July 29, 2013

Preseason RivalsHigh 100: Teams 100-96

MORE: Final 2012 RivalsHigh 100

Dallas Jackson is the National Columnist for Rivals.com. Email him your comments or story ideas to DallasJ@Yahoo-Inc.com and follow him on Twitter.

Rivals.com today begins its 2013 countdown, ranking the teams from No. 1 through No. 100.

We are starting at No. 100 and will release two groups of five teams per day. The Top 10 will be announced over two days with the preseason No. 1 being named on August 8.

After that, we will wait until the first week of September for the next rankings, then have them every Monday during the season.

Top 100 countdown
No. 100 Central Catholic, Oregon

Coach: Steve Pyne
Last Season: 9-3, lost in Class 6A quarterfinals.
Key Player: Four-year starting quarterback Aiden Wilder. The dual-threat player has the mindset that this is a boom or bust season for him. He has led his team to two semifinals and one quarterfinal in three years, and this is his last chance to take a state title. The 6-foot, 180-pound prospect could also use this time to convince colleges to pull the trigger on him. Portland State, UC Davis and Weber State are close, but leading a spread attack to a state title could make others interested as well.
The Good: On defense, there are few teams in the region with as much talent as Central Catholic. The team is bringing in a new scheme that will play to its strengths as it moves away from the 3-3-5. Each level of the defense has a player who could play college football. Four-star defensive end Connor Humphreys is a lock, as is linebacker Ryan Nall. If cornerback Aaron Washington can shine this season, he could join the pair.
The Bad: Outside of Wilder, the offense will be inexperienced, having the task of replacing seven starters. The receiving corps will have to step up, and there will be four new players starting on the offensive line. With a difficult start to the season, this side of the ball could be what lets the program down.
The Bottom Line: Central Catholic was a narrowly placed No. 1 team in the state for the preseason, and it will be tested right away. By the end of September, it will be clear which team should have had this spot because Central Catholic will play at Eugene (Ore.) Sheldon and at Portland (Ore.) Jesuit, as well as hosting Lake Oswego (Ore.) High. Those four are usually in the mix for the top spot, and they will be again this season.

Top 100 countdown
No. 99 Godby, Florida

Coach: Ronnie Cottrell
Last Season: 14-1, won Class 5A state title. Ranked No. 75 in RivalsHigh100.
Key Player: Senior quarterback J.T. Bradwell will need to improve from last season. As a junior, Bradwell threw for nearly 2,500 yards and had a 19-8 touchdown-to-interception ratio. Those numbers look great for a high school quarterback until it is noted that he threw for only one touchdown in the playoffs and completed just below 50 percent of his passes in the last five victories of the season.
The Good: If the opposition is looking to land a big play, it is likely not going to happen. The back seven of the defense are all returning seniors, and six of them are committed or hold offers to play major college football. The group is headlined by linebacker and Florida State commit Jacob Pugh, who is joined by three-star linebacker Kris Harris and Corey Pressley. The secondary also has four-star Deion Singleton, Louisville pledge De'Eric Culver, three-star Tony Fields and Charles Gaskin.
The Bad: As much pressure as will be placed on Bradwell and the offense, the load will only get heavier for the passer. Godby lost 1,500-yard rusher Khalid Thomas and returns only one receiver who hauled in double-digit passes (125 of the team's 173 catches were made by players who graduated). Jaylin Howard and Kenny Young will have to be major parts of the offense to lighten the burden.
The Bottom Line: Much like Central Catholic, Godby was a late addition to the list. It battled several other Florida programs for the No. 11 spot from the state. The team will open with a kickoff classic against Tampa (Fla.) Plant and travel to Maryland for a headliner game against Hyattsville (Md.) DeMatha on national television. The program's performance in those games will weigh more than the expected run through the regular season it should make.

Top 100 countdown
No. 98 Har-Ber, Arkansas

Coach: Chris Wood
Last Season: 7-5, lost in second round of Class 7A playoffs.
Key Player: Like the two teams ranked behind Har-Ber, this squad will look to its senior dual-threat quarterback to make the offense go. Kyle Pianalto's junior year was surprisingly strong when considering the team finished 7-5. Pianalto completed nearly 60 percent of his passes while tossing 26 touchdowns and just eight interceptions. He was also second on the team in rushing with 368 yards on 92 carries. He can improve on his ball security because he lost five fumbles, but with usual powers Bentonville (Ark.) High and Fayetteville (Ark.) High appearing to have a down year, it could be on Pianalto to move Har-Ber back to a state title.
The Good: Arkansas football has been improving over the last decade, and much of that has been in the trenches. The program features one of the best defensive tackle prospects in the nation in four-star Josh Frazier. Frazier is 6-foot-3 and 334 pounds, making him nearly impossible to move without a double team. He opens the defense for blitzing and should make two-star defensive end Jake Hall's season a little easier.
The Bad: On offense, the program returns only two running backs who saw game action last year and the pair accounted for just 146 of the team's 2,317 yards on the ground. If a player does not emerge to take the nearly 1,500 yards that Tucker Lee accounted for, it could allow defenses to key on the quarterback and shrink the field.
The Bottom Line: The teams in this group all have the same opportunity, but all possess similar flaws and a difficult early schedule. Before the end of September, Har-Ber will face Webb City (Mo.) High, Columbia (Mo.) Rock Bridge, as well as Fort Smith (Ark.) Southside and Bentonville. All four are inside the top 10 within their states. Har-Ber could move toward the top 50 nationally or end with five losses again.

Top 100 countdown
No. 97 Olive Branch, Mississippi

Coach: Scott Samsel
Last Season: 11-2, lost in second round of Class 6A playoffs.
Key Player: New starting quarterback Ross Trail will have plenty of pressure to perform. Unlike the three previously ranked teams, Trail had little experience on the field for Olive Branch last year and there is no real way to know what to expect. The junior has shined in the offseason during the Rivals Camp Series presented by Under Armour and has added offers from Louisville and Memphis. Last season, the team was paced by athlete Sam Craft, who led the squad in passing and in rushing. Before Craft, it was Todd Mays at the helm. Both were dual-threat players. Trail does not have the legs to extend plays like the others, and the Conquistadors' offense could have a much different look.
The Good: On defense, the program brings back a solid core that will be bolstered by a few young, talented players. Two-star Chris Matthews can be a disruptive player as a tall defensive end. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound end can get upfield, and he can use his long arms to clog passing windows. Class of 2015 linebacker Fred Walls can put pressure on the offense by getting into the backfield, and he has the speed to cover. The highest-ranked player on the team is safety Alfred Dickens who is committed to Ole Miss and shined in the summer with his ball-hawking ability and coverage skills. He locked down four-star tight end DeAndre Goolsby of Derby (Kan.) High at the Southwest Elite 7-on-7.
The Bad: This is not the 2011 Olive Branch squad, so expectations should be tempered. Mays was a natural leader at quarterback who always gave the team a chance, while Cowan could score every time he touched the ball. Neither has a reasonable facsimile on this roster. Olive Branch will have to out-tough some teams because it will not be the high-flying act many have become accustomed to.
The Bottom Line: Olive Branch will be playing for a spot in the rankings early because it will face Longview (Texas) High. Longview has always been consistent and a great measuring stick for opponents inside and outside the Texas borders. If Olive Branch's offensive line -- which features Memphis commit Chase Johnson -- can hold back Longview, it will have a good chance against Batesville (Miss.) South Panola several weeks later.

Top 100 countdown
No. 96 Bergen Catholic, New Jersey

Coach: Nunzio Campanile
Last Season: 8-4, lost in state finals of Non-Public Group IV. Ranked No. 99 in RivalsHigh100.
Key Player: Two-way player Garrett Dickerson is going to have to assert himself as the best player on the field for Bergen Catholic. The four-star athlete is listed at 6-foot-3 and 236 pounds, and he has been solid but inconsistent during his last two years on varsity. He caught 24 passes for 364 yards last year and had 58 tackles and six sacks from his defensive end position. He will have to do more on both sides if the team figures to stay nationally relevant.
The Good: The program is in its fourth year under Campanile, and he has had time to take hold of the reins and produce results. The group is tougher -- mentally and physically -- than it was the five years prior, and that will make this group better. This is a team that doesn't return many players, but the depth has grown and the expectations have not dipped. Maybe the best proof of what is in the fold is new sophomore quarterback Jarrett Guarantano. Guarantano isn't a lock to start and threw only eight passes last season, but the 6-foot-3, 173 pound player has plenty of expectations and a Rutgers offer already on the table.
The Bad: Jon Germano is gone, along with his 3,000 yards passing, 500 yards rushing and 40 combined touchdowns. The team must also replace running back James Dawson and his 1,000 yards rushing, 20 receptions and 15 touchdowns. Add receivers Kyle Quiero, John Tsimis, JJ Kulcsar, John Feaster and their combined 125 receptions to that list as well. The offense could be a major question mark because only Dickerson returns with double-digit receptions.
The Bottom Line: This may be a respect placement because there are a lot of questions about this roster. However, Bergen Catholic -- and the private programs in North New Jersey -- has earned the benefit of the doubt. Bergen opens with defending national champion River Ridge (La.) John Curtis, defending Utah state champion Sandy (Utah) Jordan and nationally ranked Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman and Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph's. With a schedule that includes Ramsey (N.J.) Don Bosco, Paramus (N.J.) Catholic, Washington (D.C.) Friendship Collegiate and Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep, a losing record may be inevitable and a winning record would be remarkable.



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