FOX Sports NEXT: Games of the Week
Robert Nkemdiche
Robert Nkemdiche
National Recruiting Analyst
Posted Aug 29, 2012


The top five games across the country this week will feature a slew of Scout 300 prospects, including the nation's top prospect against one of the premier teams in Florida...

Some key interstate matchups are on the docket this weekend, the first full weekend across the country for the prep football season.

Two games feature teams that are all ranked in the top 25 of this weeks FOX Sports NEXT Top 50 and there are four matchups involving two ranked teams.

Here is a look at the top five games of the week, with their FOX Sports NEXT Top 50 ranking, as well as their top prospects to watch.

GAMES OF THE WEEK (8/30-9/1)


Thursday - August 30: #21 Euless (Texas) Trinity at #7 Bellevue (Wash.) at Seattle Memorial Stadium (6 p.m. PT)
The Friday Night Lights will be replaced by the shadows of the Space Needle on a Thursday evening in this monster interstate matchup between the premier program in Washington and one of the top programs in Texas.  Texas teams don't typically go on the road to play out of state games- most out-of-state programs want the experience of playing in the Lone Star State.  But Bellevue isn't a typical program, and the Wolverines have already been down to Texas, playing Katy in 2009.  Their reputation (four straight Washington 3A state titles and nine of the last 11) were enough to prompt Euless Trinity to open their season on the road.  The Trojans won 5A state titles in 2005, 2007 and 2009, the most high profile team to come to the Northwest since Long Beach Poly came in 2005 and Concord De La Salle came in 2004, both teams losing to Bellevue in Seattle.

Trinity is known for their great defensive line play and they're once again loaded in the trenches. Massive defensive end Sam Tevi, (6-5, 270 pounds, has committed to Utah. On the other side of the line, 6-5, 245 pound Gaius Vaenuku has scholarship offers from Arizona State, Missouri, TCU and Utah among others. Junior defensive tackle Hafoka Olie is an absolute load in the middle and is expected to be one of the top underclassmen in the region. On the offensive side of the ball, tight end Jason Reese is an Arizona State commit, the fourth player from Trinity in the last six years to announce for the Sun Devils.

Bellevue has one of the region's top two-way players in UCLA commit Myles Jack, who stars at linebacker but is a significant contributor on offense.  Fellow linebacker Sean Constantine is a Washington commit and earned all-state honors as a junior. He'll also play tight end in the Wolverines Wing-T offense. Budda Baker is one the top juniors in the region and is already a national recruit with double digit scholarship offers. He's an explosive running back and will also play all over the secondary. Wide receiver Rueben Mwehla has committed to Idaho and is one of the fastest players in the program. Safety/outside linebacker Michael Carlson has a pair of early offers on the table and could see his recruitment expand with a big senior year.  Ari Morales is also a feature back for the Wolverines' vaunted ground game


Friday - August 31: #49 Baltimore (Md.) Gilman at #20 Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel Central at 7:00 p.m. ET
Some of the luster was taken off this game when both suffered road losses in their openers, albeit to top 15 teams nationally.  Gilman fell to Archbishop Moeller (Ohio), 35-14, while Good Counsel lost 27-22 at Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman.

Gilman’s offense is led by Maryland quarterback pledge Shane Cockerille, who will look for a couple of 2014 prospects to protect him in offensive linemen Chibuzo Ukandu and Sheldon Johnson. One of his main targets could be 2015 wide receiver prospect Robert Branch. While the Greyhounds offense should be strong, it’s their defense that has them so highly regarded going into the season, and for good reason. Led by FOXSportsNext.com four-star defensive tackle and Michigan pledge Henry Poggi and three-star linebacker and Virginia pledge Micah Kiser, Gilman is not short on talent. Joining the two pledges are safety Wyatt Dickerson who holds offers from Syracuse and Navy as well as 2014 linebacker Melvin Keihn, who has already picked up offers from Boston College, Maryland, Rutgers, Virginia, Virginia Tech and West Virginia.

Good Counsel is led by elite five-star cornerback Kendall Fuller and four-star linebacker Dorian O'Daniel, giving Good Counsel a leg up defensively, joined by Reggie McGee andMarcel Ngachie at linebacker and Kirk Garner at cornerback.


Friday - August 31: #17 Miami (Fla.) Central at #3 Grayson (Ga.) at 7:30 p.m. ET
This game features the top team in Georgia in Grayson, and one of six Florida schools ranked in the top 20 nationally in Miami Central.

Grayson is loaded and is home to the nation's premier prospect, defensive end Robert Nkemdiche. The five-star Nkemdiche is the number one prospect in the country who is committed to Clemson leads the way, but they also have running back Wayne Gallman (Clemson commit), cornerback David Kamara (Clemson commit), defensive end Zach Barnes (Tennessee commit) and Jack Banda (Arizona State commit). All are 2013 prospects.

Central has two of the top 2014 running backs in the country in Joseph Yearby and Dalvin Cook. Both have numerous big-time offers, but both are committed – Yearby to Florida State and Cook to Clemson. Other 2014 prospects to watch are offensive tackle Trevor Darling (Miami commit) and cornerback Deatrick Nichols. Leading the way in 2013 are safety Ahmad Thomas (Oklahoma commit), linebacker Marquez Hodges (Syracuse commit), cornerback Da’Wan Hunte (North Carolina State commit), and defensive end Chris Herise.


Friday - August 31: #15 Southlake (Texas) Carroll at #30 Allen (Texas) at 7:30 p.m. CT
Much has been made about Allen's $60-million dollar state-of-the-art stadium that will have its inaugural season this year.  Now they get a chance to show it off in this monster clash against Southlake Carroll.  And if fans can peel themselves away from all the bells and whistles of the new digs, they'll see a game featuring a slew of talent.

Headlining Southlake Carroll is four-star quarterback Kenny Hill.  The four-star, who's headed to Texas A&M, led the Dragons to the 5A state title in 2011 and looks to make it a repeat in his senior year.  Southlake Carroll also boasts defensive back Ray Crockett, the son of the former NFL defensive back, and the nation's top kicker, Ty Cummings, who's committed to Houston.

Allen has a pair of verbals leading the way for them, Northwestern commit Brad North at offensive guard and Baylor commit Byron Bonds at defensive tackle.


Saturday - September 1: #9 Las Vegas (Nev.) Bishop Gorman vs. Honolulu (Hawaii) St. Louis at Aloha Stadium (7:00 p.m. Hawaii time) on FOX Sports Net (check local listings)
After an impressive opening win over Olney (Md.) Our Lady of Good Counsel, Bishop Gorman jumped from #20 in last week's rankings to #9 this week, becoming the third West Coast team to make the top 10.  They'll follow up their win by taking a visit to the Islands and facing St. Louis of Honolulu. 

Arizona commit Anu Solomon was outstanding in the win over Good Counsel, beating them with his arm and his legs.  2014 star Nathan Starks will lead the Gaels defensively against a stout St. Louis squad.  Lorenzo Fertitta, who's committed to Villanova, had an excellent game in the opener as well, and Ryan Smith also made some bigtime plays for the Gaels offensively.  Justin Sweet provided a huge boost for the Gaels defensively as well. 

St. Louis features a pair of SEC commits in receiver Jeremy Tabuyo (Texas A&M) and linebacker Colton Goeas (Tennessee) as well as two more West 150 prospects in offensive guard Reeve Koehler and defensive end Kamalei Correa.

Brandon is in his eighth year with FOX Sports NEXT, currently as a National Recruiting Analyst and West Regional Manager. Prior to joining the FOX Sports NEXT Recruiting Team, he was a team recruiting writer.  He's been covering recruiting for the FOX Sports NEXT network since 2003.
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