Football fans, rejoice. Your favorite time of the year is here, as action gets underway on fields across America at every level.
Days away from kickoff at the collegiate level, we have a chance to look back at a busy weekend of high school games that featured some of the country's most coveted recruits. Season-opening showdowns and nationally televised matchups cast the spotlight on these prized prospects and provided the latest glimpse of their potential.
We'll examine these top performances every Monday throughout the season, highlighting playmakers who could someday dominate college competition. Though only a few regions are underway with the 2014 season, there are several sensational efforts to recap from this past weekend.
Here's our review of eight standouts who shone.
4-star 2015 RB Eric Swinney, Sandy Creek High School (Tyrone, Georgia)
The Ole Miss commit erupted in the second half of a 21-13 victory over Archer High School. Swinney gained 149 of his 220 rushing yards after intermission, per David Friedlander of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
He used 34 carries to bring Sandy Creek back from a 13-0 disadvantage. A nine-yard touchdown scamper put the team on top for good.
Swinney, who rushed for 2,499 yards and 43 touchdowns during the past two seasons, committed to the Rebels in May. Rated 11th nationally among running backs in 247Sports' composite rankings, he also holds offers from Alabama, Miami and Ohio State.
5-star 2015 athlete Torrance Gibson, American Heritage High School (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
It may have only been a preseason tuneup, but the stakes were high for Gibson in a matchup against Dwyer High School that was broadcast nationally on ESPNU. Gibson, aiming to prove he belongs at quarterback in college, showcased a powerful arm and passed for 298 yards in a 49-23 victory, per David Furones of the Miami Herald.
The 6'4", 200-pound prospect threw five touchdowns and rushed for another score. He launched a 72-yard scoring strike to 2016 Miami commit Dredrick Snelson on the final play of the first half:
Gibson, gunning for a state-championship repeat, connected with Snelson for three touchdowns. He also made headlines for his choice of shoes, which featured an Ohio State logo:
He confirmed the Buckeyes are the team to beat during a postgame conversation with B/R's Kynon Codrington.
"Ohio State is my clear leader," Gibson said. "I like the offense they run, I really like everything. I know it's cold, but it's cold in the NFL too. The most important thing is they want me a quarterback, not athlete."
He added that Arizona and Oklahoma are also in his top three.
5-star 2015 QB Josh Rosen, St. John Bosco High School (Bellflower, California)
The country's top-ranked passer opened his senior season in Hawaii, where reigning California state champion St. John Bosco battled St. Louis High School at Aloha Stadium (Honolulu). Rosen orchestrated an offensive attack that produced 585 total yards in a 63-14 victory, per Chris Trevino of the Long Beach Press-Telegram.
He collected 252 yards and a touchdown through the air, adding another score on the ground. Rosen, who threw for 3,200 yards and 39 touchdowns as a junior, committed to UCLA over Michigan in March.
5-star 2015 DE Josh Sweat, Oscar Smith High School (Chesapeake, Virginia)
Though his team dropped its first game to Booker T. Washington (Miami, Florida) in a nationally televised game, Sweat proved he can do just about anything on the field. The 6'4.5", 240-pound playmaker performed well on both sides of the ball, starting his final high school season as the No. 1 overall recruit in 247Sports' composite rankings.
Josh Sweat is the Number 1 recruit as a defensive end. Tonight, he is also playing wide receiver for Oscar Smith (VA) pic.twitter.com/9Ya7ZCenNF— ESPNU (@ESPNU) August 24, 2014
He posted five tackles, including three for loss, and two sacks at defensive end, per Craig Haubert of ESPN. Sweat also scored a rushing touchdown and racked up 90 total yards as a runner and receiver.
The dual-role could become taxing during the course of the season. His future undoubtedly awaits on the defensive side of the football:
Josh Sweat cannot wait to get to college. Rushing the passer AND running pass routes for 4 quarters is not fun.— Luke Stampini (@LukeStampini) August 24, 2014
Sweat is set to spend official visits at Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Georgia, Florida State and Oregon.
4-star 2015 QB Drew Lock, Lee's Summit High School (Lee's Summit, Missouri)
The Missouri commit dismantled an overwhelmed Truman High School defense Friday night, fueling an 81-42 win. Lock led Lee's Summit to an explosive performance, passing for 343 yards and six touchdowns, per Shawn Roney of The Examiner.
The 6'5", 195-pound prospect accomplished all that in less than three quarters of action. He departed before the final quarter after completing 14 of 18 pass attempts.
Lock came out firing. He finished the first three possessions with touchdown passes and continued to pour it on from that point.
4-star 2016 WR Josh Imatorbhebhe, North Gwinnett High School (Suwanee, Georgia)
He caught three touchdown passes in a thrilling 52-49 win over McEachern High School. Imatorbhebhe, a 6'2" 202-pound junior, scored on plays of 18, 30 and 29 yards, per David Friedlander of the Gwinnett Daily Post.
His opening night efforts included eight receptions for 173 yards. Here's a look at highlights from the dominant performance:
Imatorbhebhe holds offers from Missouri, Michigan, Georgia and Vanderbilt, among others.
4-star 2015 RB Jordan Scarlett, St. Thomas Aquinas (Fort Lauderdale, Florida)
The former University High School standout made the most of limited touches in his debut at St. Thomas Aquinas. The 5'11", 210-pound prospect scampered for 94 yards on just six carries in a 31-7 preseason victory over Dillard High School, per George Richards of the Miami Herald.
Scarlett broke several tackles before bursting into the open field for a 66-yard sprint on his final carry, scoring the game's first touchdown.
“It felt great to be back on the field, playing someone else,” he told Richards. “We came out better than I thought we would.”
After initially committing to FAU, Scarlett pledged to Miami while attending The Opening in July.
4-star 2015 WR Deon Cain, Tampa Bay Tech (Tampa, Florida)
Cain put his skills on display early and often during a preseason clash with Blake High School. He compiled 204 total yards in the first quarter of a 20-6 victory, per Mark Chisholm of The Tampa Tribune.
The Clemson commit currently plays quarterback but projects as a top-tier receiver in college. Cain rushed for two touchdowns in the contest, including an 80-yard dash on his first drive.
He added a 30-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. Cain also threw a 44-yard touchdown pass.
His performance included 286 total yards, highlighted by 185 yards on the ground.
Recruit ratings courtesy of 247Sports.