The 2017 high school football season is right around the corner. So the last thing to do before it begins is to release our Preseason All-American Teams.
The Junior and Sophomore teams will be coming out Aug. 2 and 3, respectively.
Fun facts are abundant with our group of 60. For instance, both quarterbacks on the first team are from Georgia. And an amazing six players from IMG Academy made the cut (otherwise known as 10 percent). California leads the way with 13 players overall and Florida has the second-most with 10. A total of 18 states have representation on the teams. The top team in the nation from our Preseason Top 25 Early Contenders, Mater Dei, has three players honored. And finally, all 60 are seniors.
First Team Offense
QB — Trevor Lawrence, 6-6, 195, Cartersville (Ga.)
Lawrence enters his senior season riding a 30-game winning streak and has gone 42-2 as a starter in leading Cartersville to back-to-back state championships. The 5-star quarterback is less than 2,500 yards away from breaking Deshaun Watson’s Georgia state record for most career passing yards.
QB — Justin Fields, 6-3, 220, Harrison (Kennesaw, Ga.)
Less than 20 miles separates the top two quarterbacks on the first team and no quarterback had a better summer than Fields. He was named the MVP of the Elite 11 and was recently named the No. 1 overall player in 247Sports’ most recent rankings.
RB — Zamir White, 6-1, 220, Scotland (Laurinburg, N.C.)
The nation’s top-rated running back in the Class of 2018 is coming off a junior season that saw him rush for nearly 2,000 yards and 27 touchdowns en route to North Carolina Gatorade Football Player of the Year honors.
RB — Jaelen Gill, 6-1, 180, Westerville South (Ohio)
One of the best stories heading into 2017 season is Westerville South’s 5-star running back. He suffered a fractured fibula during his junior year but showed he is back at 100 percent after an impressive showing at The Opening. He checks in as the No. 1 all-purpose back in the Class of 2018.
RB — TJ Pledger, 5-8, 190, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)
Pledger went from coast to coast for his senior year. He was named to the 2016 MaxPreps Junior All-American Team after rushing for nearly 2,000 yards and 32 touchdowns for Chaminade (West Hills, Calif.). He is primed for a big senior year at IMG Academy.
WR — Amon-Ra St. Brown, 5-11, 190, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Mater Dei’s 5-star wide receiver is coming off a monster junior campaign. He had over 1,200 yards receiving and 21 touchdowns. Expect a big-time senior season for the No. 2 wide receiver in the Class of 2018.
TE — Jeremy Ruckert, 6-5, 240, Lindenhurst (N.Y.)
The nation’s No. 1 tight end in the Class of 2018 proved he was one of the best playmakers at The Opening. The future Ohio State Buckeye is rated as the No. 1 player overall from New York.
OL — Jamaree Salyer, 6-4, 340, Pace Academy (Atlanta)
The top-rated offensive lineman in the Class of 2018 is one of the top recruits in all of high school football. He was named the offensive line MVP at The Opening, proving he is one of the baddest dudes in the country.
OL — Jackson Carman, 6-6, 290, Fairfield (Ohio)
The nation’s top-rated offensive tackle in the Class of 2018 is also the top-rated player from Ohio. He is one of the best all-around offensive linemen in the country.
OL — Justin Dedich, 6-2, 290, Chaparral (Temecula, Calif.)
The No. 1 center in the Class of 2018 is one of the best players from California. He can play all three offensive line positions and is one of the most versatile linemen in the country.
OL — Brey Walker, 6-7, 320, Westmoore (Oklahoma City)
The 2018 Oklahoma commit is one the best pass and run blockers in the country. The 5-star offensive tackle checks in as a Top 20 recruit overall and is the No. 1 player from the Sooner State.
OL — Tommy Brown, 6-6, 313, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
JT Daniels threw for nearly 5,000 yards and 67 touchdowns during his sophomore season, and one of the main reasons why was because he had Brown blocking for him. The 2018 Alabama commit is one of the best offensive linemen in the country and expect him to keep Daniels’ jersey clean again in 2017.
AP — Devon Williams, 6-4, 200, Antelope Valley (Lancaster, Calif.)
Outside of having one of the best highlight tapes in high school football, Antelope Valley’s 4-star wide receiver does it all. In 2016 he had over 1,500 yards of total offense, 16 touchdowns, 55 tackles, four forced fumbles, five interceptions and three interceptions returned for touchdowns.
AP — Talanoa Hufanga, 6-0, 195, Crescent Valley (Corvallis, Ore.)
After an impressive showing at The Opening, the No. 1 player from Oregon added a fifth star on 247Sports. He is one of the best all-around players in the country and is currently the top-rated athlete in the Class of 2018.
First Team Defense
DL — Xavier Thomas, 6-3, 265, IMG Academy
The No. 1 defensive player in the Class of 2018 is an absolute nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. Don’t be surprised if Thomas is the best player down the road from this class.
DL — Taron Vincent, 6-2, 285, IMG Academy
Lining up right next to Thomas is 2018 Ohio State commit Vincent. The 5-star defensive tackle checks in as the No. 1 DT in the Class of 2018 and is the No. 12 player overall. Football genes run well in the family, as his dad Troy Vincent was a five-time Pro Bowl cornerback for the Philadelphia Eagles and currently works as the executive vice president of football operations for the NFL.
DL — Micah Parsons, 6-3, 235, Harrisburg (Pa.)
The 5-star defensive end is one of the most talented players in the country. He lines up on the defensive line, at linebacker, at tight end and even running back.
DL — Eyabi Anoma, 6-5, 230, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore)
In his first full season of football at St. Frances Academy, all Anoma did was sack the quarterback 24 times. He is one of the most talented defensive linemen in the country and still hasn’t even come close to reaching his ceiling, which is scary for opposing quarterbacks.
LB — Palaie Gaoteote, 6-2, 235, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)
The nation’s No. 1 linebacker in the Class of 2018 still hasn’t suffered a loss during his high school career. He’s been a big-time playmaker for Kenny Sanchez and will be the leader of the defense in 2017 for the No. 2 team in our Top 25 Early Contenders.
LB — Solomon Tuliaupupu, 6-2, 220, Mater Dei
The former Claremont (Calif.) star will finish his high school career for the No. 1 team in our Top 25 Early Contenders. In 2016 he had 126 tackles and 18 tackles for loss. He checks in as the No. 3 inside linebacker in the Class of 2018 and is poised for a big senior year for the Monarchs.
LB — Teradja Mitchell, 6-2, 245, Bishop Sullivan Catholic (Virginia Beach, Va.)
The 2018 Ohio State commit is one of the best all-around linebackers in the country. He has a knack for finding the rock and laying the wood. Bishop Sullivan Catholic is one of the most talented teams in all of high school football and it all starts with the future Buckeye.
LB — Dax Hollifield, 6-1, 220, Shelby (N.C.)
The No. 5 inside linebacker in the Class of 2018 helped lead Shelby to a 16-0 season last year and a 2AA state championship. He finished his junior year with 146 tackles and 18 sacks.
DB — Patrick Surtain II, 6-2, 180, American Heritage (Plantation, Fla.)
You know you are a big-time cornerback if you don’t put up huge numbers because quarterbacks are too scared to throw your direction. That is the case with the No. 1 defensive back in the Class of 2018. It even happened up in Oregon at The Opening against the best quarterbacks in the country.
DB — Caden Sterns, 6-1, 190, Steele (Cibolo, Texas)
The 2018 Texas commit is one of the best all-around players in the country. He makes plays at wide receiver and special teams, but making things happen in the secondary is where the No. 2 safety in the Class of 2018 shines. He took three interceptions back for touchdowns in 2016.
DB — Jaiden Woodbey, 6-2, 205, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
There might not be a more well-rounded defensive back in high school football than Woodbey. The 2018 Ohio State commit lines up all over on defense, at safety, at cornerback, at linebacker, and he could probably even line up on the defensive line if he wanted to.
DB — Anthony Cook, 6-0, 170, Lamar (Houston)
You know you are big-time if you are the No. 1 player in all of Texas, and that is the case with Cook. He checks in as the No. 13 overall recruit and only Patrick Surtain II is rated higher among cornerbacks.
AP — Brendan Radley-Hiles, 5-10, 180, IMG Academy
One of IMG Academy’s newest additions to the 2017 team is arguably the best all-around player in the country. Radley-Hiles was named a 2016 MaxPreps Junior All-American last year after a great season at Calabasas (Calif.). Expect a monster senior campaign for the 2018 Nebraska commit.
Source: Max Preps