15. Eastside Catholic
Location: Sammamish, Wash.
18-19 Record: 13-1
Final Super 25 Rank: Unranked
Why them: The only loss Eastside Catholic suffered last year was the season opener against Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.). After that, they rattled off 13 straight, including the championship and a GEICO Bowl Series victory over Arizona powerhouse Centennial (Peoria, Ariz.). The Crusaders would like to keep that momentum going.
At the helm is the No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class, J.T. Tuimoloau. Listed at 6-foot-4.5, 277 pounds as a sophomore, the defensive tackle had 70 tackles – 17 for loss – and a team-high seven sacks. As a junior, he appears poised to become a true leader of the team.
Eastside Catholic returns top players all over the field. Starting quarterback Michael Franklin has received interest from three Pac-12 schools but has yet to be offered. His growth is instrumental for the team and his future. The top two running backs from last year, Sam Adams (94 carries, 9.9-yard average) and Gio Ursino (95 carries, 8.2-yard average) will anchor the running game as seniors. The top three receivers, including four-star Ohio State commit Gee Scott Jr., also return as seniors. With an experienced group that boasts star power, Eastside Catholic has the potential to be a top program this year.