Video: Early Contenders presented by Shock DoctorWe set the tone for 2018 by looking at high school football's elite.
: Bruce Rollinson
Last season: 15-0, No. 1 national ranking, went wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the country in 2017 and never trailed at any point during the entire season.
Last decade: 95-34.
Famous alumni/players: Matt Barkley, NFL QB; John Huarte, 1960 Heisman Trophy winner; Matt Leinart, 2004
Heisman Trophy winner; Stanley Johnson, NBA forward; Miles Simon, 1997
NCAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player (Arizona).
Star power (According to 247Sports): ATH Bru McCoy (6-3, 215, Sr.)
5-star recruits — 3; 4-star recruits — 9; 3-star recruits — 9
— The 5-star recruit checks in as the No. 1 athlete in the Class of 2019.QB Bryce Young (5-11, 175, Jr.)
— The transfer from Cathedral (Los Angeles) is the No. 1 dual threat quarterback in the Class of 2020. CB Ellas Ricks (6-2, 180, Jr.)
— The 5-star recruit is the No. 2 cornerback prospect from the Class of 2020.CB Darion Green-Warren (6-0, 170, Jr.)
— The 4-star cornerback is one of the best defensive backs in the Class of 2020. OG Myles Murao (6-3, 270, Jr.)
— Don't be surprised if the No. 2 rated offensive guard in the Class of 2020 ends up being the top recruit in the nation when all is said and done.
KEY GAMESAug. 24
— at No. 11 Bishop Gorman (Las Vegas)Sept. 21
— vs. No. 3 IMG Academy (Bradenton, Fla.)Oct. 12
— vs. No. 1 St. John Bosco (Bellflower)Oct. 26
— vs. Orange Lutheran (Orange)
• Mater Dei is coming off the school's first CIF state title and still will be one of the most talented squads in the country despite losing valuable pieces from the state-title team.
• Young replaces JT Daniels
at quarterback and the transfer will be looked to fill those shoes. Expect big seasons from McCoy and Mike Martinez
. The offensive line is young, but super talented. The backfield is loaded with 2019 Oregon commit Sean Dollars
and last year's leading rusher returning in Shakobe Harper
• The defense was dealt a huge blow before the season even started with Mase Funa
suffering an injury, but the Monarchs are still loaded. The addition of Jacobah Fuamatu
will be huge for Rollinson in 2018. Mater Dei will have one of the best secondaries in the country with Ricks, Green-Warren, 2019 Oregon commit Jeremiah Criddell
and William Nimmo
, the leader of the secondary.
• Faced with one of the nation's toughest schedules in 2018, The Monarchs could cement a legacy of historic dominance if they run the table again this season.