SBLive Power 25: St. John Bosco No. 1 in 2021 preseason national high school football rankings

Welcome to the second year of the SBLive Power 25, a weekly look at the top high school football teams in the country.

Our national football 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. The rankings will be released every Monday throughout the fall 2021 season.

SBLIVE POWER 25 NATIONAL FOOTBALL RANKINGS

Aug 16, 2021

1. St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 vs. No. 18 Miami Central

Last result: 34-17 loss to Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: St. John Bosco returns 10 starters on defense and eight on offense. The Braves not only have incredible talent, they also have great depth, which is why they start the season at No. 1. The Braves’ top-ranked recruit on offense is four-star lineman Earnest Greene. On defense, it’s 2023 defensive end Matayo Uiagalelei, who also plays tight end.

“We want to win our league, our Section championship and a state championship to be in that conversation for a mythical national championship,” Braves head coach Jason Negro told SBLive. “That’s what we’re expecting and want to be a part of.”

2. Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) (0-0)

Domani Jackson

Next game: Aug. 27 @ No. 11 Duncanville

Last result: 34-17 win over St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Mater Dei will be loaded once again this fall. The Monarchs have a California-best six players on SBLive’s Preseason All-State team. St. John Bosco got the edge over Mater Dei for our No. 1 spot due to having better depth, but both teams are stacked. The Monarchs’ top recruit is 2022 five-star cornerback Domani Jackson, a USC commit. Mater Dei meets St. John Bosco in the regular season Oct. 1. The two teams have met in the CIF Southern Section championship game every year since 2016.

3. IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 29 vs. Bishop Sycamore (Columbus, Ohio)

Last result: 41-6 win over TRU Prep Academy (Miami Gardens, Fla.)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Last year’s No. 1 Power 25 team is once again the most talented team in Florida on paper. 2022 Florida State QB commit AJ Duffy will lead the team under center. IMG Academy has five of the top ten 2022 football recruits in the state, per 247Sports.com. They also have four of the top ten in the Class of 2023. The Ascenders will be coached by Pepper Johnson this season.

4. Westlake (Austin, Texas) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 27 @ Temple

Last result: 52-34 win over Carroll (Southlake, Texas) (6A Division 1 championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Following last year’s 6A Division 1 championship, Westlake enters this season as the No. 1 team in Texas. 2022 Clemson QB commit Cade Klubnik is a big reason why.

5. Thompson (Alabaster, Ala.) (0-0)

Conner Harrell – Courtesy: alabama7afootball.com

Next game: Aug. 20 @ Oxford

Last result: 29-28 win over Auburn (Ala.) (7A title game)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Thompson brings back star quarterback Conner Harrell and has added some key transfers, giving the Warriors a chance to be even better than last year’s undefeated team.

6. American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 28 vs. Treasure Coast

Last result: 24-6 win over Rickards (Tallahassee, Fla.) (5A title game)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Mark Fletcher, Brandon Inniss, Marvin Jones Jr., Earl Little Jr. and Jacolby Spells are returning stars for American Heritage. Fletcher rushed for 1,411 yards and 11 TDs last season.

7. St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 28 vs. No. 9 St. Frances Academy

Last result: 31-21 win over Edgewater (Orlando, Fla.) (7A title game)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: St. Thomas Aquinas will be competing with American Heritage all season for the No. 2 ranking in Florida. Running back Anthony Hankerson rushed for 1,178 yards and 14 TDs last season.

8. Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 vs. Creekside

Last result: 38-14 win over Collins Hills (Suwanee, Ga.) (7A championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Grayson is the favorite to win the 7A title once again in Georgia, but No. 12 Collins Hill has closed the gap. 2023 safety Michael Daugherty is one of the top defensive backs in the country regardless of class.

9. St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 28 @ No. 7 St. Thomas Aquinas

Last result: Haven’t played since 2019

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: After not playing last season due to COVID-19, St. Frances is expected to return to its place among the nation’s best teams this fall. Five of the top six 2022 football recruits from Maryland attend St. Frances, per 247Sports.com. The top-ranked recruit in the 2022 class at St. Frances is linebacker Jaishawn Barham.

10. Katy (Texas) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 27 vs. Clear Springs

Last result: 51-14 win over Cedar Hill (Texas) (6A Division 2 championship)

Last week’s ranking: 12

Ranking rationale: Last year’s 6A Division 2 champions bring back a loaded defense as well as junior quarterback Caleb Koger.

11. Duncanville (Texas) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 27 vs. No. 2 Mater Dei

Last result: 34-27 loss to Carroll (Southlake, Texas) (6A Division 1 playoff semifinals)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Duncanville returns eight starters on offense and seven on defense. The Panthers will be dominant in the trenches, but they need to replace last year’s QB, Grayson James, who’s now at Florida International.

12. Collins Hill (Suwanee, Ga.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 21 vs. Brookwood

Last result: 38-14 loss to Grayson (Loganville, Ga.) (7A championship game)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Collins Hill has the most electric QB/WR combo in the nation in Sam Horn, a Missouri commit, and Travis Hunter, a Florida State commit. Hunter is the unanimous No. 1 player in the 2022 class. He’ll play defensive back at the next level but will see plenty of action at receiver as well. The Eagles have a legitimate chance to win a 7A title in Georgia.

13. Carroll (Southlake, Texas) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 26 @ Highland Park

Last result: Lost 52-34 to No. 2 Westlake (Austin, Texas) (6A Division 1 championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Quinn Ewers opted to skip his senior season at Carrol to play at Ohio State a year early. Where does that leave the Dragons, last year’s No. 2 team in Texas? It’s tough to tell since Ewers is a generational talent, but we’re keeping Carroll in the preseason Top 25. 2023 QB Kaden Anderson will replace Ewers. The Dragons return nine defensive starters, which will give head coach Riley Dodge some time to get the offense up to speed once the season starts. 2023 running back Owen Allen is another name to know for the Dragons. He rushed for 2,063 yards last season.

14. Ryan (Denton, Texas) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 28 @ Longwood

Last result: 59-14 win over Cedar Park (Texas) (5A Division 1 championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Ryan brings back 14 starters from last year’s 15-0 state title team. The Raiders have a lot of talent in the trenches but must replace key skill position players this fall.

15. Chandler (Ariz.) (0-0)

Next game: Sept. 3 vs. Centennial

Last result: 23-21 win over Hamilton (Chandler, Ariz.) (Open Division championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Chandler once again comes in as the top team in Arizona to start the season. The Wolves have won five straight state titles and although they have to replace their quarterback and top two running backs, they’re deep, fast and athletic at every position.

16. Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 @ Warren Central

Last result: 38-14 win over Westfield (Ind.) (6A state championship game)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: 2021 Center Grove might be better than 2020 14-0 Center Grove. The Trojans’ starting quarterback, Tayven Jackson, is committed to Tennessee.

17. Corner Canyon (Draper, Utah) (1-0)

Next game: Aug. 21 vs. East

Last result: 72-21 win over Farmington

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Last year’s star quarterback, Jaxson Dart, is now at USC, but the Chargers replaced Dart with another USC-bound QB, Arizona transfer Devin Brown. In Brown’s Corner Canyon debut, he threw for 451 yards and eight TDs in the first half alone. Senior Cody Hagen caught four TDs in the game. It looks like the Chargers once again have one of the top offenses in the nation.

18. Central (Miami, Fla.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 @ No. 1 St. John Bosco

Last result: 46-0 win over Lake Minneola (6A title game)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Central is the fourth-best team in Florida to begin the season. Seven Central players are ranked in the top 150 of 247Sports’ 2022 Florida recruiting rankings. Wesley Bissainthe leads the way at No. 17. He hold offers from some of the top schools in the country, including Miami, Penn State and Alabama.

19. St. Joseph’s Prep (Philadelphia, Pa.) (0-0)

Next game: Sept. 3 vs. St. Mary’s Ryken

Last result: 62-13 win over Central York (Pa.) (6A championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: St. Joe’s lost a lot of talent from last year’s undefeated state title team, but it’s still the No. 1 team in Pennsylvania, led by 2023 linebacker Josiah Trotter. 2022 safety Keenan Nelson, a South Carolina commit, is another player to watch.

20. Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, Nev.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 vs. St. Louis (Hawaii)

Last result: 43-0 win over Faith Lutheran

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: There are 29 two-star or better recruits in Nevada in the Class of 2022, according to 247Sports, and Bishop Gorman has 11 of them on its roster, with four-star edge rusher Cyrus Moss leading the way. After playing only two games in the spring due to COVID-19, the Gaels will once again be a force on the national stage this season.

21. St. Xavier (Cincinnati, Ohio) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 vs. Lakota West

Last result: 44-3 win over Pickerington Central (Division 1 state championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: St. Xavier won the Division 1 title in Ohio last season and the Bombers are the top-ranked team in the state to begin the 2021 season. Lakota West is a tricky opening game for St. Xavier, though — many publications have Lakota West as the second-best team in the state.

22. De La Salle (Concord, Calif.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 27 @ St. Mary’s

Last result: 21-7 win over Clayton Valley Charter

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: De La Salle’s win streak against Northern California opponents is now up to 316 games. The top player for the Spartans this season is 2022 defensive back Zeke Berry, an Arizona commit.

23. Choctaw (Okla.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 27 vs. Beacon Hill Home School

Last result: 17-14 loss to Bixby (Class 6A-II championship)

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: 2023 QB Steele Wasel is a star in the making for Choctaw. The Yellowjackets finished last season as the No. 2 team in Oklahoma, but this year they should end the season at No. 1 thanks to bringing back a lot of impact players.

24. Cathedral Catholic (San Diego, Calif.) (0-0)

Next game: Aug. 20 @ Torrey Pines

Last result: 51-0 win vs. Madison

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Cathedral Catholic brings back virtually everyone from a team that outscored opponents 223-14 during California’s spring season. The Dons’ top player is 2022 defensive lineman Jaxson Moi, a Cal commit.

25. Saguaro (Scottsdale, Ariz.) (0-0)

Next game: Sept. 3 @ McClintock

Last result: 57-0 win vs. Gilbert

Last week’s ranking: N/A

Ranking rationale: Saguaro will be a surprise team in Arizona this season. The Sabercats have a shot at unseating five-time reigning state champion Chandler thanks to six impact transfers. 2023 wideout Deric English is one of the premier pass-catchers in Arizona.

OTHER TEAMS IN THE MIX

Alabama: Hewitt-Trussville, Hoover

California: Servite

Colorado: Valor Christian

District of Columbia: Gonzaga, St. John’s

Florida: Northwestern, Cardinal Gibbons

Hawaii: St. Louis

Illinois: East St. Louis (Ill.)

Indiana: Cathedral

Kentucky: Trinity

Maryland: DeMatha, Our Lady of Good Counsel, McDonogh

New Jersey: Don Bosco Prep and Bergen Catholic

Ohio: Lakota West

Oklahoma: Bixby

Louisiana: St. Thomas More, Edna Karr, Acadiana, Catholic

South Carolina: Dutch Fork

Tennessee: Oakland

Texas: North Shore, Aledo, Euless Trinity, DeSoto

Virginia: Oscar Smith

Washington: Graham-Kapowsin

Thank you for joining the discussion on SBLive!

%d bloggers like this: