The Nation’s Top Unit Series

Nation’s Top Units Series ’16…Offensive Backfields

Scary is the term often used by defensive coordinators when they face offenses that are deemed unstoppable.  “Look upon with caution” is a new phrase that defensive players should hold to when playing some of the best backfields in high school during the 2016 season.  Quarterbacks with cannon-fire arms and thoroughbred style backs make up the following top backfields that clearly rank the best for this year’s high school football season.

5) Cedar Hill Longhorns (Cedar Hill, TX)

cedar hillThe schedule is not easy for Cedar Hill but then again neither is the planning of a defensive strategy for their high powered offense.  Stopping Kaegun Williams and Avery Davis is more of a notion than an actual deed.  Slowing them down is more realistic and such is the case with the Cedar Hill entire offense.  The Longhorns are anything but shy or timid when it comes to lighting up the stat sheets.  It would be outright rude for any high school fan or media source to leave the elephant sitting in the room which is the matchup between Cedar Hill and Bishop Gorman in week one.  This could easily be a national championship caliber game but as for now it will be a hard example of what happens when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force.  While the Joker may have said this line a little better, it is a fact that there won’t be too many laughs when the Longhorns’ backfield starts familiarizing themselves with opponents’ endzones this fall.

4) St. Louis High Crusaders (Honolulu, HI)

stLouisHA.pngThe saying that great players make the guys around them better is a perfect fit for the St. Louis high backfield.  Not only is Tua Tagovailoa one  of the top duel threat quarterbacks to come out of high school football, he is also “highly unaverage” in his leadership abilities.  Those fellow backfield teammates that he leads are more system players than anything and will combine with Tua to devastate opponents. Jahred Silofau blazed back from injury and will share the back duties with Dylan-J Silva.  Both backs are keys to the Crusader’s midrange spread offense.  While most high school football fans think that 90% of St. Louis High’s offense will come from the arm and legs of Tagovailoa, they will not be so shell shocked when the entire backfield is to credit for the team’s offensive success.

3) IMG Academy Ascenders (Bradenton, FL)

imgLogoFullReminders of a single loss from the 2015 season is more devastating to the IMG team since that single loss kept them from a state title.  Saying that the offensive players will be playing with a chip on their shoulder would be putting it lightly.  With Kellen Mond at quarterback and Jordan Anthony handling the majority of running back duties, the IMG backfield will light up scoreboards during its coast to coast travels.  With so much talent at other areas of the team, the Ascenders offensive juggernaut may have an off the radar presentation but this will soon turn into a  “bullhorn” style announcement of respect.  Respect that will of course be given to this multi-talented bunch by the opponents they will soon face.

2) Bishop Gorman Gaels (Las Vegas, NV)

bishopGornman_logoThe universal thought amongst opposing defenses and defensive coordinators that face Bishop Gorman is that lack of offseason preparation sums up to insanity.  Why insanity?  Because the Gaels are known for throwing the kitchen sink at their opponents from the first snap.  With Tate Martel running and passing his way to offensive national player of the year, it’s hard to think that this talented squad will average under 21 points per game.  And Biaggio Walsh carrying the responsibilities  at running back heightens the burden on their opponents.  Bishop Gorman will stay aggressive by setting up the run with their quick strike pass attack. And their use of misdirection is coveted by at least half of the west coast.  Plenty of shoulder shrugs will be handed out between defensive coordinators that would otherwise try to figure out a way to stop the explosive offense that has spent a decade in the top 20 national rankings.

1) Archbishop Hoban Knights (Akron, OH)

hobanAnd now comes an offensive backfield that at best is frighteningly impressive and at worst regularly intimidating.  At quarterback Danny Clark is a heard man with imposing size.  Accuracy is what his craft is built on and Clark is arguably the best passer in his class with the ability to spread the ball around.  If Danny Clark is the composer of a finely orchestrated offense, Todd Sibley would hold first chair and hold the responsibility of carrying the ball.  A balanced attack is what opponents of the Knights can adjust to. What these same opponents will have a hard time with is the fact that once Clark and Sibley get hot defensive coordinators will be forced to pick their poison of stopping the run or pass.  Asking a defense to stop both would be a challenge that teams on Archbishop’s schedule are hesitant to accept.

Nation’s Top Units Series ’16…Defensive Secondary

The defensive backfield is considered the last line of defense.  A great secondary is built around speed, coverage skill, and sure tackling.  Some of the best high school secondaries in the past have had the perfect mix of all of these components and this year’s group did not fall short in any of these categories. The following teams clearly have some of the best units in high school football for the 2016 season.

5) IMG Academy Ascenders (Bradenton, FL)

imgLogoFullThe talent pool continues at IMG Academy with a defensive backfield that features two all state picks and one pre-season All-American.  Isaiah Pryor is a stud and gets coverage help from Marcus Williamson.  And recently Houston Griffith, who is one of the best cover guys in the class of 2018, transferred in from Chicago’s Mt. Caramel.  Griffith has been slated the most versatile player in his class.  This leads to the exact reason for IMG’s dominance which stands on the fact that each member of its secondary can play both corner and safety at an all-star level.  Hard to imagine IMG’s pass defense not ranking in the top five nationally at season’s end. After meshing their skill sets, the Ascenders’ secondary will have a unit of the most advanced skilled ball hawks in the country.



4) American Heritage Patriots (Plantation, FL)

americanHeritage_LogoCovering top ranked receivers is nothing new to American Heritage’s secondary.  In the past five years they have faced a total of 18 receivers who went on to play division one college football.  Little will change in 2016 in terms of schedule difficulty nor will American Heritage’s secondary dominance decline.  Add the fact that you have NFL All-Pro Patrick Surtain leading the mighty Patriots, and you have a crew of defenders with pro-style discipline and budding knowledge.  The players.  Will Allen III, Patrick Surtain Jr., and Marco Wilson lead the group.  When these players walk onto the field this fall it will be to the dismay of opposing offensive coordinators.

3) Bishop Gorman Gaels (Las Vegas, NV)

bishopGornman_logoExpectations for the Bishop Gorman Gaels’ defense are always high.  Their defensive backs have had the luxury of facing one of the nation’s top quarterbacks in practice.  This has been to the advantage of the secondary for the past two years.  Alex Perry has some of the best cover skills in high school football and is one of several defensive backs in his class who is already considered college game day ready.  The reality of the Gaels’ national schedule can’t be ignored.  It would be extremely difficult to end the season as the number one team in the country.  But if they are able to get through the first four games unscathed you can credit a lot of it to awesome secondary play.

2) Cass Tech Technicians (Detroit, MI)

cassTech_logoCass Tech has been consistently competitive on defense for the past decade.  For two years the Technicians have had dominance up front but this year their secondary will receive the respect that it has earned.  It features two All-American types in Jaylen Kelly-Powell and Donovan Johnson.  They both have the skill level to shut down the fastest of aerial attacks.  Very physical and aggressive in press coverage, Cass Tech won’t have problems pushing opposing receivers around.  By year end it won’t be a surprise to see this crew of talented defensive backs with the number one pass defense in high school football.

1) Rancho Cucamonga Cougars (Rancho Cucamonga, CA)

rancho_logoThe top cornerback tandem comes out of Rancho Cucamonga with Jaylen Redd and Thomas Graham.  It’s never a bad thing to have shut down corners that are both sub 4.5 40 yard guys.  And with the come-uppance of Darren Hall you have arguably the best secondary in the nation.  Hall works as a sort of big brother to the shadow-like corners and as a unit they have zero tolerance for the deep ball.  Reliance on speed is not necessarily a bad thing but is indeed a necessity when it comes to Rancho Cucamonga’s overall pass defense.  It’s neither careful nor courteous to claim that the Cougars secondary can shutdown any receiving corps in the nation.

Next Up…Offensive Backfields.  Stay tuned.

The Nation’s Top Units Series ’15…Backfields

Edge of the seat entertainment, and the reason why fans surround the game of football is the offensive backfield. What makes a good backfield is a quality passer and a speedy running back.  What makes a great backfield is a quarterback and running back who elevate their team to constant victory regardless of conditions or location.   Most high school backfields might have one or the other and coaches have come to the realization that possessing a stud at qb and a thoroughbred at running back is more a myth than a reality. The next five schools live the myth and have what coaches dream about possessing. Take a look…

5)  Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas, NV)

The Gaels of Bishop Gorman head into the fall still hopped up off the success of last year’s undefeated season.  Some guys are just great football players and the backfield of Bishop Gorman is an example of this.  Tate Martel is an all everything athlete who will use his three headed monster at running back to make a run at another national title.   Biaggio Walsh, Jonathan Shumaker, and Troy Wilewski will take up the rushing duties while Martel again picks apart zones and man to man defenses.  A stat heavy backfield with over 5,000 total yards returning, Bishop Gorman expects to catch defenses off guard in two main ways. With Martel’s ability to scramble and throw off the run, and reloading the backfield with a fresh back from their host of talented runners.  Do not be surprised if this team is able to have a repeat success story and have a place in the history books of high school football’s greatest runs.

bishop gorman logo

4)  DeSoto (DeSoto, TX)

It takes a bit of a throwback mentality to appreciate the excitement that DeSoto’s backfield brings to the game.  Starting with LaDarren Brown, he is one of the top all-purpose backs in high school football.  A mainstream look at the game says one player should never be able to cripple an opposing team, but Brown has a skill set that is quite “out of the box.”  Generation X’ers would compare Brown to Dave Meggett or Eric Metcalf while the younger groups would see him in the mold of Arian Foster or Lesean Mccoy.  Regardless of what cape he wears on game day, Brown must have a dedicated double team and defensive strategy that is specific to containing him.  At quarterback Tristen Wallace adds his dual threat capabilities to an already highly explosive deal. One thing is guaranteed and that is this backfield will find its way to the end zone on its opponents.


3)  Wayne (Huber Heights, OH)

The Wayne Warriors will have tough and rugged players in their backfield going into this fall football season.  Messiah DeWeaver is a highlighted name in the high school football world, but what completes the Warrior’s backfield making it so dangerous is the subtle stardom of Josh Foster.  Foster has the obvious tools for a top tier running back.  These skills include speed, great size, and shiftiness.  He runs with great vision and a low center of gravity.  Frederick Pitts V will add some additional speed to the backfield and pop an occasional long run.   Foster and Pitts being off the radar may be a blessing in disguise for Wayne’s star quarterback, as it will balance offensive production and keep DeWeaver relaxed in his play.  A classic combination of a quick strike quarterback, work load carrying running backs, and a deep run into the playoffs will keep fans excited about this upcoming season for Wayne High.

wayne logo

2) Brownsburg (Brownsburg, IN)

A true slasher at running back, Toks Akinribade, teams up with the number one quarterback in the class of 2017, Hunter Johnson, to form a pro-style attack from the backfield. While many high school offenses have become  new-age with multiple formations, the Bulldogs backfield hits defenses with a more pro-style approach only using creative looks when necessary.  This simply tells the tale of how good the Brownsburg backfield really is. Other teams defenses would rather prepare for wrinkles and odd formations than a straight to the point offense.  An offense like Brownburg’s in this case has the elite backfield to score from anywhere on the field during any point of the game.  My bet is that the Bulldog’s backfield will keep the game plan at a simple checkers pace, even though defenses will expect a chess match.


1)  IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)

Although IMG will not have the arm of Malik Henry this fall, another high grade qb will be heading the Ascender’s backfield.  Shea Patterson, who transferred in from Louisiana’s Calvary Baptist will seek the help of Tony Jones Jr. in validating IMG as the number one backfield in high school football.  The deadly accuracy of Patterson helped him attain the top of the charts in qb rankings for the class of 2016.  He is the true meaning of a blue chip quarterback, combining the tools of arm strength, touch, and accuracy to actualize wins for any team he plays for.  Patterson knows how to use each type of pass: long, medium, and short range to make the offense work.  This year he will have the opportunity to combine his skills with those of Jones who is in that elite rusher class.  Jones skills are simple in nature but produce other-worldly results.  The wrinkle that IMG will have in the offensive playbook is the option to move Jones from the backfield to slot and other receiver positions.  This will definitely create mismatches between Jones and slower linebackers and less athletic safeties.   If high school fans like to judge a talent book by its cover then IMG makes for an instant classic.


The Nation’s Top Units Series…Defensive Line

In the past decade there have been more defensive lineman drafted in the NFL than any other position. So how important is a good defensive line in football?  In pro football the defensive lineman are expected to bring the offense to a grinding halt. In college football defensive linemen are considered the cornerstone of any dominating defense. In high school football defensive linemen need to be a complete hindrance to any offensive progress.  One great defensive lineman is just not enough. Coaches consider it a rare gift to have dominating defensive fronts.  After all, it is difficult to find a combination of size and strength in an athlete, and then expect that same player to have the speed, the athleticism, and the endurance to play four quarters of football at a high level. Consider the following five schools as having the most commanding defensive fronts in high school football.

5)  St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Get familiar with the name Nick Bosa.  Not only is he the number one defensive lineman in the nation, but he also has teamed up with several top end athletes including Kedonis Haslem to form one of high school’s best defensive fronts.  Most offenses that play St. Thomas Aquinas get used to moving backwards.  On a successful offensive day going against this unit a team might gain crumb-like yardage.  Bosa and Haslem are both very old school with their techniques and would rather win battles with brute strength.  While they are rarely contained, when they do slow down there is enough talent with Colin Nace and Kivon Bennett to clean up any leftover offensive hope.  This crew is solid from end to end and has a plan to wreck havoc when the fall football season comes.

st thomas aquinas

4)  St. Paul’s Episcopal (Mobile, AL)

The most frightening part about St. Paul Episcopal’s front four is the fact that their high profile players are interchangeable.  Both Darius Whitfield and Ryan Johnson can both be moved to each line position, whether it is defensive tackle or either end spot.  Why is this important?  The offensive blocking scheme can’t adjust at the same pace that Whitfield and Johnson can be moved around. This movement also creates confusion in the backfield by constantly throwing off play timing as well as keeping the offense from gaining any type of rhythm.  Because St. Episcopal is able to eliminate 70 percent of the offenses’s run game with just its front four, this puts a lot of strain on the opponents’ passing game helping to set up the ultimate advantage of the Saints’ lethal pass rush.  We can expect a lot of questionable looks between the opposing teams’ quarterbacks, running backs, and offensive coordinators when the front four from this unit put on their gear for the fall football season.

St. Pauls

3)  IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)

There are rumors in the high school football world that an opposing quarterback once went to his coach during the middle of a contest with IMG Academy and had the following short discussion.

Coach to qb…”What’s the problem out there, we’re getting slaughtered!”

QB to coach…”I’m sorry coach but every time I get the ball it feels like the walls are closing in!”

An ominous look, but all the more accurate example of what quarterbacks go through when facing the front four of IMG Academy.  The opposing team’s game plan may be straight forward, double team IMG’s All-American defensive end while locking out their all-everything defensive tackles.  What’s not so easy is going out there and executing the plan once the front four of IMG decide to play knock-around guys with the opposing offensive line.  Stopping Malik Barrow, Cam Spence, and Shavar Manuel will be quite a job this fall.  A bulldozer and two high speed tanks are what their opponents see when lining up in their stances.  An average bench of 300 pounds and all three guys with sub 5.0 40 yard dash times would make any opponent’s stomach queazy.  One of life’s great paradoxes would be to wish those who face the Ascenders good luck, but it would be even crueler not to.  The fall football season approaches and so does the intense pressure that the front four of IMG bring to the game.


2)  East English Village Prep (Detroit, MI)

Double vision:
| noun noun | dou * dou * ble * ble _ vi * vi * sion * sion |
def. the vision left to ball carriers who try to run through the “Ville’s” defensive line.

Double vision is created by Chauncey Golston and Cedrick Lattimore.  Two super athletes, as scouts are describing them, both Golston and Lattimore are Iowa Hawkeye commits. They both have a similar athletic posture and an exact plan for the offense.  That plan is to disrupt by sacks and tackles for losses. Some may be skeptical of this broad approach, but after watching both individuals perform it turns out to be a formidable thing to do.  Offenses do their best to use one blocker on Golston and Lattimore but with no avail.  When the double teams begin, the “Ville” defense then begins to show its full strength as turnovers soon follow.  East Village Prep plans on being top in its conference in sacks and turnovers.  Can they make a run at the state title? Only time will tell but in the meanwhile fans will enjoy watching their front four stymie the opposition.

east english village

1)  Lake Forest Academy (Lake Forest, IL)

The coolest nickname in high school football has been secured by the defensive line of Lake Forest Academy.  “The P.O. Box Boys” are led out to battle by Thomas Schaffer and Daniel Joseph.  Why such an odd nickname?  This front line is known to take entire offensive gameplans and return them ineffective to the original sender, i.e. offensive coordinator.   This set of all star book ends are almost impossible to stop.  Schaffer at 6’6 and Joseph at 6’4 are not only able to bring would be blockers to a halt, but they are also able to deflect passes by clogging up passing lanes.  Coach Bowkett keeps his team motives and game plans off the radar as good as any coach in the country, but it is hard to hide the reputation of a defensive front this menacing.  If they are able to keep their competition at a standstill, the school colors of orange and black may become all too familiar during playoff time.

Up next in the Nation’s Top Unit Series … Backfields. Stay Tuned

lake forest academy


As we continue to pinpoint the top units in football for this fall, let’s take a look at the top receivers. Receiver combinations are unique to look at because offenses have become very complex and different formations can present different predicaments for the opponent.  For example two talented receivers with a pass-catching tight end may be just as deadly as four speedy, zone busting receivers.  It is absolutely amazing though how talented the pool of receivers has become magnifying the point on how important it is to have a multi-talented group with division one potential.

5)  North Gwinnett High (Suwanee, GA)

The mighty Bulldogs of North Gwinnett will have much bark and bite this coming fall with their powerful offense.  The Bulldogs use their nickel and dime attack to set up the home run which opponents constantly fall victim to.  Josh Imatorbhebhe is the big dog on the porch and makes sure his fellow receivers are up to the task of carrying the offense and team to victory.  This year Jae Sulton and Brennan Small will bring their grippy hands to the Friday night lights and will help give North Gwinnett a chance at conference and state titles.  This is definitely one of the more entertaining units to watch because they chip at defenses and show what a good short and medium passing game can do to even the fiercest of defenses.

north gwinnett

Josh Imatprbhebhe North Gwinnett High Varsity Football / Suwanee GA

Josh Imatorbhebhe
North Gwinnett High Varsity Football / Suwanee GA – Hudl

Jae Sulton

Jae Sulton / North Gwinnett High Varsity Football / Suwanee GA – Hudl

Brennan Small

Brennan Small / North Gwinnett High Varsity Football / Suwanee, GA – Hudl

4)  DeSoto High School (Desoto, TX)

Trying to cover the receivers from DeSoto is best described as trying to ride a bike with no pedals.  It may not seem tough at first but after a few minutes you are not really getting anywhere.   The cornerbacks and safeties who have to face K.D. Nixon and his squad of receivers will be tired out.  With the incoming Dee Anderson, a transfer from West Mesquite high who has committed to LSU,  the eagles plan on ruling the airways.  Defenses will attempt to box Nixon in but will have to come up with a much more detailed plan to stop the speed and athleticism of Anderson who is not only a bonafide blue chipper, but also is a rangy receiver with a 37 plus inch vertical.  And, when the defense finally thinks they have this offense figured out, Brendon Rushing nods his head and dares defensive coordinators to put a single defender on him.  His theory is to let those who would otherwise take him lightly, know that he stands with the four and five star talent just as well.  A great combination of relentless deep patterns, shiftiness, and ball skills awaits the opponents of the DeSoto Eagles.



K.D. Nixon / DeSoto High School Varsity Football/ DeSoto TX – Hudl


Darrius Anderson – Hudl


Brendon Rushing / DeSoto High School Varsity Football / DeSoto TX – Hudl

3)  Cedar Creek High School (Cedar Creek, NJ)

Ahmir Mitchell and Bo Melton create the most dangerous receiver tandem in the nation.  While Mitchell is a more methodical route runner, the younger Melton is more of a loose cannon and gives defensive backs nightmares with his elusiveness.   What’s even more amazing is that these two talented individuals turn around and play defense as possibly the best tandem of cover corners in the nation.  The Pirates of Cedar Creek stress the importance of team contribution.  In other words their winning season will be the result of more than just two players but these two special receivers will definitely lead the team into battle.  Expect Mitchell and Melton to provide a little extra as they bring their campaign to a national audience this coming fall.


Ahmir Mitchell co '16 (left) and Bo Melton co' 17 (right)

Ahmir Mitchell co ’16 (left) and Bo Melton co’ 17 (right)

Ahmir Mitchell/Cedar Creek

Ahmir Mitchell/Cedar Creek

2)  IMG Academy (Bradenton, FL)

IMG academy has become an assembly line for division one talent.  Precision and fundamentals are what they pride themselves on. The Ascenders boast an offense with several all-state and all-American talent, and this fall will prove to be another great year for fans of explosive offenses.  The IMG receiving corp can be described in one word: lethal.  Competition has already been dealt a bad hand when facing this quad set of receivers.  Opposing secondaries who compete against the IMG receivers will be forced to double cover at least two of them.  This will leave the other two in single coverage and expect this match-up to go in favor of the talented athletes from Bradenton.  Tavares Chase and Saivion Smith are the two Ascenders that demand double coverage.  This will leave Pete Savrides and Spencer Perry to have their way with opposing secondaries.  Add in tight end Isaac Nauta and you have an offensive team most defensive coordinators would wish to avoid.  Nauta is just as effective catching the ball as he is run blocking.  Woe to the linebacker that has to face him for more than two quarters of football, as he gets stronger and stronger as the game goes on.  The group of receivers create a four horsemen like offense that only a few defenses around the country can challenge.  An early match up against American Heritage will be a good early test as Chase and the rest of his crew look to negate any doubts that they are indeed one of the more explosive receiving units in high school football.


1)  St. Thomas Aquinas  (Fort Lauderdale, FL)

Fans down in Florida have flashbacks of the explosive offenses of the late 80’s Miami Hurricanes and early 90’s Florida State Seminoles when watching the receivers of St. Thomas Aquinas High School.  The Raiders receiving corp come complete with possession receivers, deep threats, and guys who can set tremendous run blocks out on the perimeter.  Sam Bruce sets the example for this All-American group.  Bruce shreds zones and is equally dangerous in the return game.  Michael Irvin Jr. brings his hall of fame genes to Fort Lauderdale to take care of the tight end responsibilities.  Dominic Thieman and Trevon Grimes are the additional all star pieces of a trio of receivers that will have the potential to shatter high school receiving records this coming fall.  Coach Harriott knows that he has the most explosive group of receivers in high school this year and plans on lighting up the skies reminiscent to the St. Louis Rams 1999-2001 greatest show on turf.  He also knows that this powerful passing game will open up the run game and the Raiders’ running backs are eager to run towards thousand yard seasons.  Electric, exciting, and eager to perform…three ways to describe the receivers of St. Thomas Aquinas High School.

Up next in the Nation’s Top Unit Series … Top Defensive Lines. Stay Tuned

st thomas aquinas

The Nation’s Top Units Series…Linebackers

As the fall 2015 football season approaches, it is time to start our breakdown of the top units in high school football.  The primary factors that make a unit work, know your teammates skills and perform one’s responsibility with fearless relentlessness and cunning.  And as the saying goes, a unit is only as strong as its weakest link.  These next five linebacking units can be considered to have the biggest on field impact in high school football.

St. Sebastian High School (Needham, MA)

The blue collar hitters of St. Sebastian will come out of the tunnel this fall led by Blake Gallagher.  What sets their unit apart from others is their constant pursuit. The entire linebacking crew will bear down on the ball carrier.  Seeing black and red after playing the Arrows is not just contributed to their uniform color, but it’s also because being corralled by an entire group of backers can be quite painful.  Gallagher, who has been coined as playing with an extra dose of “get there” will be the tip of the spear as he leads his core up against opponents in the run first, pass second Independent School League Conference.

st sebastian


Blake Gallagher / St. Sebastian’s Varsity Football / Needham MA – Hudl

4)  Mater Dei High School (Santa Ana, CA)

When playing against Mater Dei’s defense, the conversations of rival backfields are brief.  Quarterback to his running back…”Those linebackers don’t look so tough, I think we can take ’em.”  Running back to his quarterback…”Know this, they comin’.”  A playful but understandable dialogue that epitomizes the group of linebackers from Mater Dei High School.  The Monarchs defense uses a five and six man pressure that looks more like an oncoming stampede than organized football play. The leader of the pack, Curtis Robinson, makes sure his group is all business on game day.  Expect Mater Dei to finish in the top 20 nationally in total team defense and also have several players, including Robinson garner all conference and all state honors.



Curtis Robinson / Mater Dei High Varsity Football / Santa Ana CA – Hudl

3) Bolingbrook High School  (Bolingbrook,IL)

Anyone who watches MMA knows that once a fighter steps inside the octagon, win or lose he will suffer physical pain.  The same can be said about opponents of the Bolingbrook Raider defense.  A “tough as nails” linebacker, Tuf Borland leads a unit that is fancied around delivering maximum punishment to its opponents.  These Raider linebackers don’t just hit, they pummel.  The devastation that is left on the field after a match up with the black and red can sometimes leave opposing coaches shaking their heads wondering why they exposed their offense to such football carnage.  Opposing players are simply thankful that they only have to face these linebackers once during the fall.

bolingbrook high logo


Tuf Borland / Bolingbrook Varsity Football / Bolingbrook IL – Hudl

2)  Katy High School (Katy, TX)

Those boys from Katy show opposing running backs what a walk through the “Hit Pit” feels like.  Bigger hits, bigger linebackers, and bigger pains are suffered by opponents.  Paddy FisherBreydon Boyd, and Hunter Stinson help fans learn why they say everything is bigger in Texas.  What this unit brings to the table sums up what a complete and dominant group should have which is speed, aggressiveness, and the ability to eliminate an opponent’s run game.  It’s no secret in Texas that during week 4 the Katy versus Woodlands game is one of the more highly anticipated match ups of the season.  It is a welcomed challenge for these backers and a chance to avenge the 2014 loss to the Highlanders.  It would be highly suggested that the opponents of Katy brace themselves for a journey through the “Hit Pit, ” because Fisher, Boyd, and Stinson have their targets set on opposing backs.



Paddy Fisher / Katy High School Varsity Football / Katy TX – Hudl


Breydon Boyd / Katy High School Varsity Football / Katy TX – Hudl


Hunter Stinson / Katy High School Varsity Football / Katy TX – Hudl

1)  Manor High (Manor,TX)

The storm that rises in Manor Texas has a lot to do with the linebackers.  Brought on by Erick Fowler and his fellow mustangs, they gather their defensive storm in a relentless combination of defensive pursuit and strategic offensive disruption. They strike opponents fiercely and Mustang fans are left ablaze wanting more.  The Manor defense looks to disrupt offenses with their delayed blitz.  A very effective measure in combination with the athleticism the group has had over the past decade.  Xavier Zamora and Adrian Hunter will join in completing a group that is as intimidating as it is athletic.  Daring to take the field against the Manor defense is at one’s own risk.  Expecting to put up big offensive stats against these Mustangs is even more futile.



Erick Fowler / Manor High School Varsity Football / Manor TX – Hudl

Adrian Hunter

Adrian Hunter / Manor High School Varsity Football / Manor TX – Hudl

Xavier Zamora

Xavier Zamora / Manor High School Varsity Football / Manor TX – Hudl

Next up will be Nation’s Top Units Series…Receivers. Stay tuned