All times local
Brian Dohn - National Recruiting Analyst & Greg Pickel
- FightOnState.com Recruiting Reporter
Friday: Harrisburg (Pa.) Bishop McDevitt vs. Warminster (Pa.) Archbishop Wood, 7 p.m. (Hershey Stadium)
Two of the top names in the state compete for the PIAA Class AAA title, and both squads are led by underclassmen. Bishop McDevitt's offensive success starts with class of 2015 four-star running back Andre Robinson (double digit offers). Archbishop Wood's return to the title game is a showcase for 2015 linebacker Jake Cooper (Duke, Syracuse, Temple, Pittsburgh offers) and 2015 offensive tackle Ryan Bates (double digit offers).
Saturday: McDonald (Pa.) South Fayette vs. Philadelphia Imhotep, noon (Hershey Stadium)
Class AA Underdog South Fayette is led by class of 2015 quarterback Bret Brumbaugh, who has offers from Akron and Temple. He is a 6-foot-4, 190-pound pocket passer with a good arm. Imhotep is loaded with prospects throughout its classes, and the most well-known is Arizona State defensive back commit DeAndre Scott, who is a vicious hitter and dangerous punt returner. Also, offensive tackle Aaron Ruff (6-4, 300) is committed to Temple. The Panthers also have talent in other classes, led by running back Nasir Bonner (Connecticut, Indiana, Rutgers, West Virginia and Wisconsin offers). Athlete D.J. Moore holds offers from Buffalo, Massachusetts and Temple.
Saturday: Philadelphia St. Joseph's Prep vs. Pittsburgh Central Catholic, 5:55 p.m. (Hershey Stadium)
The Class AAAA title game features a pair from opposite sides of the state as Florida State quarterback commit J.J. Cosentino brings his Central Catholic squad to Hershey. He is a big, tall, pocket passer with a strong arm and is accurate. St. Joseph's Prep is led by a contingent of 2015 prospects, including cornerback John Reid, who first earned offers as a freshman and now is in double digits. The long, cat-quick cornerback will have a chance to showcase his ability against the state's top quarterback. St. Joseph Prep's offensive line features 2015 Michigan commit Jon Runyan and the running game goes through 2015 running back Olamide Zaccaheus, who holds offers from Miami, Pittsburgh and Temple.
Jamie Newberg - National Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Green Cove Springs (Fla.) Clay vs Plantation (Fla.) American Heritage, 1 p.m.
Clay takes on American Heritage in the Class 5A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Friday afternoon. American Heritage has its share of star power, led by the state's top 2014 recruit in five-star running back Sony Michel. Michel, a University of Georgia commitment, hasn't had quite the year that many expected but he's run like the old Sony of late. That could pose a huge problem for Clay in Michel's last game with his teammates. Speaking of teammates, keep an eye on Notre Dame bound athlete Isaiah McKenzie. He's had a huge senior season running, catching and returning the football. He's small but so darn explosive and a real game changer. Of course, American Heritage is blessed with two of the better juniors in the 2015 class in four-stars, quarterback Torrance Gibson and defensive back McFadden. They are two "name your school" guys that will have offers from practically everyone before it's all said and done. Clay is led by senior quarterback Wes Weeks. He holds a 1AA offer from Wofford and Purdue is beginning to look at him. The strength of their team is the offensive front. Tackles Mike Howard and Jeff Baker are both juniors and D1 guys. Howard already holds a FAU offer with North Carolina showing a lot of interest. Their run game is led by two outstanding underclassmen in sophomore Blilal Ally and freshman Colin Wilson. In fact, Wilson is already 6-foot-1, 205-pounds and he has a chance to evolve into a very elite player in the 2017 class. He also starts at cornerback. Speaking of cornerback, Clay lost their top player to a knee injury in Jeremy Peters. That's a huge blow to this team. The Clay defense is led by defensive end Shawn Grayer. At 6-foot-2, 230-pounds, he's a D1 guy that may project higher as an outside linebacker.
Friday: Niceville (Fla.) vs West Palm Beach (Fla.) Dwyer, 7 p.m.
Niceville takes on Dwyer in the Class 7A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Friday night. Niceville is led by a trio on offense. It all starts with their quarterback Ahmad Hooker. They have two talented wide receivers in Tyree McCants and Elijah Stove. McCants already holds offers from Georgia Tech, N.C. State, USF, Minnesota and others. Stove is only a sophomore and already holds offers from Clemson and USF. The player to watch defensively is Marquis Daniel. He's close to landing his first scholarship offer from Eastern Kentucky. Junior running back Shi'Kim Coward injured his ACL. It's happened during their homecoming game earlier this fall. He already has scholarship offers from USF, FAU, UCF, Georgia Tech, and Troy. Dwyer is led by two-way star Johnnie Dixon. Dixon, 5-foot-11, 190-pounds, is a four-star that plays both cornerback and wide receiver. He was sensational last Friday in their semi-final overtime win over Tarpon Springs East Lake. He locked down five-star junior receiver George Campbell all night and also scored Dwyer's first two touchdowns of the night. The first was on a long bomb and the second was a catch and run of 40-yards. Dixon was slated to make his announcement this past Sunday night but postponed that decision. He made his official visit to Miami over the weekend and it's appears it's a Hurricane/Buckeye battle. Another battle is brewing for Dwyer safety Shawn Boone. Penn State, N.C. State, Ohio State, and Arkansas are all in the mix. Ezra Safford is a talented senior slot receiver/athlete that makes a ton of plays and is a nice compliment to Dixon. He's undersized but quick and very fast.
Saturday: Seffner (Fla.) Armwood vs Miami Central, 1 p.m.
Armwood takes on Central in the Class 6A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday afternoon. This looks like the best game on paper of the weekend's four title games. Armwood will need a huge game from their defense, especially up front. This is where they are led by 2015 four-star Byron Cowart. He's a massive 6-foot-4, 246-pounder that lines up everywhere on the line of scrimmage. The secondary is led by Vanderbilt commitment Kyle Gibson. He's a tad undersized for a safety but he will come up and hit you. Cornerback Aaron Covington is one of the top cover corners in the 2015 class. He has a knack for always coming up with the big play in the secondary. Of course Central is loaded with star power in their senior class but they are missing one of their big thoroughbreds in Joseph Yearby. He fractured his fibula above his ankle during their playoff win over Palm Bay Heritage. Rocket fans shouldn't be too worried because they still have Dalvin Cook. Cook has recently signed his financial grant-aid applications with Florida State, Florida and Miami. He says he's still committed to the Gators but anything could happen in this one. Meanwhile, Yearby is committed to Miami. Speaking of the Hurricanes, massive offensive tackle Trevor Darling is staying home to play in Coral Gables. At some point, hopefully for most of the game, he will be matched up one on one with Cowart. Wouldn't that be something? Darling leads a terrific offensive line that also includes center Raul Diaz (Tulane) and Michael Smith (USF). Also headed to play for the Bulls is cornerback Deatrick Nichols. Central is also home to one of the most talented junior wide receivers in the state in DaVante Phillips. He has committed to Florida already. Also in the 2015 class is safety Calvin Brewton who already holds scholarship offers from teams like Clemson, FSU, USF, UCF, and others.
Saturday: Homestead (Fla.) South Dade vs Apopka (Fla.), 7 p.m.
South Dade takes on Apopka in the Class 8A state championship game at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando on Saturday night. South Dade enters the state title game at 13-1 and has one of the more talented offenses in the state. Quarterback Khalil Render has thrown for over 2,500 yards and 36 touchdowns. His main targets are Chris Worton (FSU commitment), Tyre Brady (Miami commit), and Nathaniel Terry. Both Brady and Terry are plus sized targets. Junior running back Johnnie Hankins has darted his way through Dade County defenses for 1,100 yards and Render adds a dimension there as well. As good as the offense can be, they are playing for a state title because of the defense. The Buc's have only allowed 24 points in four playoff games and completely shut down Palm Beach Gardens after giving up an early score a week ago. South Dade's lone loss came to Miami Killian. This team appears to be peaking at the right time. Apopka quarterback Zack Darlington sustained a bad concussion in August, forcing Apopka to go old school and switch to the single wing. Head coach Rick Darlington made a brilliant move. All the Blue Darters have done is win and shatter the record books. They should pass the 6,000 yard rushing mark for the season. They have a 2,000 yard rusher in Robert Thomas. And to think he was only playing free safety until week two. They have two 1,000 yard rushers in J.J. Simmons and Chandler Cox. Cox, their fullback, has also thrown for 1,000 yards. He's a good athlete that is a fullback prospect in next year's 2015 class. This offense is also 23-points away from the season scoring record. They are averaging 51.7 points in 14 games. Of course their big name recruit on offense is junior offensive tackle Martez Ivey, who's enjoying a fantastic year. Ivey, 6-foot-5, 291-pounds, holds early scholarships from Florida, FSU, Georgia, Alabama and so many others. This five-star prospect will be able to name his school when it's all done.
Michael Clark - Atlantic Recruiting Analyst
North Carolina 3A, 4A and 4AA State Championships at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, N.C.
Saturday: 3A State Championship: Havelock (N.C.) vs. Concord (N.C.) at 11 a.m.
This is a rematch of last year's state championship contest. Havelock won the game and its second straight 3A title. Now, the Rams are 15-0 and going for the three-peat. Havelock is led by four-star running back Derrell Scott, who is the program's all-time leading rusher. Other key players for the Rams include senior running back/safety Taylor Woods, 2015 three-star wide receiver Michael Bowman, 2016 five-star outside linebacker Keion Joyner and 2016 wide receiver Kyran Bowman. The Rams' defense is only allowing six points per game. Concord is also 15-0 and leading the way for the Spiders is 2015 running back Rocky Reid, who has rushed for over 3,000 yards this season. Sophomore quarterback Keenan Black has also played well for the Spiders. Defensively, Concord is led by senior linebackers Logan Sedergren and Jerry Burk.
Saturday: 4A State Championship: Laurinburg (N.C.) Scotland vs. Greensboro (N.C.) Dudley at 3 p.m.
This championship game is between two 15-0 teams. Scotland is led by 2015 dual-threat quarterback Jaylend Ratliffe. The junior has had a huge season with over 3,800 all-purpose yards. Defensively, Scotland is led by senior linebacker Marquis Williams, 2015 linebacker Tyquan Ingram and 2015 safety Robert McKoy. Dudley's defense has been the key to their success and leading the way for the Tigers is four-star outside linebacker and Clemson commit Chris Register. Dudley also features senior quarterback/cornerback and Tennessee commit Emmanuel Moseley, who has been a star on both sides of the ball all season long.
Saturday: 4AA State Championship: Wake Forest (N.C.) vs. Charlotte (N.C.) Mallard Creek at 7 p.m.
This contest is between two teams that are peaking at the right time. Wake Forest, the No. 12 seed in the East, has won five straight and is 12-3 this season. Offensively, the Cougars are led by 2015 four-star running back Bryce Love, who is one of the fastest prospects in the country. 2015 quarterback Mack Moore has also been a key to Wake Forest's success. Defensively, the Cougars feature senior cornerback Chris Leonard, senior outside linebacker Norman Cade and 2016 four-star defensive tackle Dexter Lawrence. Mallard Creek is 15-0 and ranked No.31 in Scout Top 50. The Mavericks are the heavy favorite and offense is led by senior H-back and N.C. State commit Jaylen Samuels and senior running back Lawrence Pittman. Defensively, Mallard Creek features senior defensive tackle and Ball State commit Ikeem Allen, senior safety and Toledo commit Cameron Mattison, senior outside linebacker and Gardner-Webb commit Stephen Askew, 2015 cornerback Amari Henderson and 2015 cornerback Nafees Leon.
Ahmard Vital - Midlands Recruiting Analyst
Friday: Houston (Tex.) Stratford vs. San Antonio Brennan (Tex.) at 7 p.m. CST
All it takes is one more win to get a state title berth and Round 5 pits the Greater Houston area against Central Texas to see who makes the dance. This should be a great match up of running game against run defense. Stratford comes into the contest with a potent ground game led by running backs Terrence Peters, who leads the way with over 1,400 yards while sophomore Rakeem Boyd is a powerful runner, a good back who can pound the rock inside. Tight end Jack Brice is solid on the line and an effective player in the passing game when called upon. Brennan has a couple of guys in the front seven who are state ranked. Four-star defensive end Derick Roberson, a Texas commitment, is one who can wreak some havoc. Colorado linebacker commit Grant Watanabe leads the second line of defense. Offensively, word is that 2015 quarterback Da'Shawn Key will be one to watch in this game and in the future.
Annabel Stephan - Midlands Field Reporter
Saturday: Austin (Texas) Lake Travis vs. Cedar Hill (Texas) @ Floyd Casey Stadium @ 1:30 PM
The 12-2 Longhorns, who are coming off a 52-29 win over Denton (Texas) in the quarterfinals, are stacked with junior and senior talent. Cornerback Marcus Green, a 6-foot-1, 170-pounder and three-star prospect, is committed to Oklahoma; he's racked up over 30 tackles this season, averaging 3.4 tackles per game. Defensive end Xavier Washington, who has over 60 tackles, holds offers from Air Force, Nevada, North Dakota, North Texas, and Yale, and has continued to make a big impact on defense for the Longhorns. Running back Larry Hill, who is hearing from a few programs, has 1039 rushing yards and 21 touchdowns this season, four in last weekend's game. One of the biggest prospects for the Longhorns is junior DaMarkus Lodge; the 6-foot-2, 190-pound 2015 receiver has 1214 yards and 20 touchdowns this season, averaging almost 90 receiving yards per game. He's compiled a growing list of offers, including Arizona State, Baylor, Iowa, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, UCLA, and Utah, and continues to hear from programs like Oregon and Alabama. Other juniors to keep an eye on: receiver Denvre Daniels, who holds a Colorado state offer; quarterback Justin McMillan; cornerback Darrell Miller who holds a Houston offer; outside linebacker Richard Moore, who has an offer from Baylor. It's also worth noting that because of a winter storm in the Metroplex area, Cedar Hill played in the quarterfinals on Monday afternoon, so the Longhorns enter this game with less of a recovery period. The Cavaliers enter this game 12-1, having defeated College Station (Texas) A&M Consolidated 21-7 last weekend. The offense is propelled by long-time Texas A&M running back commit Shaun Nixon, who has 1680 rushing yards on 229 carries for 23 rushing touchdowns (has 28 overall). An emerging underclassman is junior linebacker James Bailey, who has 64 tackles this season, 35 of them solo. He also has three fumble recoveries and one defensive touchdown. Bailey has started to hear from programs including Texas Tech and Oklahoma State. Others to watch: offensive lineman Ty Anderson, defensive lineman Zach Davies, outside linebacker Luke Hutton, and junior quarterback Dominic DeLira.
Greg Biggins - National Recruiting Analyst
Saturday: Corona (Calif.) Centennial vs. Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco at 7:30 p.m.
Bosco has an embarrassment of riches with 13 players holding Div I offers. Jaleel Wadood is the No. 3 corner in the west but the California commit will play safety for the Braves and is one of the most dynamic players in the region. Naijiel Hale, the No. 5 corner in the region, has committed to Arizona and rush end Malik Dorton, among the state's top pass rushers, has committed to USC. Wide out Shay Fields is a USC commit and one of the most explosive pass catchers in the region and cornerback Chandler Hawkins has committed to Air Force. The top recruit on the team is massive offensive lineman Damien Mama. Mama is the nation's top guard prospect and has his choice of any school in the country. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner has gained 20 pounds since last season and has established himself as one of the region's premier defensive lineman and talented quarterback Josh Rosen is the No. 2 signal caller in the 2015 class and is well over the double digit offer mark. Centennial boasts some of the top talent in Southern California in the 2014 class on both sides of the ball. On offense, they're anchored by senior offensive guard Viane Talamaivao, a one-time Alabama commit who recently flipped to USC. Lining up behind Talamaivao is California commit and senior running back Tre Watson, who still has schools like Boise State, UCLA and Utah heavily pursuing him. Centennial also have a weapon in 2014 three-star receiver Barry Ware, a one time UCLA commit, who recently opened his recruitment. Centennial's roster is just as impressive on the defensive side of the ball, headlined by defensive end Austin Maloata, who will join Talamaivao next year at USC. Three-star senior defensive end Jaylen Johnson is also a force to reckon with, and recently opened up his recruitment.
Hayley Elwood - West Recruiting
Friday: Bakersfield (Calif.) at San Marcos (Calif.) Mission Hills at 7:30 p.m.
Bakersfield (11-2) and Mission Hills (12-1) will face off Friday night in the CIF State Division I South championship game. Both teams are relatively evenly matched rankings-wise. Per MaxPreps' California football rankings, Mission Hills is 10th in the state while Bakersfield is 11th. Mission Hills is loaded on both sides of the ball. Leading Mission Hills' offense is 2014 quarterback Connor Wynn and his favorite target, 2014 wide receiver Scott Higgins, who with only one catch in Friday's game, will break Mission Hills' single-season receptions record. The Grizzlies have three players on the San Diego CIF first-team defense for 2013. Led by 2013 CIF Defensive Player of the Year, 2014 four-star linebacker and BYU commit Fred Warner, the Grizzlies defense also includes three-star linebacker Ricky Liuchan, a 2014 Oregon State commit and 2015 four-star defensive back Dechaun Holiday who holds nine offers including ones from UCLA and Nebraska. Bakersfield is on a nine-game win streak, all against D-I opponents and has averaged roughly 36 points per game. The Drillers' offense is led by 2014 quarterback Asauni Rufus. Rufus is a verbal commit to Nevada but will switch to defensive back in college. Alongside Rufus is 2014 wide receiver/defensive back Kevin Hayes who will play DB for Oregon State next fall. Friday's champion will face the winner of the CIF State D-I North Championship in either Loomis (Calif). Del Oro or San Mateo (Calif) Serra Dec. 20 at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.