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2020 MLB Draft recap: High school players get late start, 11 chosen - HIGHSCORE
2020 MLB Draft recap: High school players get late start, 11 chosen
Video: Fictional high schools seen via Google Earth
Take a tour of these cinematic prep palaces.

It took awhile for high school players to come off the board in the 2020 Major League Baseball draft, but they had a strong finish in the first round with a few surprises along the way. The draft's first day say 11 prep players chosen (with two more taken in the competitive-balance round).

The truncated MLB Draft continues on Thursday with Rounds 2-5.
Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake
Photo by Terry Jack
Pete Crow-Armstrong, Harvard-Westlake
Robert Hassell III of Independence (Thompson's Station, Tenn.) was the first high school player chosen with the No. 8 overall pick by the San Diego Padres. The eighth-overall selection is the lowest the first high school player has been chosen in the 56 years of the MLB Draft.

The previous lowest selection was Clayton Kershaw of Highland Park (Dallas) at No. 7 overall in 2006. Three times, the first prep chosen was at No. 6, including 1992 when Derek Jeter of Kalamazoo Central (Mich.) was taken by the Yankees.

Overall, a high school player has been chosen with the No. 1 overall pick 25 times.

Outfielders Favorite Choice

The first three high school players chosen were all outfielders. After Hassell III went to San Diego at No. 8, Zac Veen of Spruce Creek (Port Orange, Fla.) went to the Rockies at No. 9.

Three picks later, the Reds chose Austin Hendrick of West Allegheny (Imperial, Pa.) at No. 12. Pete Crow-Armstrong of Harvard-Westlake (Studio City, Calif.) became the fourth prep outfielder chosen when the Mets picked him at No. 19.

Red Sox make surprise pick

Boston made the surprise pick of the first round when it chose second baseman Nick Yorke of Archbishop Mitty (San Jose, Calif.) at No. 17.

The selection was a shocker for several reasons. First, second basemen rarely come off the draft board in the first round. Second, Yorke was ranked by MLB as the No. 139 best player available in the draft. The second-lowest ranked prep player chosen in the first round was Carson Tucker, a shortstop from Mountain Pointe (Phoenix), who was ranked No. 52.

The Red Sox have had good luck with Northern California second basemen, however. Former league MVP Dustin Pedroia is originally from Woodland.

Few pitchers chosen

In the past, high school pitchers have been a popular first-round choice. Not so in 2020. Mick Abel of Jesuit (Portland, Ore.) went to the Phillies at No. 15 while Nick Bitsko of Central Bucks East (Doylestown, Pa.) went to the Rays at No. 24.

Among those pitchers not taken Wednesday included potential first round picks Jared Kelley of Refugio (Texas) and Carson Montgomery of Windermere (Fla.).

Only three prep pitchers were chosen in the first round last year with seven chosen in the 2018 draft.

Draft beats last year's numbers

The 2019 draft had one of the lowest total of high school players taken in over a decade with just 10 players chosen. The 2020 draft did one better with 11 players chosen. An additional two players were chosen in the competitive-balance round making 13 preps chosen out of 37 total picks on the draft's first day.

HIGHSCORE final Top 25 national high school football rankings: Washington wins national title - HIGHSCORE
MaxPreps final Top 25 national high school football rankings: Washington wins national title
Booker T. Washington celebrated a state title, and now, gets the chance to revel in a national one.
Photo by Gary McCullough
Booker T. Washington celebrated a state title, and now, gets the chance to revel in a national one.
If there ever was a perfect year for a four-team national playoff in high school football, 2013 would have been the perfect one.

The country's top three teams all finished as undefeated state champions, and the No. 4-ranked team, Miami Central, lost only to rival Booker T. Washington.

Ultimately, it was Washington that rose above the rest to claim the No. 1 ranking and the MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national title. Washington narrowly held off strong bids from both Allen and St. John Bosco to hold on to the top spot it first claimed in September.

It knocked off Norcross, Miami Central and Bishop Gorman this season, three state champions that finished ranked in the Xcellent 25.

Allen stated its case with an impressive 63-28 thumping of Pearland for the Class 5A-I title, while St. John Bosco notched a statement win, 20-14, over De La Salle.

Final MaxPreps Xcellent 25 National Football Rankings presented by the Army National Guard



1. (1) Washington (Miami), 14-0
Season complete. Class 4A state champion. MaxPreps Xcellent 25 national champion.

2. (2) Allen (Texas), 16-0
Allen went the distance and capped off an unbeaten season with a 63-28 victory over Pearland. Story

3. (3) St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.), 16-0
In a game for the ages, St. John Bosco knocked off powerhouse De La Salle, 20-14. Story

4. (5) Central (Miami), 14-1
Season complete. Class 6A state champion.

5. (6) Northwestern (Rock Hill, S.C.), 15-0
Season complete. Class 4A-II state champion.
HIGHSCORE 2020 Preseason Junior High School All-American Football Team - HIGHSCORE
MaxPreps 2020 Preseason Junior High School All-American Football Team
The high school football Class of 2022 is loaded with marquee talent from all over the country. Texas leads the way with 13 selections on the preseason MaxPreps Junior All-American team. Georgia (10), California (8), and Florida (7) were the only other states with at least five players featured.

In total, 21 different states were represented and 10 had multiple selections.

St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) has the most players from one school with four.

Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) and IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) both had the second most with three selections while Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas), Duncanville (Texas), Katy (Texas), Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) and St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) all had two players featured.

PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN WEEK COVERAGE
• Monday: All-Americans
• Wednesday: Sophomore All-Americans
Graphic by Ryan Escobar
First Team Offense

The MaxPreps Sophomore Player of the Year accounted for over 4,500 yards of total offense and 54 touchdowns for the Dragons.

Led the Vikings to the 7A state title game as a sophomore as they begin the season ranked at No. 12.

The Freshman Player of the Year in 2018 was a Sophomore All-American first team selection last season.

Put up big-time numbers over the last two years at Edison (Stockton, Calif.) and expect a monster junior campaign in his first season with the Monarchs.

Led the Ascenders in rushing as a sophomore and should have a huge season in 2020 running behind one of the best offensive lines in the country.

Rushed for over 2,000 yards and accounted for 46 total touchdowns in 2019.

Checks in as the top-rated player in California for the Class of 2022 and is one of the main reasons why the Friars begin ranked at No. 23.

Had 76 receptions for over 1,500 yards and 21 touchdowns as a sophomore.

WR C.J. Williams, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) | 6-2 | 195
Was the Monarchs third leading receiver with nearly 700 yards in 2019 and expect an even bigger role this season for one of the top programs in the country.

TE Donovan Green, Dickinson (Texas) | 6-4 | 220
The nation's top-rated tight end from the Class of 2022 is a matchup nightmare.

Played a huge role for the defending national champs as a sophomore.

OL Tyler Booker, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) | 6-4 | 290
Checks in as the No. 1 offensive tackle in the Class of 2022.

One of the most dominant offensive linemen in the country.

OL Julian Armella, Columbus (Miami) | 6-6 | 300
Made a huge impact on the offensive line for St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.) the last two seasons and will be a huge addition for last year's 8A state champs.

The top-rated offensive guard in the Class of 2022 is the No. 2 player overall from Texas.

AP Braylin Presley, Bixby (Okla.) | 5-9 | 165
Has accounted for nearly 2,500 total yards and 39 touchdowns over the last two seasons for the back-to-back 6A-II state champs.

The top-rated cornerback had seven interceptions to go with nearly 1,000 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns in 2019.

Connected on 15-of-17 field goals as a sophomore.
Domani Jackson, Mater Dei
File photo by Louis Lopez
Domani Jackson, Mater Dei
First Team Defense

The No. 1 rated player in the Class of 2022 racked up 15 sacks in 2019.

The former Ocoee (Fla.) standout is one of the most dominant defensive players in the game.

DL Nate Burrell, St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.) | 6-2 | 250
Was a key contributor for the No. 1 team in the nation last season and expect an even bigger year in 2020.

DL Malick Sylla, Katy (Texas) | 6-5 | 225
The Tigers begin the year at No. 11 and Sylla will be one of their most impactful players this season.

Checks in as the No. 1 weak-side defensive end and top-recruit overall from Pennsylvania in the Class of 2022.

Helped lead the Warriors to their first state title since 1982 last season. The 2022 Alabama commit racked up 119 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and nine sacks.

Checks in as the top-rated linebacker in the Class of 2022.

The Vegas power has produced some big-time players and Moss is next in line.

LB Daniel Martin, Marietta (Ga.) | 6-3 | 190
Racked up 74 tackles and 12 tackles for loss for the 7A state champs last season and should have an even bigger role in 2020.

DB Domani Jackson, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.) | 6-1 | 185
The top-rated cornerback from California will give the Monarchs one of the best secondaries in the nation.

Already has over 30 FBS offers and was a key piece for the Mustangs winning their second consecutive 6A Division 1 state title in 2019.

DB Kamari Wilson, IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.) | 6-1 | 195
Recently transferred to the No. 1 team in our initial Top 25 and is one of nine players in the Top 247 rankings for the Class of 2022 suiting up for the Ascenders.

One of the top shutdown cornerbacks in the country helped lead the Philadelphia power to its second consecutive 6A state title last season.

The top-rated defensive back in Florida is a shutdown cornerback and is also a big-time playmaker at wide receiver.

The former Parkview (Lilburn, Ga.) standout helped lead the Panthers to the 7A semifinals last season and will make an immediate impact for the No. 9 team in our preseason Top 25.

Checks in as the No. 1 punter and No. 4 kicker for the Class of 2022 by Kohl's. Was a first team 3A all-state selection as a sophomore last season by the Associated Press.
Noah Fifita, Servite
File photo by Jann Hendry
Noah Fifita, Servite
Second Team Offense

QB MJ Morris, Carrollton (Ga.) | 6-1 | 175
One of the top quarterbacks in the country will be the next big-time gunslinger from the Peach State.

Split time under center last season as a sophomore and expect a huge junior campaign as he takes over as the full time starter.

QB Noah Fifita, Servite (Anaheim, Calif.) | 5-10 | 170
Threw for nearly 3,000 yards and 37 touchdowns playing against the best competition in Southern California as a sophomore.

Became the first player in school history to eclipse the 1,500 yard mark on the ground since Christian McCaffrey in 2013.

Already landed over 30 FBS offers and will be the next big-time running back from Texas.

RB Gi'Bran Payne, La Salle (Cincinnati) | 5-11 | 190
Helped lead the Lancers to the Division 2 state title last season and expect a monster year for the 4-star running back.

RB Trevor Etienne, Jennings (La.) | 5-10 | 200
Accounted for nearly 2,500 total yards and 37 touchdowns as a sophomore.

The third-rated wide receiver in the Class of 2022 had 45 receptions for 855 yards and 15 touchdowns in seven games last season.

Racked up more than 1,700 total yards and 24 touchdowns for the 7A runners-up in 2019.

WR Denylon Morrissette, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) | 6-1 | 180
Played a key role for one of the best programs as a sophomore and expect an even bigger junior season for the No. 4 team in our preseason Top 25.

WR Kyion Grayes, Chandler (Ariz.) | 6-1 | 170
Led the four-time defending state champs in receiving as a sophomore and will be one of Mikey Keene's favorite targets again in 2020.

The top-rated offensive lineman from Alabama in the Class of 2022 is one of the most dominate players in the country.

Played a key role for the Non-Public Group 4 champs and will be an impact player once again in 2020.

OL Jaylen Early, Duncanville (Texas) | 6-4 | 260
The No. 8 team in our preseason Top 25 will have one of the top offensive lines and Early will be a key factor. 

OL Dave Iuli, Puyallup (Wash.) | 6-5 | 330
Should bounce back in a big way after missing his sophomore season with an injury.

The top-rated offensive lineman in Georgia is one of the best players in the country.

AP Deyon Bouie, Bainbridge (Ga.) | 5-11 | 165
Has been an impact player since his freshman season and gets it done on all three phases.
Omari Abor, Duncanville
File photo by Godon DeLoach
Omari Abor, Duncanville
Second Team Defense

DL Omari Abor, Duncanville (Texas) | 6-4 | 240
One of the top defensive lineman in the country is also a standout basketball player.

DL Derrick Moore, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) | 6-4 | 245
Made a huge impact as a sophomore for one of the top defenses in high school football.

The top-rated player from North Carolina in the Class of 2022 racked up 104 tackles, 16 tackles for loss, 11 sacks and forced five fumbles in 2019.

Finished his sophomore campaign with 151 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 11 sacks.

LB Jaishawn Barham, St. Frances Academy (Baltimore) | 6-3 | 230
Was a big-time playmaker for DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) last season and will be a huge addition for the Panthers.

LB Ty Kana, Katy (Texas) | 6-2 | 210
The leader on defense as a sophomore and will have the Tigers in contention to win their first state title since 2015.

The Rockets begin the year ranked at No. 21 and the 4-star linebacker is a key piece of a very talented defense.

LB Malaki Hamrick, Shelby (N.C.) | 6-3 | 200
Racked up 129 tackles, 39 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in 2019.

DB Bryan Allen Jr., Aledo (Texas) | 6-0 | 185
The 2022 LSU commit led the back-to-back 5A Division 2 state champs in tackles with 122 last season. He also had three interceptions.

DB Zion Branch, Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas) | 6-2.5 | 190
Joins Moss as selections for the Gaels. He finished his sophomore season with five interceptions.

The recent Georgia commit is one of the best shutdown cornerbacks in the country.

Missed his sophomore season with an injury but will bounce back in a big way in 2020 and have Bergen Catholic in position to win its first Non-Public Group 4 championship since 2017.

DB Khamauri Rogers, Holmes County Central (Lexington, Miss.) | 6-1 | 165
The 2022 LSU commit can lock up any wide receiver in the country and also makes an impact on offense.

The talented defensive back is also a big-time playmaker at quarterback and one of three LSU commits selected.

The top-rated prospect from Kansas will be one of the top players of all-time to come from The Sunflower State.
High school football: 100 days to kickoff, preseason HIGHSCORE Top 25 set to be released June 23 - HIGHSCORE
High school football: 100 days to kickoff, preseason MaxPreps Top 25 set to be released June 23
While adjusted spring seasons due to the pandemic are just wrapping up in some pockets of the country, high school football is expected to return to its normal time slot this fall. Here's to hopes that all the things that make prep football a community event on Friday nights can return along with it – bands, cheerleaders, student sections and of course fans.

Kickoff is 100 days away in many states and we will officially begin counting down to what may be the most highly-anticipated high school football season in history with the release of our preseason MaxPreps Top 25 on June 23.

A look at the nation's elite programs will be followed by breakdowns of the top team in every state, biggest games, toughest schedules and top players at every position. Our 2021 preview will conclude in late July with the release of our preseason All-America teams.

Most states have confirmed start dates for the 2021 season. The earliest scheduled thus far is Hawaii on Aug. 6, followed by Alaska and Utah the following week. The season will really pick up steam Aug. 20-21 with more than a dozen states kicking off that weekend.

Last year, Utah kicked off first Aug. 13 and was one of 35 states to complete seasons in the fall. Of those, 31 eventually crowned state champions.
High school football teams around the country can't wait to take the field again this fall.
Photo by Daniel Galarza
High school football teams around the country can't wait to take the field again this fall.
Previewing the 2021 football season

June 23: Preseason MaxPreps Top 25
June 29: Highlighting the nation's top 100 teams
July 1: Best team in all 50 states
July 5: Top 10 biggest games
July 7: Top 10 toughest schedules
July 9: Top 10 quarterbacks
July 12: Top 10 running backs
July 14: Top 10 wide receivers
July 16: Top 10 defensive linemen
July 19: Top 10 linebackers
July 21: Top 10 defensive backs
July 23: Top 10 players
July 26: Preseason Sophomore All-America Team
July 28: Preseason Junior All-America Team
July 30: Preseason All-America Team
High school basketball: Five-star guard Jaden Hardy expected to sign with G-League - HIGHSCORE
High school basketball: Five-star guard Jaden Hardy expected to sign with G-League
Senior high school basketball star Jaden Hardy of Coronado (Henderson, Nev.) is expected to join the NBA G League Ignite team, according to a Saturday report from Shams Charania of The Athletic.

The 6-foot-4 guard is the No. 3 prospect in the Class of 2021 according to 247Sports. Hardy will be following in the footsteps of Class of 2020 prospects Jalen Green, Jonathan Kuminga and  Isaiah Todd among others in selecting the G League path over the traditional collegiate route.

Hardy missed his entire senior season after the Nevada Interscholastic Athletics Association canceled the 2020-21 winter sports season because of COVID-19.

In 2019-20, Hardy earned first team MaxPreps Junior All-America honors after averaging 30.4 points, 9.1 rebounds and 8.4 assists per game. His junior season was highlighted by a 62-point game in which he led his team back from a 21-point deficit. He also recorded 11 rebounds, six assists, five blocks and four steals in the comeback victory.

The McDonald's All-American selection chose the professional path over his final list of college options including Arizona, Arizona State, Kentucky and UCLA.

Hardy is considered one of the most lethal and versatile scorers in the Class of 2021 and is projected to be a lottery pick in the 2022 NBA Draft.
Coronado guard Jaden Hardy drives to the basket.
Photo by: Darin Sicurello
Coronado guard Jaden Hardy drives to the basket.