Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.), the top two teams in last season’s Super 25 football rankings, have their share of big-time transfers coming in this season, but they are not the only places where newcomers will make waves. A quick look at five schools where transfers will have a big impact this season:
RELATED: ALL-USA preseason offensive team
RELATED: ALL-USA preseason defensive team
Say hello to Mater Dei, now known by some as IMG West.
The Monarchs got three transfers who already have committed to FBS schools: wide receiver-defensive back Jeremiah Criddell and running back Sean Dollars (919 yards and 16 touchdowns rushing), who were at Rancho Cucamonga last season, have committed to Oregon; and senior wide receiver Braedin Huffman-Dixon, a Colorado commit, who was at Roosevelt (Eastvale) last season.
That doesn’t count two Mater Dei elite juniors who will be FBS players — former C.E. King (Houston) defensive back Bryson Washington (56 tackles and five interceptions) and new Monarchs starting quarterback, Bryce Young, who threw for 3,431 yards and 41 touchdowns and rushed for 287 yards and eight touchdowns last season as a sophomore at Cathedral (Los Angeles).
IMG Academy restocks with elite transfers
IMG Academy has been built on transfers and while the Ascenders don’t have as many newbies this season as in the past, the trend continues.
Most of the Ascenders’ offensive line was wearing a different uniform last season: offensive tackle Justin Osborne, an Auburn commit, was at Marcus (Flower Mound, Texas); offensive tackle Chris Akporoghene, an Auburn commit, was at The King’s Academy (West Palm Beach); offensive guard Dontae Lucas (6-4, 350), a former Miami High player, is headed to Florida State.
Upland, Calif., transfer David Baldwin, a dual-threat quarterback, has a chance to win the starting job. His targets will include wide receiver Josh Delgado, an Oregon commit who transferred from St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) and Arkansas commit Shamar Nash, a wide receiver who transferred from Memphis Central (Memphis). The defense includes FSU commit Jaleel McRae, a linebacker from New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
Deion Sanders is at it again in Texas
Sanders, who rapidly built a controversial athletic program at Prime Prep (Dallas), is, along with two other former NFL players in Aveion Cason and Kevin Mathis, helping Trinity Christian (Cedar Hill, Texas) turn into a football powerhouse via the transfer route.
The Tigers, who won the TAPPS Division II state title last season, recently landed five-star junior defensive back Dwight McGlothern Jr. from New Caney. That’s on top of elite senior defensive back Lewis Cine from Everett, Mass., and Sanders’ son Shilo, who helped Sasche go 12-1 last season.
St. Thomas Aquinas restocks with big-time transfers
The Raiders were aptly named this offseason, pulling in several big-time transfers. Start with senior DE Braylen Ingraham, who came from nearby Dillard (Fort Lauderdale). Brother Rice (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) transfer Mariano Valenti, a Northern Illinois commit, should battle for the starting quarterback spot. Senior linebacker Avery Huff, a Miami commit, transferred from McArthur (Hollywood, Fla.), as did junior wide receiver Jahvante Royal. Talented junior defensive back-wide receiver Xavier Restrepo moved in from Monarch (Coconut Beach), junior defensive tackle Bobby Washington Jr. transferred from Deerfield Beach, four-star linebacker Devon Betty was at Miramar last season, senior offensive lineman Julian Hernandez transferred from Western (Davie). Speedy junior wide receiver Jovan Ferguson came from Carol City (Miami) and senior DB-RB Rayne Tanega-Doster transferred from Mater Academy (Hialeah Gardens).
Higley (Gilbert, Ariz.) has enough transfers to field a side
Higley, which made it to the 4A semifinals last season, is making the jump to 5A this season. As reported this spring by the Arizona Republic, the Knights have 11 transfers coming in, including two from Desert Ridge (Mesa), Basha (Chandler) and Apache Junction. That doesn’t include junior defensive end Jason Harris, who didn’t play last season after transferring from Desert Ridge, but is drawing major offers.