MaxPreps has released their 2020 preseason High School football rankings, listing 14 schools in the Sunshine State, nine located in South Florida.
Texas (17) California (15), Florida (14), and Georgia (8) headlined the top 100, holding 54 total teams in the respective states.
Once again, St. Thomas Aquinas spotlighted the South Florida area.
No. 6: St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
MaxPreps lists the Raiders as the second-highest ranked team in Florida, behind IMG Academy, who currently sit at the No. 1 spot.
St. Thomas Aquinas comes off a picture-perfect season, ranked as one of the top high school programs in the country. The Raiders completed the perfect 15-0 season, capturing the Class 7A state title, and beating Saint Louis (Hawaii) in the GEICO State Champions Bowl Series to become the high school national champions.
Expectations remain the same, as there returning players include senior defensive lineman Tyreak Sapp, junior quarterback Zion Turner, and junior running back Anthony Hankerson. In addition, Michigan linebacker commit Jaydon Hood, defensive lineman Dallas Turner, and Ole Miss wide receiver commit Bralon Brown are all heading to play at St. Thomas this upcoming season.
No. 14: Northwestern (Miami)
Miami Northwestern High School is home to some of the best talents in the country. Ranked as the No. 22 team in the nation last season, the Bulls have won three consecutive state championships. Northwestern’s alumni include Teddy Bridgewater, Amari Cooper, Lavonte David, Eli Rogers, Lavonte David, Vernon Carey, and DeAndre Baker, among others.
The West possesses plenty of high-level recruits, according to 247Sports, including four-star receiver Romello Brinson, four-star safety Kamren Kinchens, three-star cornerback Tim Burns, three-star outside linebacker Ja’Corey Hammett, and three-star tight end Kahlil Brantley.
There’s no doubt that Northwestern is bound for title run.
No. 21: Miami Central (Florida)
The defending 6A state champs are coming off an exciting 12-3 record last season. Led by three-star running back Amari Daniels, Miami Hurricanes offensive lineman commit Laurence Seymore, four-star athlete Yulkeith Brown, linebacker Wesley Bissainthe, defensive lineman Reuben Bain, and Miami Hurricanes wide receiver commit Lamar Seymore, the Rockets are expected to repeat another historic campaign.
However, it won’t be easy. Notable games for Miami Central include an August 21 matchup against No. 3 ranked St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), an August 28 meeting versus Booker T. Washington (Miami), and an October 23 contest against Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, FL).
No. 34: Booker T. Washington (Miami)
Coming off a 4A state title, Booker T. Washington remains one of the most loaded teams in the country, featuring five-star Alabama wide receiver commit Jacorey Brooks, Louisville defensive back commit Rance Conner Jr., three-star defensive back Anthony Hundley, and dual-threat quarterback Torrey Morrison.
Under first-year head coach Gerald Cox, who was previously at Coconut Creek High School, the Tornadoes are destined for another thriller season.
No. 39: American Heritage (Plantation, Florida)
With five-star athlete James Williams heading to play at American Heritage, expectations of a redemption season are high for the Patriots. Along with Williams, cornerback Earl Little Jr., linebacker Marvin Jones Jr., running back Mark Fletcher, and inside linebacker David Vadala are expected to have a great season at American Heritage.
Head coach Patrick Surtain could arguably have his most stacked team since 2017, when the Patriots captured its second straight 5A state championship.
No. 50 Chaminade-Madonna (Hollywood, Florida)
Chaminade-Madonna comes off their third straight Class 3A state championship, matching St. Thomas Aquinas’ 2014-16 record for consecutive state titles. The Lions finished its 2019 season with an impressive 12-2 record.
Led by four-star Miami Hurricanes running back commit Thad Franklin, four-star defensive end Kenyatta Jackson, three-star defensive end Jamaal Johnson, Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle commit Allan Haye, defensive back Ryan Turner, defensive back Torrie Cox Jr., wide receiver Josh Jenkins, five-star kicker Andres Borregales, and Howard quarterback commit Jaylon Tolbert, the Lions have high expectations when it comes to repeating as state champs.
No. 78 Deerfield Beach (Florida)
Coming off a 10-4 record, Deerfield Beach is a heavy favorite to capture the 8A state title this upcoming season.
Featuring Auburn cornerback commit Phillip O’Brien Jr., wide receiver’s Fred Eaford and Jamarion McDougle, running back Jaziun Patterson, and defensive end Richard Thomas, the Bucks have one of the most loaded squads in all of South Florida.
No. 86: Cardinal Gibbons (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
For Cardinal Gibbons, the 2020 season is a chance for them to claim their second 4A state championship in three years. And with Clemson wide receiver commit Troy Stellato, along with pro-style quarterback Brody Palhegyi, FAU offensive lineman commit Anthony Earle, linebacker Tray Brown, and cornerback Cordé St. Louis, the reality of another title under Gibbons’ belt is valid.
No. 91: Palmetto (Miami)
Led by five-star defensive tackle Leonard Taylor, five-star cornerback Jason Marshall, and four-star safety Corey Collier, Palmetto’s defense is as scary as it gets. They emerge as one of the favorites to capture the 8A state title.