3. Mater Dei
Location: Santa Ana, Calif.
2018-19 Record: 13-2
Final Super 25 Rank: 1
Why them: Mater Dei had some big questions entering the offseason after winning the National Championship. The team lost cornerbacks Elias Ricks (IMG) and Darion Green-Warren (Narbonne). The receiving room is missing ALL-USA First Team wide receiver Bru McCoy and tight end Mike Martinez. Both running backs are gone.
But they answered the cornerback question admirably now that the room has 2021 four-star CB Jaylin Davies and 2022 CB Domani Jackson, who already has 23 offers. Additionally, Josh Hunter and Cam Sidney have come on strong as defensive back options as well. At linebacker, Raesjon Davis is a five-star 2021 linebacker, and with Moses Sepulona and Kobah Fuatuma, they can replace Mase Funa effectively.
On offense, Bryce Young enters year two as Mater Dei quarterback and is going to take on a larger play-calling role. At wide receiver, Bruce Rollinson likes what he sees from incoming four-star transfer Cristian Dixon, Kody Epps, Josiah Zamora, Kyron Ware-Hudson, and incoming sophomore CJ Williams – a group that helped Mater Dei win a 7-on-7 tournament without Young. Three running backs are fighting for the starting spot in transfer Marcueese Yetts, Quincy Craig and Cam Leofa.
Of course, Rollinson’s bread and butter are the offensive and defensive lines, and he’s confident with his groups. Myles Murao, perhaps the top offensive lineman on the team, had a strong showing at The Opening, and Rollinson thinks there’s enough depth on the defensive line to have big and small packages as he sees fit. With new players and Young entering his second year on the team, the Monarchs still look like the team to beat in California.
8/23 Centennial (Corona, Calif.)
8/29 Villa Park
9/6 at Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.)
9/14 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore, Md.)
9/27 at St. John’s (Washington, D.C.)
10/4 Orange Lutheran
10/18 Santa Margarita
10/25 at St. John Bosco
11/1 JSerra Catholic