Video: Early Contenders presented by Shock DoctorWe set the tone for 2018 by looking at high school football's elite.
Last season: 10-2, No. 21 national ranking, beat St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City) 44-7 in the Non-Public Group 4 state championship game.
Last decade: 77-35
Mark DeRosa, former MLB player and current MLB Network analyst; Brian Cushing, Houston Texans all-time leading tackler; Charley Casserly, former NFL GM and current NFL Today analyst; John Kevin Delaney, politician and 2020 presidential hopeful.
Star power (According to 247Sports):
5-star recruits — 0; 4-star recruits — 1; 3-star recruits — 5
RB Rahmir Johnson (5-10, 175, Sr.)
The 2019 Nebraska commit is one of the best all-around running backs.
ATH Josh McKenzie (5-9, 180, Sr.)
Will be one of the key contributors for Bergen Catholic in 2018. S Jordan Morant (6-1, 195, Jr.) —
One of the most talented defensive backs from the Class of 2020. DE Aeneas Dicosmo (6-3, 220, Sr.) —
There might not be a hotter recruit in New Jersey.
TE Tyler DeVera (6-4, 225, Sr.) — Aug. 31
The 2019 Rutgers commit will be the top target of QB Andrew Boel
at No. 5 Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)Sept. 7
— vs. Archbishop Wood (Warminster, Pa.)Sept. 14
— at St. Peter's Prep (Jersey City, Pa.)Sept. 22
— vs. Don Bosco Prep (Ramsey)Oct. 6
at St. Joseph Regional (Montvale)Oct. 20
vs. Paramus Catholic (Paramus)Oct. 27
at DePaul Catholic (Wayne)
• Bergen Catholic begins the 2018 season with a new head coach with a familiar name. Vito Campanile replaces his brother, Nunzio, who is now an assistant coach at Rutgers. Vito spent the last three years at Seton Hall Prep (West Orange, N.J.) and is excited to make the jump to the Jersey power. He has big shoes to fill after the Crusaders won their first state title since 2004 last season. He also has two coaching legends in his corner in Greg Toal and Fred Stengel, both back as assistant coaches.
• The Crusaders bring back a lot of key players from last year's state championship team but have to replace Johnny Langan
at quarterback. Langan was a big-time leader for Bergen Catholic and up next is 2020 quarterback Boel, who has looked good leading up to the 2018 season. Having one of the most dynamic backfields in the country with McKenzie and Johnson should make the junior's job easier.
• Just like last season, Bergen Catholic has one of the toughest schedules in the country so nothing will come easy for the defending Non-Public Group 4 state champs.