Mid-Atlantic spotlight: Most talented high schools
Talent doesn’t equal success on the gridiron, but it sure makes winning games a lot easier. The Mid-Atlantic region is dominated by private schools that bring in top talent from all over. Here are the five most talented high school programs in the Mid-Atlantic heading into the 2017 season.
NOTE: Even though North Carolina is generally one of the most talented states in the Mid-Atlantic, the concentration of talent at private schools in other states in the region kept schools from North Carolina from making it onto this list.
Virginia Beach (Va.) Bishop Sullivan
The Tidewater region of Virginia is one of the top-talent producing regions in the country, and Bishop Sullivan is the only major private school in the area with a coaching staff that attracts talented prospects. Seven players in the senior class, led by five-star Ohio State linebacker commit Teradja Mitchell, Rivals250 Virginia Tech commit Armani Chatman and three-star Maryland quarterback commit Tyler DeSue, have scholarship offers. The scary thing for their opponents is that the 2020 class at Bishop Sullivan already has seven players with offers, and there could end up being more. Underclassmen that will be national prospects include Tayvion Land, Adarious Jones, Gabriel Fuster, Keontae Jenkins, Sheridan Jones, Altrique Barlow and others. The Crusaders may not win all the games people expect them to, but they are doing a great job of accumulating talent and it doesn’t seem like it’s stopping any time soon.
Baltimore St. Frances
Not many people are familiar with St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, but they are making waves in the Washington D.C.-Maryland-Virginia area (DMV). The DMV has long been known as an area where college football teams can find top talent, and St. Frances is doing a great job of bringing in some of the area’s best. Rivals100 defensive end Eyabi Anoma, four-star Maryland offensive line commit Jaelyn Duncan and three-star West Virginia wide receiver commit Randy Fields are just a few of the stars of their senior class. With players like Rivals100 linebacker Shane Lee and high three-stars Joachim Bangda, Darrian Dalcourt and Mississippi State quarterback commit Jalon Jones, the St. Frances junior class is something opponents should fear. Don’t be surprised if St. Frances’ ascension continues in the nest few years.
Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha
The ultra-competitive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference (WCAC) has always been one of the best high school football leagues in the country. DeMatha is one of the few teams that dominates the elite football conference in the DMV. The senior class features two impressive pairs of prospects that have already committed to the same schools. Four-stars Austin Fontaine and Evan Gregory are pledged to Maryland, and three-stars Judson Tallandier and John Morgan are committed to Pittsburgh. Rivals100 wide receiver DeMarcco Hellams is DeMatha’s best player in the junior class, but New Jersey Rivals Camp Series defensive back MVP Nick Cross is also a junior at DeMatha. Sophomore phenom MarShawn Lloyd, already considered one of the best in his class, looks to continue the rich running back tradition at DeMatha.
Washington D.C. St. John’s College High
For many years, the WCAC has been dominated by a couple of teams, but St. John’s is working hard to break through. Virginia Tech commit Cam Goode and Virginia pledge DJ Brown, along with uncommitted quarterback Kevin Doyle are the focal points of the St. John’s senior class, but it’s the underclassmen that are drawing the most attention here. Junior running back Keilan Robinson has a chance to be one of the better running backs in his class, and defensive back Quinten Johnson is just scratching the surface of his potential. Four sophomores at St. John’s are already or will be national prospects. Outside linebacker Mekhail Sherman will be able to choose any school in the country by the time he signs. Wide receiver Rakim Jarrett, linebacker Luke Hill and defensive lineman Greg Hudgins have college scouts' attention as well. Even freshman running back Antqain Littleton has an offer from Maryland already.
Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter’s Prep
High school football in northern New Jersey is some of the best you’ll find. There is a rich history in the non-public leagues of having some of the best coaching along with extremely talented players. By most accounts, the state of New Jersey is a little down compared to recent years in terms of top talent, but St. Peter’s Prep hasn’t felt that lull as much as the others. A trio of Notre Dame commits, four-stars Shayne Simon and Jayson Ademilola as well as three-star Justin Ademilola will lead the Marauders into the 2017 season. Fellow senior Zamir Mickens will play his college football down the road at Rutgers. Juniors Maasai Maynor and R.J. Oben have their fair share of scholarship offers, and many more should be coming their way if they have the season they expect to have. Sophomore Cody Simon is the lone sophomore with a scholarship offer, but there are a number of talented prospects in that class that should garner college attention as well.