Seven teams ranked in the Way Too Early Super 25 high school football rankings will play in the GEICO ESPN High School Kickoff from Friday, Aug. 24 to Sunday, Aug. 26.
The event, in its ninth year, will be held on various ESPN channels and includes seven defending state champions and 21 seniors in the ESPN 300 player rankings.
The event begins Aug. 24 with two games that are rematches of key 2017 contests. At 6 p.m. on ESPNU, No. 25 Warren Central (Indianapolis) will play at Kentucky 6A champion Trinity (Louisville). Trinity won last year’s game 42-41.
At 9 p.m. on ESPNU, No. 4 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.), which was last year’s Super 25 champion, will play No. 12 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas). The Monarchs of Mater Dei who won last year’s game, 35-21 at home, travel to Las Vegas this year.
On Aug. 25, there will be four games, the first two on ESPN. At noon (ET), Pinson Valley (Pinson, Ala.), the state 6A champion, will play at 7A champion Hoover. At 3:30 p.m., Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.) and Hewitt-Trussville (Trussville, Ala.), both of which had one loss last year, will play at Hoover, Ala.
All four teams that play in the later games on Aug. 25 were ranked at one point last season. At 6 p.m. on ESPNU, Tucker, Ga., a 6A semifinalist, will play at Grayson (Loganville, Ga.), which is ranked No. 3 in the preseason. At 7 p.m. on ESPN2, DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) will play at No. 11 St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale).
The final game in the series will be Aug. 26 between state champions from neighboring states as Phillips (Chicago), the Illinois 5A champion, will play No. 22 Pickerington Central (Pickerington, Ohio), its state Division I champion, at 12:30 on ESPN in Westerville, Ohio.
Much of the focus on the broadcasts will be on the top recruits. Grayson leads the teams with five players ranked in the ESPN 300: linebacker Owen Pappoe, an Auburn commit; offensive tackle Wanya Morris, who has committed to Tennessee; defensive end Kevin Harris, who is committed to Alabama, cornerback Kenyatta Watson, who has committed to Texas; and offensive tackle Trente Jones, who has committed to Michigan.
ESPN 300 Participants
|5||OT||Pierce Quick||Hewitt-Trussville (AL)||Alabama|
|8||OLB||Owen Pappoe||Grayson (GA)||Auburn|
|9||OT||Wanya Morris||Grayson (GA)||Tennessee|
|12||WR||Jadon Haselwood||Cedar Grove (GA)||Georgia|
|52||OLB||Mase Funa||Mater Dei (CA)||Oregon|
|58||QB||Bo Nix||Pinson Valley (AL)||Auburn|
|75||ATH||Bru McCoy||Mater Dei (CA)||Uncommitted|
|87||OLB||Anthony Solomon||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Miami (FL)|
|94||CB||Kenyatta Watson||Grayson (GA)||Texas|
|98||DT||Rashad Cheney||Cedar Grove (GA)||Alabama|
|106||DE||Kevin Harris||Grayson (GA)||Alabama|
|124||WR||George Pickens||Hoover (AL)||Auburn|
|135||S||Jordan Battle||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Uncommitted|
|136||WR||DeMarcco Hellams||DeMatha (MD)||Alabama|
|137||DE||Stephen Herron Jr.||Trinity (KY)||Michigan|
|157||OT||Trente Jones||Grayson (GA)||Michigan|
|162||S||Nick Cross||DeMatha (MD)||Uncommitted|
|172||CB||Jaden Davis||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Uncommitted|
|221||WR||David Bell||Warren Central (IN)||Uncommitted|
|253||DE||Braylen Ingraham||St. Thomas Aquinas (FL)||Uncommitted|
|292||RB||Sean Dollars||Mater Dei (CA)||Oregon|