College Football 2012: 40 Best High Schools to Recruit From
High school football is a huge deal around many various parts of the country. Some schools have facilities and stadiums that look like Division I campuses. The sport grows year after year and it is the bed on which college football recruiting rests.
Yet, some schools just have a knack for producing talent. Whether it be the location, the school structure, the coaching or just plain luck, we have standout schools that produce elite talent for colleges.
For this read, I'm going to give you the top 40 schools to recruit from if you're a college program looking for talent. Here we go!
40. Bellevue High School, WA
If you're a program that likes to sniff around the Pacific Northwest for prospects, I urge you to head over to Bellevue. You'll find a player that can help you win with hustle, grit, toughness and good fundamentals.
The school's most notable player is Stephen Schilling, a former 5-star OG that signed with Michigan in 2006. Bellevue is always among the top programs nationally.
39. Tulsa Union, OK
Tulsa Union is an eight-time state champion in Oklahoma and has won the last four straight state titles in the Sooner state. This school is always loaded up with players, and Big 12 programs have the football office on speed dial.
Notable alumni include current Memphis head coach Justin Fuente and NFL assistant coach Steve Logan. You may not find an all-world superstar here, but you'll find a quality starter for your program.
38. Hoover High School, AL
A six-time state champ, Hoover will fork out talent year in and year out. Alabama and Auburn know the school very well and other SEC schools keep an eye on the Bucs closely.
The school's football team is such a big deal that MTV filmed a reality show called "Two-a-Days" about it from 2005-2007.
2006 New England Patriots' second-round pick Chad Jackson is an alum.
37. Lake Travis High School, TX
Remember a few years ago when Kansas made a run and won the Orange Bowl in 2008? Remember the gutty undersized QB, Todd Reesing?
Well he hails from Lake Travis, as does former 5-star QB and Texas starter Garrett Gilbert. The school sits right outside of Austin and is one of the top programs in the Lone Star State.
36. Joliet Catholic, IL
Illinois plays solid football, but many of the top programs venture out of state to raise the regional profile of the school. Joliet Catholic is one of those programs and they can venture out because they always have solid talent.
I honestly think that 2013 5-star RB Ty Isaac may be the most talented player to ever play for JC.
Other notables include Mike Kolodziej, J.R. Zwierzynski and Coby Fleener, who excelled at Stanford and will be the first TE taken in next month's NFL Draft.
35. Jenks High School, OK
Tulsa Union's biggest rival is Jenks, as this rivalry is fierce, competitive and legendary around the Heartlands. Oklahoma almost stops when these two get together.
Jenks has produced a fair share of talent in its own right, including 2011 Oklahoma RB recruit Alex Ross. Also, players like Rocky Calmus, Garrett Mills, Sean Mahan and Chase Bealer are Jenks alumni.
34. Evangel Christian Academy, LA
ECA sits in Shreveport and has dominated Louisiana high school football since 1993, with over 12 state titles.
Players like Brock Berlin, who signed with Florida and ended up Miami in the early 2000s, Josh Booty and John David Booty, who became a two-year starter at USC and fifth-round pick to the Vikings.
Even Chargers' fullback Jacob Hester went here. You want some talent from Louisiana? Check out Evangel Christian.
33. South Panola High School, MS
Mississippi is a bit underrated, in my opinion, when it comes to looking for players. One school that college coaches do flock to in The Magnolia State is South Panola in Batteville.
The school has produced players like Nick Brassell, Peria Jerry, Chris Strong, Darius Barksdale, Deon Mix and 2013 5-star DB Antonio Conner.
Hugh Freeze and Dan Mullen are wise to keep in good with South Panola.
32. Dallas Carter, TX
The Cowboys always have talent for you to recruit if you're a college program. It's Texas, it's Dallas, it's football. What more do you want?
Players like NFL Great Jesse Armstead, Michael Crabtree, Vince Williams, Curtis Bailey and others have gone here.
The school puts out talent ranging from BCS-caliber to FCS-caliber, so any program can recruit from here.
31. Massillon Washington High School, OH
Massillon is home to Paul Brown. Enough said, right? This school is a must-see for college coaches that recruit Ohio as it has produced some great talent through the years.
Shawn Crable, Justin Turner, Chris Spielman, Justin Zwick, Devoe Torrance, Kirk Barton, Andrew Dailey and David Abdul have gone here.
If you're a Big Ten school no matter what division you are, you have to go to Massillon to see what they have every year.
30. Byron P. Steele II High School, TX
Steele is a fairly new school, as it sits in a suburb of San Antonio, Texas. But the school has gotten really good in football, really fast.
Texas RB and 2011 5-star recruit Malcolm Brown is an alumnus, so is Tommy Armstrong, Ryan Simmons, Marquis Anderson, Sheldon McClain and Jordan Sterns.
Steele plays big-time football, and schools in the Midwest and Southwest are always kicking the tires to see who they can pry from the program.
29. John Curtis Christian High School, LA
River Ridge in Louisiana is home to John Curtis Christian, which is a small private school that plays big-time ball.
Notable players include Joe McKnight of the New York Jets, Robby Green, Jonathan McKnight, Kenny Cain, Torrey Bell, Jerry Sevin, Ryan Watson, Carnel Stewart and Jarod Carter.
LSU, Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and other schools always dip in here.
28. Miami Central Senior High School, FL
Miami Northwestern's arch-rival, the Central Rockets are another Florida powerhouse program.
Past players include Willis McGahee, Ali Highsmith, Najeh Davenport, Donaldven Manning, Bryan Pata and Darnell Jenkins.
27. Lutheran High School of Orange County, CA
Located in the O.C., Lutheran is a small private school that many college coaches still flock to.
Players like Blake Ayles, Christo Koutzidis, Anthony Vernaglia, Troy Van Blarcom and Aaron Corp have attended Orange Lutheran.
The school has sent players to programs ranging from USC to Washington to Boise State.
26. Miami Norland Senior High School, FL
The Vikings are just downright famous around Miami, as they are home to some great alumni. The U always is at Norland, looking at what they have routinely.
Alumni include former Miami coach Randy Shannon, Xavier Rhodes, Keith Brown, Antonio Brown, Mike McKenzie and even Dwayne Bowe and Duke Johnson went here.
This school always has talent and won the 5a State title last year.
25. DeMatha Catholic High School, MD
DeMatha has almost a who's who of alumni, as it ranges from many NBA greats to even David Aldridge of TNT.
Recently the school was home to Cyrus Kouandjio, a 5-star OT prospect that signed with Alabama last year.
Other top players include Kenny Tate, Michael Moore, Arie Kouandjio and even NFL great Brian Westbrook.
24. Southlake Carroll Senior High School, TX
Chase Daniel, Greg McElroy, Tre Newton, Riley Dodge, Kenny Hill, Cade Foster and Jackson Richards are all former Dragons. This program has won eight state titles in the past 20 years.
The school sits right outside Dallas and Ft. Worth, and the program handles its business. Many colleges flock to Southlake Carroll, specifically for smart, heady QB prospects.
23. Dr. Phillips High School, FL
Head on over to Orlando and stop at Dr. Phillips if you want some talent and if your school is in the South. No, it's not a Doctor's office, it's a high school with nearly 4,000 students.
Players like Dee Hart, HaSean Clinton-Dix, Ryan Moore, Marcell Harris, Kenny Shaw, Recardo Wright and Roderick Ryles have prepped here.
22. Miramar High School, FL
Even though Johnny Depp went here, this is still a football school. Most programs in Florida and around the South stop by Miramar on a normal basis to see what the school has on deck.
West Virginia's Geno Smith is an alumni, as is 2012 Miami DB signee Tracy Howard, Stedman Bailey, Ivan McCartney and a host of others.
You don't need to be a NCS program to recruit from here, as the variety of talent at Miramar will surprise you.
21. Saint Ignatius High School, OH
An 11-time state champion and 3-time national champion, Saint Ignatius is a Cleveland high school that wins games. Period.
Andrew Luck's father, Oliver, prepped here back in the day, plus great players like LeCharles Bentley, Anthony Gonzalez, Chris Hovan, Michael Massey, Jacob Bell, Dave Ragone and Brian Hoyer have gone here.
Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Pitt are schools that love to recruit from here.
20. Columbus Carver High School, GA
Carver will give you what you're looking for if you're a college coach out on the trail. The Peach State is full of talent, and a lot of it comes through Carver.
Players like Isaiah Crowell, Jarvis Jones, Jarmon Fotson, Gabe Wright, Deion Bonner and DeRon Furr are all Carver alums.
19. Westlake High School, CA
You probably are not going to find a five-star prospect at Westlake, but you're going to find probably two or three guys that you'll sign and end up playing well for you.
It's that type of school. The Warriors are a well-coached and -structured program that always is among the top schools in the Los Angeles area.
Billy Miller and Rudy Carpenter have played here, and the coaching staff does maybe the best job of getting their players seen by colleges. It's nothing for Westlake to have over 10 players sign with schools each February.
18. South Pointe High School, SC
The Stallions are still a new school, as they just opened up in 2005, but they've already won a state title and have produced many talented players over their short time of existence.
Notably, this is where Jadeveon Clowney prepped at, as did Stephon Gillmore and Devonte Holloman.
South Carolina and Clemson are always sniffing around South Pointe practices, and the school will continue to produce more talent to justify its lofty status on this list.
17. Phoebus High School, VA
I've been saying for the past several years that Virginia is a better football state than given credit for. Good talent comes from VA, and Phoebus High School is one of the prime schools that produces players.
Tajh Boyd prepped here and I remember watching grainy tape of him as a junior and thinking to myself "this kid can play." Xavier Adibi, Brent Vinson, Stephen Friday, Phillip Brown, DJ Parker and Elan Lewis all come from here.
The school is in Hampton.
16. Concord De La Salle High School, CA
Way back in the day, this school produced D.J. Williams, who had the hype of a Jadeveon Clowney and Robert Nkemdiche.
It also has produced talent like Kevin Simon, Matt Gutierrez, Amani Toomer and Maurice Jones-Drew. Even players like Derek Landri and TJ Ward have played here.
Ace recruiter Tosh Lupoi, who jumped from Cal to Washington, knows about this school. Why? Because he went here, too.
15. North Florida Christian High School, FL
NFC is a private school that is located in Tallahassee, Fla. It has won seven state titles since 1996 and is a powerhouse program.
Ernie Sims, who was the nation's No. 1 overall prospect in 2003 and became a first-round pick to the Detroit Lions, is an alumni. So is Travis Blanks, a 2011 top 100 recruit who signed with Clemson.
Markus Sims, Melvin Ray, Clint Trickett and Ochuko Jenjie are also alums.
14. Servite High School, CA
Servite is a CIF power in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area. The school always is among the top teams in the west and nationally.
Former NFL QB Steve Beurelein is an alum, as are Matt Kalil and Ryan Kalil. Chris Galippo went here, as did Matt Slater, Kurt Vollers and Derek Brown.
Many programs ranging from USC to Nevada always stop by to grab a player from Servite.
13. Valdosta High School, GA
The Wildcats have an astonishing 861 games in their history and that's why colleges recruit heavily from here. The players know how to win, are used to being in the spotlight and like football.
Dusty Bonner, Jay Rome, Malcolm Mitchell, Stan Rome, Antonio Foster and Michael Gillard all prepped here as a teenagers.
Georgia is a rich state for talent, and Valdosta High is a prime stop for college coaches to get some of it to their school.
12. Henry B. Plant High School, FL
Plant is a four-time state champion since 2006 and the Panthers' program in Tampa is a Sunshine State powerhouse.
This is where players like Mike Williams, Wade Boggs, Aaron Murray and Robert Marve have played.
Philip Ely, Orson Charles, Bennie Coney, James Wilder Jr., Jordan Prestwood and Antonio Crawford are also former Panthers.
11. Our Lady of Good Counsel, MD
DeMatha's main rival are the Falcons, as Good Counsel had three of the top 150 players in the country last year in Stefon Diggs, Wes Brown and Ryan Watson.
The school also is home to Kendall Fuller, a 5-star DB/WR in the 2013 class, Jelani Jenkins of Florida, Blake Countess, Dorian O'Daniel, Mike Madaras, EJ Scott and Caleb Porzel.
This program is an unquestioned Atlantic region hotbed.
10. Mission Viejo High School, CA
I don't even have the time to get into the records and titles that the Diablos hold, so let's just say they're one of the premier programs in the country, okay?
Players like Mark Sanchez, Konrad Reuland, Chane Moline, Tre Madden, Drew Radovich, Max Redfield, Jeff Baca, Ryan Powdrell and Jordan Palmer are all alums.
The Diablos have colleges sniffing around the program daily.
9. Glenville Academic Campus, OH
Glenville High School in Cleveland is one of top producers of talent in the Midwest. The Tarblooders feed into Ohio State, but they don't turn away other programs that come on campus looking for prospects.
Players like Troy Smith, Ted Ginn Jr., Donte Whitner, Aundrey Walker, Ray Small, Marcus Hall, Cardale Jones, Jermale Hines, Robert Rose and Latwan Anderson all call Glenville home.
8. Grant Union High School, CA
Take a trip from Mater Dei up the 5 freeway to Sacramento if you're a college coach. Go over to Grant Union High School and take a seat in the bleachers.
You'll find a couple prospects and then some.
Players like Donte Stallworth, Shaq Thompson, Viliami Moala, Syd'Quan Thompson, Onterrio Smith, Paris Warren, Terrance Pritchett, James Sample and Christian Tupou all are former Pacers.
7. Mater Dei High School, CA
I've long admired Mater Dei, as the school not only excels in football, but also in many other sports as well. The football team is coached by Bruce Rollinson and his legendary rugged voice.
The Monarchs travel extremely well, have almost a cult following and are subject to envy from many Los Angeles area programs.
Past alums include Matt Barkley, Matt Leinart, Colt Brennan, Matt Grotegoed, Max Wittek, Victor Blackwell, Khaled Holmes and Chris Doyle.
6. Miami Northwestern High School, FL
The Bulls not only produce talent, but they also win a lot of games. They've won four state titles and have made numerous other appearances in the championship game, as they are a dominant 6A program.
The talent list from this school is impressive as names like Lavonte Davis, Snoop Minnis, Antonio Bryant, Sean Spence, Vernon Carey, Marcus Forston and Jacory Harris have all gone here.
This is a must-see for any college coach in America.
5. Don Bosco Prepatory High School, NJ
Located in Ramsey, N.J., Don Bosco Prep was the No. 1-ranked high school football program in the United States last year.
The school had prospects like Yuri Wight, Leontee Carroo, Elijah Shumate and Darius Hamilton; last year. This year features Alaquidin Muhammad.
Other notables include Brian Toal, Matt Simms, Gary Nova, Michael Ray-Garvin and Justin Trattou.
4. Lincoln High School, FL
Zach Piller, Boo Williams, PJ Alexander, Antonio Cromartie, Kevin Carter, Craphonso Thorpe, Pat Watkins, and Omari Hand are former Trojans.
So are Fred Rouse, Buck Allen, Jawanza Starling, Ryan White, TJ Bryant, BJ Daniels, Gavin Dickey, Calvin Darrity, Rodney Gallon and Greg Threat.
Big-time talent to recruit from.
3. Oaks Christian High School, CA
Oaks Christian has only been around since 2000, but the school has won numerous CIF, League and state titles. Head Coach Bill Redell just stepped down, and the job is highly coveted.
You can find an elite talent here or you can find a role player, as the school is located in Westlake Village, Calif., which is the northwest valley portion of the Los Angeles area.
Past players include names like Jimmy Clausen, Marc Tyler, Jordan Payton, Marshall Jones, Aaron Ware, Anthony Gildon, Duke Lemmens, Nick Montana, Ishamel Adams, Kyle McClure and Cassius Marsh.
The Lions usually have in the double digits of players that sign LOIs each year.
2. St. Thomas Aquinas High School, FL
The Raiders are a six-time Florida state champion and a national powerhouse program. They produce talent, not only just football but all over, including Olympic Gold Medalist Sanya Richards.
Michael Irvin went here; so did Brian Piccolo and Chris Evert.
Other notables include Marcus Roberson, Major Wright, Lamarcus Joyner, Sam Young, Nate Salley, Tavares Gooden, Duron Carter, Jelani Hamilton, Geno Atkins, Gio Bernard, Bobby Hart and Rashad Greene.
1. Long Beach Polytechnic High School, CA
Now, if you want a player who is likely to not only be athletic, speedy, agile, quick and a star for you, but also is headed to the NFL, then Long Beach Poly is the school for you.
The Jackrabbits have sent over 60 players to the NFL, which is the most from any high school in the country.
My father has ties to the program, as he once coached here and has many friends that are alums. I've been schooled on Poly history time and time again, and the greatness from the football program along with the athletics program overall is top notch.
Alums include Willie McGinest, Marcedes Lewis, DeSean Jackson, Winston Justice, Hershel Dennis, Mark Carrier, Samie Parker, Antoine Cason, Tony Hill, Manuel Wright and a slew of more have went here.
Even Snoop Dogg and Cameron Diaz went here.
Other Notable Great High Schools to Recruit From
- Bradenton Southeast, FL
- Seffner Armwood, FL
- Palm Beach Gardens Dwyer, FL
- Glades Central, FL
- Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, CA
- Lakewood High School, CA
- Chaparral High School, AZ
- Broken Arrow High School, OK
- Odessa Permian, TX
- Corona Centennial, CA
- Alemany High School, CA