MaxPreps will release preseason high school football rankings next month. Until then, whet your appetite for prep pigskin with our Early Contenders Top 10 series.
We’ve already taken a deep dive on the biggest games and storylines of the upcoming season, as well as the Top 10 players in the country and the Top 10 players in new places.
Now we shift focus to playmakers that are flying under the radar and demand your attention this fall. Read on for a look at the Top 10 most underrated high school football players in America.
Webb is a one-man wrecking crew and as balanced as they come. The 3-star running back racked up the nation’s sixth-most rushing yards (3,235) and set AHSAA state records for single-season rushing touchdowns (49) and overall touchdowns (53). Webb topped off the year by exploding for 359 rushing yards and five TDs in the Alabama Class 5A state title victory. Webb also became the first junior to ever nab Alabama’s Mr. Football award and was a first team MaxPreps All-American. Mississippi State and Ole Miss are the main suitors for his services.
Ruder is truly a hidden gem. The 3-star quarterback is from Norton, a tiny town of about 3,000 in the middle of the Kansas plains. But the North Carolina commit is a dangerous dual-threat QB and worth the drive to see. He posted 2,344 total yards and 30 TDs last fall while leading the Bluejays to the second round of the Kansas Class 3A state playoffs. The ultra-athletic Ruder runs a blazing 4.45 40-yard dash to go along with his ideal 6-foot-3 frame. He also deposited 12.3 points and 8.2 rebounds per game this year on the hardwood.
Williams is a versatile threat and a home-run waiting to happen. The Kansas commit glides by defenders with his blinding 4.27 speed. The 3-star all-purpose back logged 2,220 total yards and 35 touchdowns in directing Hahnville to the second round of the Louisiana Class 5A state playoffs last fall. The productive talent finds the end zone every 4.3 times he’s handed the ball.
It’s hard to find a player tougher than Salahuddin. The USC commit is one of the best two-way players in the country. The nation’s No. 4 all-purpose back is explosive with the ball in his hands — and he can also lay the lumber. There’s a reason he was selected to The Opening. He registered 1,100 total yards and 10 TDs on offense last season in willing Woodson to a DCSAA Class 2A state final appearance. Salahuddin also tallied 35 tackles and two interceptions on defense.
Goodrich is an elite cover corner and a dynamic two-way threat. The Nebraska commit blankets the field and can put up points in a variety of ways. The country’s No. 10 athlete notched 46 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, seven interceptions and 12 pass deflections on defense. He posted 526 all-purpose yards and 13 total TDs in spurring the Titans to the Missouri Class 6 state quarterfinals last fall. He’s also one of the top all-around athletes in the nation. Goodrich is a Division I basketball recruit and helped Lee’s Summit West to the Class 5 state finals this year.
Ezukanma is one of the most viral performers high school football has to offer and was a mainstay on the MaxPreps weekly Top Plays Countdown last season. The 4-star receiver makes defenders miss in tight quarters and is also a lethal deep-ball threat. He produced 88 catches for 1,494 yards and 20 touchdowns last fall. He also rushed 29 times for 358 yards (12.3 per carry) and three more scores to earn first team MaxPreps All-American honors. Arkansas and Texas A&M are the main programs vying for his talents.
Source: Max Preps