FOX Sports Next - Top 50
This story originally published on FOXSportsRecruiting.com
James Quick leads Trinity
James Quick leads Trinity
Director of Scouting
Posted Aug 20, 2012
Scott Kennedy 60x80


Louisville Trinity starts the season where they left off, sitting atop the FOX Sports Next Top 50. The Shamrocks face another daunting run to an undefeated season, and there are plenty of contenders to knock them off should they stumble anywhere along the line.


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Louisville Trinity starts the season where they left off, sitting atop the FOX Sports Next Top 50. The Shamrocks face another daunting run to an undefeated season, and there are plenty of contenders to knock them off should they stumble anywhere along the line.

Here is a look at the FOX Sports Next Top 50.

Rank

Team

1)
Louisville Trinity Logo
Trinity (1-0) Louisville, KY

Trinity was named National Champion Scout/FOX Sports Next in 2011 after posting a 14-0 season against four states worth of competition. Trinity will once again take on teams from Indiana, Tennessee, and Ohio. While the offensive line must be rebuilt, Trinity is loaded with skill including returning starters Travis White (QB), James Quick (WR), and Dalyn Dawkins (RB).


Next: 8/24 @ Montgomery Bell (Nasville, TN)
Toughest Test: 10/26 @ No. 14 Archbishop Moeller
2)
Manatee logo
Manatee (0-0) Bradenton, FL

Manatee is coming off of a 13-2 Championship season in which the two losses were to Top 5 out of state teams in Don Bosco (NJ) and Good Counsel (MD). The Hurricanes return seven starters on offense from a team that hung 40 on Venice in the State Championship, including Mississippi State commitment Cord Sandberg.

Next: 8/24 Osceola
Toughest Test: No. 17
Miami Central
3)
Dallas Skyline Logo
Skyline (0-0) Dallas, TX

Skyline's dream season was dashed by Southlake Carroll in the playoffs last year, but the Raiders are loaded for another run. Ole Miss commitment Devante Kincade is a dynamic run pass threat that will give teams fits all year. Texas A&M commitment Kerrick Huggins will anchor a stout defense from his defensive tackle position.

Next: 9/1 The Woodlands
Toughest Test:
9/1 The Woodlands
4)
Grayson Logo
Grayson (0-0) Loganville, GA

The Rams running game and defense should be bone-crunching in 2012. Clemson commit Robert Nkemdiche is the No. 1 recruit in America on the defensive line, but he's virtually unstoppable when he plays running back at 6'4/270. Fellow running back Wayne Gallman is also headed to Clemson.

Next: 8/25 McEachern (Georgia Dome)
Toughest Test:
8/31 Miami Central
5)
Good Counsel Logo
Good Counsel (0-0) Olney, MD

Good Counsel is coming off of a 12-0 perfect season and could be even better this year with the return of dynamic playmaker Kendall Fuller as well as big running back Dorian O'Daniel. The defensive line is stacked with talented juniors including Thomas Calloway and Sam Mustipher.

Next: 8/24 @ No. 20 Bishop Gorman (NV)
Toughest Test: 8/24 @ No. 20 Bishop Gorman (NV)

6)
Santa Margarita Logo
Santa Margarita (0-0) Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

A young Santa Margarita team continued to improve week to week before winning a CIF-Championship. No longer green, Santa Margarita returns virtually everyone including arguably the nation's best high school quarterback in dual threat Johnny Stanton (Nebraska).

Next: 8/25 @ No. 33 Brophy Prep (Phoenix, AZ)
Toughest Test: 8/25 @ No. 33 Brophy Prep (Phoenix, AZ)
7)
Don Bosco Logo
Don Bosco Prep (0-0) Ramsey, NJ

The Ironmen have a brutal early travel schedule with trips in the first four weeks of the season to Baltimore, Md., Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Sandy, Utah. If Don Bosco can survive the first two trips to No. 40 Gilman and perennial power St. Thomas Aquinas, they stand a good chance of running the table.

Next: 9/8 @ No. 40 Gilman (Baltimore, Md.)
Toughest Test: 9/8 @ No. 40 Gilman (Baltimore, Md.)
8)
Bellevue Logo
Bellevue (0-0) Bellevue, WA

Another year, another State Championship for the Wolverines. Bellevue runs a precision option offense, but this year's Wolverine team will have a defensive flavor to it with linebackers Myles Jack (UCLA) and Sean Constantine spearheading the defense. Like many teams in the Top 50, Bellevue's toughest test could be its first game.

Next: 8/30 No. 21 Euless Trinity (Texas)
Toughest Test: 8/30 No. 21 Euless Trinity (Texas)
9)
Booker T Washington Logo
Washington (0-0) Miami, FL

Washington fell in the State Championship to Bolles, but the Tornadoes are loaded for a run in 2012 with 18 starters returning led by linebacker Matthew Thomas. Washington throws in a trip to Cedar Hill (Texas) to an already stellar schedule.

Next: 8/25 @ Northwestern
Toughest Test:
9/8 No. 17 Miami Central
10)
Lake Travis Logo
Lake Travis (0-0) Austin, TX

It seems people are done overlooking Lake Travis and have come to accept that the Cavaliers don't rebuild, they reload. Lake Travis is only returning nine starters, but one of them is heady quarterback Baker Mayfield. Lake Travis' schedule is manageable in comparison with some others in the Top 50. 

Next: 8/31 @ Judson
Toughest Test: 11/2 @ Westlake
11)
De La Salle Logo
De La Salle (0-0) Concord, CA

Speaking of reloading, De La Salle is another team that one can virtually pencil in to the State Championship game. 3-Year starter Bart Houston is off to Wisconsin to play quarterback, but the Spartans' ground game is in good hands with Pepe Vitale, and the defense shouldn't miss a beat led by Michael Hutchings (USC) at linebacker.

Next: 8/31 @ Judson
Toughest Test: 11/2 @ Westlake
12)
Plant Logo
Plant (0-0) Tampa, FL

Plant surprised everyone except themselves with a State Championship win over Miramar. Plant must replace a quarterback, but that's been the easy part for the Panthers the better part of the last decade. Running back Wesley Bullock rushed for 1300 yards as a junior and will help ease the transition for the new signal caller.

Next: 8/30 @ Jesuit
Toughest Test:
10/26 No. 15 Armwood
13)
Southlake Carroll Logo
Carroll (0-0) Southlake, TX

Carroll is coming off of a 16-0 season including eliminating a tough Skyline team in the Semi-Finals. The Dragons must rebuild after losing virtually their entire 2011 Championship team, but a good starting point is quarterback Kenny Hill (Texas A&M). The young Dragon squad will get thrown right into the fire against a good Allen squad.

Next: 8/31 @ Allen
Toughest Test:
8/31 @ Allen
14)
Archbishop Moeller Logo
Archbishop Moeller (0-0) Cincinnati, OH

Moeller must avoid the late season collapse that saw them go from 7-0 to 7-3 in the teeth of their schedule last year. Northwestern commitment Keith Watkins is back to lead the rushing attack, and Michigan State commitment Shane Jones leads the defense. Moeller has arguably the toughest schedule in the nation with out of state games against Gilman (MD), Indianapolis Cathedral (IN) and No. 1 Louisville Trinity (KY).

Next: 8/26 No. 40 Gilman (Baltimore, MD)
Toughest Test:
10/26 No. 1 Trinity (Louisville, KY)
15)
Armwood Logo
Armwood (0-0) Seffner, FL

There may not have been a better team in the country in 2011 than the Armwood Hawks, but it was all for naught as they were forced to forfeit all 15 wins for using five ineligible players. Having cleaned house, the Hawks are still very talented. Alvin Bailey and Darryl Richardson are both playmakers at quarterback...and receiver. Leon McQuay isn't just an Armwood Hawk, he's a ball hawk at safety.

Next: 8/31 Brandon
Toughest Test:
10/26 @ No. 12 Plant
16)
Byrnes Logo
Byrnes (0-0) Duncan, SC

Byrnes avenged a September loss to Gaffney by beating them in the State Championship. The Rebels lack the star power of recent teams past, but still return a solid core of players led by quarterback Bryan Bailey.

Next: 8/25 @ No. 24 Oscar Smith
Toughest Test:
8/25 @ No. 24 Oscar Smith
17)
Miami Central Logo
Miami Central (0-0) Miami, FL

There's a fine line between scheduling opponents to toughen up a team, and having too tough a schedule to beat up a team. Central is flirting with that line. Before September is half over, the Rockets will have played away games at No. 2 Manatee, at No. 4 Grayson, and at No. 9 Booker T. Washington. If the Rockets get through that schedule undefeated, they'll be No. 1 on September 15th.

Next: 8/31 @ No. 4 Grayson (Loganville, GA)
Toughest Test: 9/14
@ No. 2 Manatee
18)
Vista Murrieta Logo
Vista Murrieta (0-0) Murrieta, CA

The Broncos beat everyone put in front of them last year en route to a CIF Championship. Vista Murrieta returns Su'a Cravens (USC), arguably the nation's top 2-way player as well as Nick Stephens at quarterback who developed from a game manager early in the season to a playmaker late in the year. Relatively speaking, the Broncos face no real threat in the regular season.

Next: 8/31 ThunderRidge (CO)
Toughest Test: 9/14
Redlands East Valley
19)
St. Ignatius Logo
St. Ignatius (0-0) Cleveland, OH

The Wildcats heated up when the weather started cooling off last year, reeling off six straight wins for a Championship. St. Ignatius strength is across the defensive line led by Boston College commitment Kevin Kavalec and David Katusha. The Wildcats face a tough schedule including Cardinal Mooney, Mentor, Glenville, St. Xavier and St. Edward.

Next: 8/25 Cardinal Mooney
Toughest Test:
10/20 @ St. Xavier
20)
Bishop Gorman Logo
Bishop Gorman (0-0) Las Vegas, NV

The Gaels are unchallenged in their home state and Bishop Gorman does a good job of scheduling out of state games and 2012 is no different. The Gaels have dates with Good Counsel (MD), St. Louis (HI), Bergen Catholic (NJ), and Servite (CA).

Next: 8/24 No. 5 Good Counsel 
Toughest Test:
8/24 No. 5 Good Counsel
21)
Euless Trinity Logo
Trinity (0-0) Euless, TX

The Trojans lose a ton of talent from their 12-1 2011 team, but they're huge in the trenches led by ends Gaius Vaenuku (6'4/245), and Sam Tevi. The Trojans may be the best hope for derailing Bellevue (WA), but facing Bellevue's option might be too much to ask of a young Trinity team early in the season.

Next: 8/30 No. 8 Bellevue 
Toughest Test:
8/30 No. 8 Bellevue 
22)
Maine South Logo
Maine South (0-0) Park Ridge, IL

Northwestern commitment Matthew Alviti is a magician running his spread option offense. He led his Hawks to a Championship as a sophomore, fell short as a junior, and is looking to rebound his senior season.

Next: 8/24 Warren
Toughest Test:
8/31 @ Wheaton-Warrenville South 
23)
Katy Logo
Katy (0-0) Katy, TX

Katy ran roughshod over its regular season opponents in 2011 before falling short against La Porte in the third round of the playoffs. Running back Adam Taylor hopes to avoid another relatively early exit by the Tigers and a stiffer regular season should help including a trip to The Woodlands.

Next: 8/31 Klein
Toughest Test:
9/15 @ The Woodlands 
24)
Oscar Smith Logo
Oscar Smith (0-0) Chesapeake, VA

After a game one loss in an out of state match up with Gilman, Oscar Smith ran the table to finish 14-1. The Tigers once again face its toughest opponent of the season in the opener against No. 16 Byrnes. 

Next: 8/25 No. 16 Byrnes (Duncan, SC)
Toughest Test:
8/25 No. 16 Byrnes (Duncan, SC)
25)
John Curtis Christian Logo
John Curtis (0-0) River Ridge, LA

The Patriots return 16 starters from a 14-0 State Championship team including Sherman Badie and Tevin Horton who combined to rush for more than 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns. Linebacker Duke Riley leads the Patriot defense.

Next: 8/31 @ Franklinton
Toughest Test: 9/7 No. 12
Plant (Tampa, FL)
26)
Lincoln Logo
Lincoln (0-0) Tallahassee, FL

The Trojans used to be known as the premier school in the panhandle for producing college prospects, now they're simply the premier school in the panhandle 40 wins in four years including a 2010 State Championship. Linebacker James Hearns (Florida) leads a stingy defense while receivers Taj Williams and Reggie Davis (UGA) will be the main targets on offense.

Next: 8/30 Pensacola
Toughest Test:
11/8 @ Godby
27)
Trotwood-Madison Logo
Trotwood-Madison (0-0) Trotwood, OH

The Rams rode an explosive offense to the State Championship last year as their defense gave up 92 points in its final three games. But a young defense has grown up with nine returning starters including at least three Big 10 commits who could see time on defense DB Cameron Burrows (Ohio State), LB Mike McCray (Michigan), and DL Jarrod Clements (Illinois). 

Next: 8/26 University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Toughest Test:
8/26 University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
28)
DeSoto Logo
DeSoto (0-0) DeSoto, TX

The Eagles must replace eight starters from its 10 win 2011 squad, but the offense should be one of the most explosive in the nation. DeSoto returns eight starters from an offense that averaged better than 46 points a game, including speedy Dontre' Wilson (Oregon).  The young defense will need to grow up fast with early games against Jenks (OK), Trinity and Cedar Hill.

Next: 8/26 University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
Toughest Test:
8/26 University (Ft. Lauderdale, FL)
29)
Valley West Demoines Logo
Valley (0-0) West Demoines, IA

After two uncharacteristic seasons in '09 and '10, Valley was back to its winning ways in '11 winning its fourth State Championship in 10 years. Valley lacks the out of state schedule to test itself regionally and beyond, but the Tigers still have one of the top programs in the Midwest.

Next: 8/24 @ Waukee
Toughest Test:
9/7 @ Southeast Polk
30)
Immokalee Logo
Immokalee (0-0) Immokalee, FL

With the dark days of '08 and '09 behind them, the Indians won six games in '10 and 11 games in '11. Now Immokalee is looking to take the next step and get back to the State Championship last won in '04. With 17 Starters back, including quarterback Tshumbi Johnson (USF), Immokalee should be well on its way.

Next: 8/24 LaBelle
Toughest Test:
9/7 @ Naples 
31)
Central Daupin
Central Dauphin (0-0) Harrisburg, PA

The Rams had a special team in '11 that simply willed its way to several wins. Central Dauphin won its last five games by a combined total of 23 points including three point wins over Cedar Cliff, Wilson, and North Allegheny. The Rams return a solid core of players to aim for the repeat including running back/linebacker Zayd Issah (Penn State).

Next: 8/24 @ Phillipsburg (NJ)
Toughest Test:
9/7 Bishop McDevitt 
32)
Allen Logo
Allen (0-0) Allen

The Eagles are no stranger to rebuilding jobs having lost no more than two games in the last six years, but with only five returning starters, the rebuilding job will be one of Allen's toughest. The Eagles will build around its big offensive line and Northwestern commitment Brad North.

Next: 8/31 No. 13 Carroll
Toughest Test:
8/31 No. 13 Carroll 
33)
Brophy Prep Football
Brophy Prep (0-0) Phoenix, AZ

Brophy Prep's 11-1 2011 campaign was cut short by a three point loss to Basha in the second round of the playoffs. Washington State commitment Tyler Bruggman is back at quarterback and will lead Brophy Prep against a beefed up regular season schedule that includes a visit from No. 6 Santa Margarita (CA).

Next: 8/25 No. 6 Santa Margarita (CA)
Toughest Test:
8/25 No. 6 Santa Margarita (CA)
34)
McGill-Toolen Logo
McGill-Toolen (0-0) Mobile, AL

The Yellow Jackets got a dose of reality in the form of a 40-0 drubbing at the hands of Central Phenix-City in the quarterfinals last year. Jason Smith (Auburn) returns at quarterback and is one of the top athletes in the South.

Next: 8/25 Northridge
Toughest Test:
9/28 @ Daphne
35)
Cass Tech Logo
Cass Tech (0-0) Detroit, MI

The Technicians were 5-3 before coming together to win six straight and a State Championship with a convincing 49-13 victory over Catholic Central. Cass Tech is loaded for the '12 season including four senior offensive linemen who should play at the next level headlined by David Dawson (Michigan).

Next: 8/25 Brother Rice
Toughest Test:
9/21 @ St. Mary Prep
36)
Manvel Logo
Manvel (0-0) Manvel, TX

Manvel fell one game short of winning the State Championship in 2011, quarterback Shane McCarley is back to lead the offense while Texas A&M commitment Tavares Garner locks up one side of the defense from his cornerback spot. 

Next: 8/31 @ Spring
Toughest Test:
11/2 @ Pearland
37)
University School Logo Ft. Lauderdale
University (0-0) Ft. Lauderdale

Never let it be said that University will duck a challenge. After posting back to back one loss seasons, the Suns will take on No. 27 Trotwood Madison (OH) and No. 41 Cocoa in non-league games. With nine starters back on defense including big Maquedius Bain at defensive tackle, University is up for the challenge.

Next: 8/26 @ No. 27 Trotwood-Madison (OH)
Toughest Test:
8/26 @ No. 27 Trotwood-Madison (OH)
38)
Hamilton Logo
Hamilton (0-0) Chandler, AZ

Hamilton saw its chance at three straight championships go down in flames in a rematch loss to Desert Vista in the State Championship. The Huskies return seven starters on offense, but its defensive back / return man Cole Luke who could be the biggest weapon.

Next: 8/24 Mountain Pointe
Toughest Test:
10/5 Desert Vista
39)
Cibolo Steele Football Logo
Steele (0-0) Cibolo, Texas

Steele fell in the State Championship to Dekaney in 2011 and must replace do-everything quarterback Tommy Armstrong (Nebraska), but the cupboard isn't bare in Cibolo as the Knights return pair of the best safeties in the nation in Erik Huhn (Texas) and Jordan Sterns (Oklahoma State).

Next: 8/31 @ Madison
Toughest Test:
8/31 @ Madison
40)
Gilman Logo
Gilman (0-0) Baltimore, MD

If Miami Central has the best out of conference slate of games, Gilman isn't too far behind. The Greyhounds first three games include No. 14 Moeller (OH), No. 5 Good Counsel, and No. 7 Don Bosco Prep (NJ). Should Gilman survive the opening Bermuda triangle, the path through the rest of the season should be much easier.

Next: 8/26 @ No. 14 Archbishop Moeller (OH)
Toughest Test:
8/31 @ No. 5 Good Counsel
41)
Cocoa Logo
Cocoa (0-0) Cocoa, FL

Cocoa is another team with a reputation of playing anyone anywhere, but last year's schedule proved too much for the Tigers with losses to Colerain (OH), Skyline (TX), Miami Central, and West Monroe (LA). The 2012 Tiger team dials it down, but not much with visits to Bergen Catholic (NJ) while hosting No. 37 University.

Next: 8/25 American Heritage
Toughest Test:
9/14 No. 37 University
42)
Butler Bulldogs Logo
Butler (1-0) Matthews, NC

Even by Butler standards, a team that has won two of the last three State Championships, this team is stocked. Riley Ferguson (Tennessee) and Uriah LeMay (UGA) make a lethal pitch and catch combo, while linebacker Peter Kalambayi (Stanford) leads the defense.

Next: 8/25 American Heritage
Toughest Test:
9/14 No. 37 University
43)
Bolingbrook Logo
Bolingbrook (0-0) Bolingbrook, IL

The Raiders fought and clawed their way to a State Championship in 2011 with gutsy wins over Central (Naperville) 22-19 and Loyola 21-17. Quarterback Aaron Bailey (Illinois) is a powerful athlete who runs his option offense to perfection. Unfortunately the Raiders don't step out of state for any sectional games, but there are several good teams on the schedule. Including a trip to Lincoln-Way East who tripped up Bolingbrook in 2011.

Next: 8/24 Plainfield South
Toughest Test:
9/28 @ Lincoln-Way East
44)
Dwyer Logo
Dwyer (0-0) Palm Beach Gardens, FL

Dwyer has been the model of consistency the last decade posting a 61-9 record the last five years with a Championship in 2009. The Panthers will lean heavily early on a defense that returns eight starters including defensive end Malik Brown who is a terror off the edge.

Next: 8/31 Glades Central
Toughest Test:
8/31 Glades Central
45)
Denton Guyer Logo
Guyer (0-0) Denton, TX

Guyer's 2011 8-4 record qualified as a rebuilding year for the Wildcats. Guyer should be potent on offense especially with big 6'4 receiver Ellis Jefferson (Arizona State) returning. Patrick Morris (TCU) is one of the top center prospects in the nation and anchors the Wildcat offensive line.

Next: 8/31 Cedar Hill
Toughest Test:
8/31 Cedar Hill
46)
Union Logo
Union (0-0) Tulsa, OK

Union is still looking for that elusive unbeaten season. Seven of the last eight years the Redskins have finished with one loss, including the 14-1 2011 campaign. Union will lean heavily on defensive end Dalton Rodriguez (Oklahoma) to slow down the opposing teams.

Next: 8/31 Jenks
Toughest Test:
9/8 @ No. 21 Euless Trinity (TX)
47)
Skyline Logo Sammamish
Skyline (0-0) Sammamish, WA

Another team that makes more news when they don't win a State Championship than when they do, Skyline has won four of the last five in Washington. With the nation's No. 1 quarterback prospect, Max Browne (USC), returning, the Spartans are favorites to win it all again in 2012.

Next: 8/31 Bothell
Toughest Test:
9/7 @ Cottonwood (UT)
48)
Valor Christian Logo
Valor Christian (0-0) Arvada, CO

Valor Christian has reeled off three straight State Championships. The 2011 run may have been the Eagles' most impressive winning its four playoff games by a combined score of 218-17. Valor Christian will find the early slate tougher as its first two games come against Mullen out of Denver and Bingham (UT).

Next: 8/24 Mullen
Toughest Test:
9/1 @ Bingham (UT)
49)
North Allegheny Logo
North Allegheny (0-0) Wexford, PA

The Tigers were knocked out of the playoffs in 2011 by Central Dauphin, and North Allegheny could be on a collision course with the No. 31 Rams again. The Tigers will line up early and often behind big Patrick Kugler (Michigan), the nation's No. 1 offensive guard prospect.

Next: 10/5 @ Gateway
Toughest Test:
9/1 @ Bingham (UT)
50)
Ensworth Logo
Ensworth (1-0) Nashville, TN

Ensworth features one of the most dynamic running backs in the nation in Cornelius Elder. Elder ran for over 2,000 yards and averaged nearly 10 yards per carry as a junior.

Next: 8/25 @ Lexington Catholic (KY)
Toughest Test: 10/19 Brentwood Academy


*The FOX Sports Next Recruiting Team including Greg Powers, Greg Biggins, Brandon Huffman, Chad Simmons, and Allen Trieu helped compile the FOX Sports Next Top 50.

Scott began with Scout as the Southeast Regional Manager in 2002. In addition to his recruiting responsibilities, Scott developed and ran the National Scout Combine series from 2005 thru 2008. Scott has been Director of Scouting since 2006 and oversees the Recruiting Rankings for Scout.
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