. In a lot of areas, the Viking match up well, especially on defense.

Lowndes brings back senior defensive end Jacques Hunter, a Vanderbilt commit, senior linebacker Thomas Davis, a Miami commit and senior safety TJ Quinn, a Louisville pledge. On offense, dual threat 2022 quarterback Jacurri Brown is back too. He’s one of the top uncommitted signal callers in his class.

Lowndes fell in the AAAAAAA title game last year and will be desperate to make amends, but they’ll almost certainly have to go through Grayson to do so.

Jacurri Brown

9. De Smet Jesuit (St. Louis, Mo.)

Season opener: Sept. 11 vs. Christian Brothers (St. Louis)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 9

Ranking rationale: De Smet is officially a national powerhouse following last year’s 14-0 state title run. Head coach Robert Steeples deserves a lot of credit.

Eight De Smet seniors are committed to Division 1 programs headlined by cornerback Jakailin Johnson, an Ohio State commit.

The Spartans open up with a tough game against Christian Brothers on Sept. 11. If they win that one, then they should run the table again.

Jakailin Johnson

10. Westlake (Austin, Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 26 vs. Highland Park

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 10

Ranking rationale: Westlake won the 6A Division 2 title in Texas a year ago and should make a deep postseason run again in 2020. Four offensive starters are back for the Chaparrals to go along with five defensive returners.

2022 quarterback Cade Klubnik will be well protected thanks to senior guard Aidan Kinnaird, an Illinois State commit, and the rest of the Westlake offensive line.

The Chaparrals are well coached by Todd Dodge, especially on offense. A year ago Westlake put up 30 or more points in 12 of their 16 games.

Klubnik

11. Shadow Creek (Pearland, Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 25 vs. No. 4 North Shore (Houston)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 11

Ranking rationale: Shadow Creek starts off with a doozy against No. 4 North Shore in 2020, but last year’s 5A Division 1 state champions (who are now in 6A), should be competitive. The Sharks will once again have great players at the skill positions and in the secondary, but there are question marks on the offensive line.

Baylor commit Kyron Drones is back under center for his senior year and he’ll have plenty of targets to throw to including Carlton Guidry, a senior Houston commit, Randy Masters, a junior Baylor commit and junior tight end Trent McGaughey.

Defensively, senior linebacker Terrence Cooks is a man amongst boys (70 tackles last year) and cornerback Jalen Emery (Houston commit) alongside safety Jaylen Lane (UNLV commit) make up quite the secondary.

Shadow Creek is going to have a fun year despite moving up a class.

Drones

12. Trinity (Louisville, Ky.)

Season opener: Sept. 11 vs. Archbishop Moeller (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 12

Ranking rationale: Trinity won a 6A championship in Kentucky last year and are in a great position to do so again in 2020.

The Shamrocks pack a punch at linebacker with Jack Dingle, a Cincinatti commit and Charlie Ely, an Appalachian State pledge. They’ll lead a dominant defense that either shutout or kept opponents in single digits in nine games a year ago.

Dingle and family

13. Guyer (Denton, Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 25 vs. Hebron (Carrollton)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 13

Ranking rationale: Last season Guyer went 14-2 and fell in the 6A Division 2 title game 24-0 to Westlake. Star quarterback Eli Stowers (Texas A&M commit) suffered a knee injury in the game and he wasn’t expected to be ready for the start of the 2020 season, but because of the delay to begin the year, he’ll be full go for week 1 against Hebron.

The Wildcats return six defensive starters and running back Byron Phillips, in addition to Stowers. Under new head coach Rodney Webb, Guyer will be very good again in 2020.

The Wildcats play No. 17 Ryan on Oct. 2, No. 16 Southlake Carroll on Oct. 16 and No. 19 Allen on Nov. 13, with the latter two games coming on the road. Those will be three tough contests.

Stowers

14. Dutch Fork (Irmo, S.C.)

Season opener: Sept. 25 vs. White Knoll (Lexington, S.C.)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 14

Ranking rationale: Dutch Fork has won four state championships in a row. A year ago, the Silver Foxes went 14-0-1 to win a AAAAA state crown. Led by senior receiver Elijah Spencer, a Charlotte commit, Dutch Fork will be favorites in AAAAA in South Carolina again in 2020.

Spencer finished last season with 48 catches for 835 yards and nine touchdowns.

15. Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.), 2-0

Next game: Sept. 4 vs. Tuscaloosa County (Northport, Ala.)

Last result: 39-7 win over Sparkman (Harvest, Ala.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 15

Ranking rationale: Thompson continues to play like the top team in Alabama. Thompson struggled defensively in their season opener, a 56-34 win over Oxford. But on Saturday, the Warriors forced three turnovers on fourth down, had a safety and made 13 tackles for loss in their win over Sparkman.

On offense, senior receiver J.B. Mitchell had a career-high 140 yards on eight receptions in Saturday’s game. Mitchell has double-digit scholarship offers, per 247Sports.com.

Mitchell

16. Carroll (Southlake, Texas)

Season opener: Oct. 2 vs. Rockwall-Heath (Rockwall)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 16

Ranking rationale: All eyes will be on Carroll’s 2022 quarterback Quinn Ewers, a Texas commit, this season. Ewers is the top quarterback nationally in his class. Last year he threw for 4,003 yards and 45 touchdowns in addition to running for nine scores. Quarterback play like that will give Carroll a shot at Duncanville should they meet in the playoffs again (Duncanville has eliminated Carroll in each of the the past two years).

Overall, the Dragons return three starters on offense and just one on defense from last year’s 13-1 team. Ewers will have trusted target Brady Boyd (Minnesota commit) once again in 2020 as well as an elite kicker in senior Joe McFadden, but overall inexperience is the main concern for the Dragons, especially on defense.

Hosting No. 13 Guyer on Oct. 16 will be Carroll’s biggest test of the regular season.

Ewers

17. Ryan (Denton, Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 24 vs. Martin (Arlington)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 17

Ranking rationale: Ryan may be in Class 5A in Texas, but they will still be one of the big boys nationally. The Raiders started 15-0 before losing to Shadow Creek in the 5A Division 1 state championship 28-22 a year ago.

Ryan will be led by their two senior University of Texas commits: Ja’Tavion Sanders and Billy Bowman, both of whom play receiver and also on defense (Sanders in the secondary and Bowman on the D-line). The Raiders’ quarterback returns as well, senior Seth Henigan. He’s committed to Memphis.

Ryan brings back seven defensive starters. It would be a major surprise if they didn’t win a 5A Division 1 title this season.

The Raiders’ Oct. 2 game at No. 13 Guyer is their toughest contest of the regular season.

Bowman

18. Bergen Catholic (Oradell, N.J.)

Season opener: Oct. 3 vs. St. Joseph Regional (Montvale)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 18

Ranking rationale: Bergen Catholic begins the year in front of St. Peter’s Prep as the top team out of New Jersey, but it’s by a slim margin.

That decision has everything to do with the Crusaders’ 2022 class headlined by quarterback Steven Angeli and cornerbacks Jaeden Gould and Jayden Bellamy, all of whom are big time prospects.

Pair them with New Jersey’s top 2021 recruit in defensive lineman Tywone Malone, who had 16 tackles for loss a year ago, and you get a special group. Watch out for Bergen this season.

Malone

19. Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah), 3-0

Next game: Sept. 4 at Jordan (Sandy, Utah)

Last result: 42-20 win over Bingham (South Jordan, Utah)

Last week’s ranking: No. 20

Ranking rationale: Corner Canyon continued its fantastic start to 2020 with an impressive 42-20 win over Bingham (South Jordan, Utah) on Saturday on national TV.

Senior quarterback Jaxson Dart is playing like one of the top QBs in the country. He threw for six more touchdowns in Saturday’s victory bringing his season total to 13. Corner Canyon has won 29 games in a row.

(Jaxson Dart feature photo by @astrongphotography)

No Title

Corner Canyon (Utah) QB Jaxson Dart @JaxsonDart was impressive last night in ESPNs HS Series (6TDs). Consistently has cleats in the ground to generate force off his back foot paired with good arm strength. Young man gave us needed joy. @prospectnys @CCHSFOOTBALL_ pic.twitter.com/bNMj8weZB9

20. Allen (Texas)

Season opener: Sept. 25 vs. Plano East (Plano)

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 19

Ranking rationale: Allen returns seven offensive starters, but just one on defense. Between having a quarterback competition and a young defense, the Eagles will have a decent amount to figure out before beginning the season next month against Plano East.

They do return senior wide receivers Blaine and Bryson Green, brothers who are both committed to Oklahoma State as well as senior running back Jordan Johnson, a Hawaii pledge.

Allen has two tough regular season games at Cedar Hill on Oct. 9 and against No. 13 Guyer on Nov. 13, but the five time state champions have shown they can compete with the nation’s best year in and year out and this season will be no different.

Green brothers

21. Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio), 1-0

Next game: Sept. 4 at Newark

Last result: 35-9 win over Pickerington North

Last week’s ranking: No. 21

Ranking rationale: Pickerington Central beat up Pickerington North 35-9 on Sunday, proving they’re one of the top teams in the country. Sophomore defensive back Sonny Styles intercepted a pass for Pickerington Central in the game. He looked so good that Ohio State offered him a scholarship.

On offense, senior running back Nick Mosley, a Bowling Green commit, rushed for three scores Sunday.

No Title

Blessed to receive an offer from THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY!! #GOBUCKS pic.twitter.com/YIXV7UlnJr

22. St. Peter’s Prep (Jersey City, N.J.)

Season opener: Oct. 2 vs. West Orange

Last result: N/A

Last week’s ranking: No. 22

Ranking rationale: St. Peter’s Prep won the Non-Public Group 4 championship in New Jersey last season beating Don Bosco Prep 21-14. Non-Public Group 4 is always loaded and this year will be no different with St. Peter’s Prep having to once again go up against Bergen Catholic and St. Joseph Montvale.

The good news for St. Peter’s Prep is that they bring back Virginia Tech quarterback commit Tahj Bullock, who threw for 2,274 yards and 26 touchdowns for the champs last season.

Boyd

23. Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.), 2-0

Next game: Sept. 4 vs. Carmel

Last result: 20-0 win over Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Last week’s ranking: No. 24

Ranking rationale: Center Grove dominated on defense and special teams in their 20-0 win over Warren Central on Friday. Junior Mitchell Evans had an interception that he returned to the Warren Central 9-yard line that led to a score and senior Austin Watson kicked field goals from 46 and 49 yards in the win. Warren Central didn’t get a first down in the game until the third quarter.

Center Grove led 3-0 at halftime. The lack of offensive production is a red flag, but with a defense and kicker that perform at such a high level, the Trojans move from No. 24 to No. 23 this week.

No Title

Check out the highlights of the Center Grove (@CGTrojanFootbal) vs. Warren Central football game from last night. @IHSAA1 @Tayvenjacksonn2 @carsonsteele30 @garrett_keith1Presented by @LTUAthletics pic.twitter.com/Q5virtUm8P

24. Hoover (Ala.), 2-0

Next game: Sept. 4 at Vestavia Hills

Last result: 62-0 win over Bessemer City

Last week’s ranking: No. 25

Ranking rationale: Hoover dominated Bessemer City 62-0 on Friday. Hoover senior quarterback Josh Lundy threw four touchdown passes in the win, one of which went to senior running back Dylan Pauley, a Vanderbilt commit, who also had a rushing touchdown in the game.

25. La Salle (Ohio), 1-0

Next game: Sept. 4 vs. St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio)

Last result: 53-52 2OT win over Elder (Cincinnati)

Last week’s ranking: No. 23

Ranking rationale: La Salle had a tough time with Elder, squeaking out a 53-52 2OT win on Friday.

La Salle senior QB Zach Branam scored the game-winning two-point conversion in the win. Overall, he was 10-for-17 passing with three touchdowns. He also ran for 160 yards and two more scores.

La Salle’s game against St. Xavier will give us a better indication of where the Lancers rank among the nation’s top teams. St. Xavier fell to Brownsburg (Indiana) 30-24 in overtime on Saturday. Can La Salle beat them too?

Branam

5 TEAMS ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN (among teams that have started playing)

  • Brownsburg (Ind.) (2-0): Beat a good St. Xavier (Ohio) team 30-24 on Saturday
  • Mentor (Ohio) (1-0): In the mix for the top team in Ohio
  • St. Edward (Lakewood, Ohio) (1-0): Beat Washington (Massillon, Ohio), one of the top teams in Ohio, 24-23.
  • Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.) (2-0): Will compete with Thompson and Hoover for the top spot in Alabama
  • Bryant (Ark.) (1-0): Went 13-0 a year ago and should do so again

OTHER TEAMS ON OUR RADAR

Arizona: Hamilton and Saguaro

Florida: St. Thomas Aquinas, Miami Northwestern, Miami Central, American Heritage, Booker T. Washington, Orlando Edgewater, Champagnat Catholic, Deerfield Beach and Chaminade-Madonna

Georgia: Colquitt County, Camden County, North Gwinnett and Parkview

Indiana: Cathedral

Kentucky: Male and Covington Catholic

Louisiana: Archbishop Rummel, John Curtis Christian, Baton Rouge Catholic, Brother Martin, St. Augustine and Holy Cross

New Jersey: Don Bosco Prep and St. Joseph Montvale

Ohio: Dublin Coffman

Oklahoma: Broken Arrow, Bixby, Owasso, Jenks and Carl Albert

Texas: Lake Travis, Converse Judson, Humble Atascocita, Frisco Lone Star, Parish Episcopal, DeSoto and Aledo

Utah: Lone Peak, American Fork, Skyridge (Lehi), Sky View (Smithfield)

Thank you for joining the discussion on SBLive!

%d bloggers like this: