Video: 2016 MaxPreps Sophomore All-Americans
Zack Poff takes a look at the MaxPreps Sophomore All-American Team.
It's called the sophomore jinx and it's usually referred to by college sophomores not living up to expectations after superb freshman seasons.
Not many high school football players compete at the varsity level as freshmen, but Mater Dei quarterback J.T. Daniels did. That's not a position often handed over to ninth-graders, but clearly Daniels is a special breed.
He backed up an amazing freshman season with a downright remarkable sophomore campaign, leading the ninth-ranked Monarchs to a 13-0 record before losing to St. John Bosco in the Southern Section Division I championship game.
Daniels completed an unheard of 75 percent of his passes (315 of 423) for 4,849 yards and 67 touchdowns against six interceptions as Mater Dei averaged 476 yards and 57 points per game. He more than doubled his impressive freshman total of 33 touchdown passes.
That made him an easy choice as the MaxPreps 2016 Sophomore Football Player of the Year.
Longtime Mater Dei coach Bruce Rollinson has seen many of the best from Southern California over the last three decades, including those he coached, 2004 Heisman Trophy winner Matt Leinart and 2007 National
Gatorade Athlete of the Year Matt Barkley, a four-year starter who is now the Chicago Bears' starter. He also
coached Colt Brennan, another quarterback who also made it to the NFL.
seen all the best QBs from the region, from John Elway at Granada Hills
to Steve Beuerlein at Servite (Anaheim) to Carson Palmer at Santa
Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita) to Mark Sanchez at Mission Viejo
to most recently, Josh Rosen at St. John Bosco (Bellflower, Calif.)
None of them put up numbers like Daniels.
"I must admit, sometimes I have to sit back and watch the kid and say ‘Wow,' " Rollinson said.
Here are some other 'wow,' players from the Class of 2019.
MaxPreps 2016 Football Sophomore All-American TeamFirst Team Offense
QB — J.T. Daniels, 6-2, 200, Mater Dei (Santa Ana, Calif.)
The MaxPreps Sophomore of the Year was absolutely brilliant. He led the state with 67 TD passes while throwing for 4,849 yards. He held a 145.6 passer rating. The nation's top sophomore Pro-style quarterback guided the Monarchs to a No. 9 national ranking. QB — Grant Gunnell, 6-6, 205, St. Pius X (Houston, Texas)
The towering quarterback racked up 4,973 passing yards, 389 rushing yards and 70 TDs in guiding St. Pius X to the TAPPS D1 state semifinals.RB — Noah Cain, 5-11, 201, Guyer (Denton, Texas)
The nation's top-rated junior running back rushed for 1,683 yards and averaged eight yards per carry with 22 TDs. He's a special talent and a big-time name to remember.RB — Eric Gray, 5-9, 165, Lausanne Collegiate (Memphis, Tenn.)
The productive back filled up the stat sheet. Gray compiled 2,215 rushing yards, 219 receiving yards and 42 total TDs in spearheading the Lynx to a Tennessee Division II Class A state championship.RB — Deondrick Glass, 5-8, 173, Katy (Texas)
The electric 4-star back tallied 1,912 rushing yards and averaged 10.4 yards per carry with 30 TDs in one of the toughest classifications in the nation.WR — David Bell, 6-1, 165, Warren Central (Indianapolis, Ind.)
The dynamic receiver came up clutch all season. Bell notched 103 catches for 1,201 receiving yards and 17 TDs in driving the Warriors to the Indiana Class A state quarterfinals.WR — Arjei Henderson, 6-2, 190, Fort Bend Travis (Richmond, Texas)
Henderson reeled in 100 passes for 1,401 receiving yards and averaged 127 receiving yards per game with 18 TDs.TE — Zach Harrison, 6-5, 236, Olentangy Orange (Lewis Center, Ohio)
Harrison was named a first team All-Ohio selection for his versatile playmaking ability.OL — Keiondre Jones, 6-4, 282, Callaway (Hogansville, Ga.)
The country's No. 1 offensive guard was a pivotal piece in Callaway logging 13 wins and reaching the Georgia Class 2A state semifinals.OL — Nolan Rumler, 6-4, 285, Archbishop Hoban (Akron, Ohio)
Rumler rolled over opposing lineman all season long. The nation's fifth-rated offensive tackle helped the Knights capture an Ohio Division 3 state title.OL — Clay Webb, 6-4, 297, Oxford (Ala.)
The nation's No. 2 offensive guard was a first team All-State pick by the Alabama Sports Writers Association.OL — Andrew Coker, 6-7, 305, Katy Taylor (Katy, Texas)
Coker paved the way for a 2,000-yard rusher and a rushing attack that averaged 280 rushing yards per game with 37 touchdowns.OL — William Putnam, 6-4, 265, Glenwood (Chatham, Ill.)
The country's fourth-rated offensive tackle cleared the path for a ground attack that averaged 303 rushing yards per game with 36 TDs.AP — Jacardia Wright, 6-0, 180, St. Teresa (Decatur, Ill.)
Wright made teams pay on both sides of the ball. The nation's No. 10 athlete notched 2,941 total yards and 43 touchdowns in charging St. Teresa to the Illinois Class A state finals. He also totaled 62 tackles, two tackles for loss and two interceptions on defense.AP — Nolan Groulx, 5-11, 185, Davidson Day (Davidson, N.C.)
Groulx proved his versatility on a nightly basis. He produced 2,385 all-purpose yards and 31 TDs, and added 46 tackles on defense.K — Kolton McGhee, 6-0, 170, Bishop Guilfoyle (Altoona, Pa.)
McGhee is a force in the kicking game and was instrumental in the undefeated Marauders nabbing a Pennsylvania Class A state title. He went a perfect 10-of-10 on field goal attempts, tallied 104 points and averaged 42 yards per punt. He also recorded five tackles on defense.First Team Defense
DL — Matthew Pola-Mao, 6-2, 300, Mountain Pointe (Phoenix, Ariz.)
The nation's No. 2 defensive tackle is a destructive force. He tallied 52 tackles and six tackles for loss in helping Mountain Pointe reach the Arizona Conference 6A state finals.DL — Kayvon Thibodeaux, 6-5, 235, Dorsey (Los Angeles)
The country's top overall prospect is a special talent and racked up 17 sacks and 27 tackles for loss.DL — Ishmael Sopsher, 6-5, 280, Amite (La.)
Sopsher, the nation's top-rated defensive tackle, was an important factor in Amite reaching the Louisiana Class 3A state finals.DL — Trevis Hopper, 6-3, 265, Memphis Central (Tenn.)
Hopper was an All-State selection by the Tennessee Sports Writers Association. He's regarded as the country's No. 3 defensive tackle.LB — Owen Pappoe, 6-0, 200, Grayson (Loganville, Ga.)
Pappoe is the only freshman ever to be invited to The Opening. The nation's second overall recruit is a rare talent that ignited the No. 4 Rams to a Georgia Class 7A state title.LB — Shane Lee, 6-0, 240, St. John's (Washington, D.C.)
The country's No. 1 inside linebacker led St. John's to the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title game and presents a ton of promise.LB — Charles Thomas, 6-1, 220, Langston Hughes (Fairburn, Ga.)
The nation's fourth-rated inside linebacker had a monster year. Thomas totaled 132 tackles, 10 tackles for loss and three sacks.LB — Derrion Clark, 6-1, 230, South Oak Cliff (Dallas)
Clark was a disruptive force in the backfield and posted 105 tackles, 13 sacks and 12 tackles for loss.DB — Jalen Catalon, 5-10, 175, Mansfield Legacy (Texas)
Catalon put up absurd numbers for a free safety. He notched 183 tackles, nine interceptions and seven tackles for loss in spearheading the Broncos to the Texas Conference 5A D1 state quarterfinals.DB — Brian Williams, 6-1, 195, Bishop Dunne (Dallas)
The nation's top safety is the ultimate ball hawk. Williams logged 78 tackles, eight interceptions and five tackles for loss in spurring the Falcons to the TAPPS D1 state finals.DB — Akeem Dent, 5-11, 170, Pahokee (Fla.)
The country's No. 1 cornerback was a key reason Pahokee nabbed its first state title since 2008 and seventh overall.DB — Diwun Black, 6-3, 200, Forest (Miss.)
Black is a quarterback's worst nightmare. He racked up an impressive 12 interceptions, 76 tackles and seven tackles for loss. He also registered 666 total yards and four TDs on offense.AP — Traveon Freshwater, 6-3, 210, Northeastern (Elizabeth City, N.C.)
Freshwater was lethal on both sides of the ball. He recorded 1,441 rushing yards and averaged 13.1 yards per carry with 23 TDs. He also produced 150 tackles and 22 sacks on defense.P — Drew Dabney, 6-3, 200, Lafayette (Oxford, Miss.)
Dabney averaged 40.6 yards per punt with a long of 61 yards for the Mississippi Class 4A state champion Commodores.
Second Team Offense
QB — Sam Howell, 6-1, 200, Sun Valley (Monroe, N.C.)
The dynamic dual-threat quarterback racked up 3,217 passing yards, 444 rushing yards and 50 touchdowns.QB — Jacob Conover, 6-1, 185, Chandler (Ariz.)
Conover posted 3,715 passing yards with a 138 passer rating and 36 total touchdowns in charging No. 17 Chandler to an Arizona Conference 6A state championship.RB — Austin Jones, 5-10, 180, Bishop O'Dowd (Oakland, Calif.)
Jones is a talent on the rise. He notched 1,967 rushing yards, 2,201 total yards and 29 touchdowns in driving the Dragons to a California CIF-State Division 5-AA crown.RB — Devyn Ford, 5-11, 175, North Stafford (Stafford, Va.)
The country's second-rated running back is one of the most explosive playmakers high school football has to offer.RB — Jerrion Ealy, 5-10, 185, Jackson Prep (Jackson, Miss.)
The nation's No. 4 running back tallied 971 rushing yards, 609 receiving yards and 29 TDs in piloting the Patriots to a state title. He's one of the shiftiest players in America.WR — Mycah Pittman, 6-0, 190, Oaks Christian (Westlake Village, Calif.)
The son of Super Bowl champion Michael Pittman recorded 1,329 receiving yards and averaged 24 yards per catch with 11 TDs.WR — Dominick Blaylock, 6-0, 185, Walton (Marietta, Ga.)
Blaylock was named to the 4-AAAAAAA All-Region team, and the country's No. 3 receiver has a complete skill set.TE — Kyle Helbig, 6-3, 215, Holy Family (Broomfield, Colo.)
Helbig logged 810 receiving yards and five TDs. The two-sport athlete also had 13 tackles, two tackles for loss and two pass deflections on defense.OL — Kenyon Green, 6-4, 270, Atascocita (Humble, Texas)
The LSU commit protected a 3,500-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher in helping the Eagles reach the Texas Conference 6A D1 state semifinals.OL — Luke Griffin, 6-5, 275, North Murray (Chatsworth, Ga.)
The Georgia commit is the nation's No. 7 offensive tackle and a powerful specimen.OL — Dylan Rathcke, 6-5, 275, University Lab (Baton Rouge, La.)
Rathcke rumbled through opposing lineman and played a pivotal part in the Cubs reaching the Louisiana Division II state semifinals.OL — Justin Scrempos, 6-8, 310, Milpitas (Calif.)
The nation's No. 9 offensive tackle paved the way for a 2,000-yard passer and a 1,000-yard rusher.OL — Bryan Hudson, 6-5, 279, Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.)
Hudson cleared running lanes and was a key factor in the Cardinals reaching the Kentucky Class 6A state semifinals.AP — Jadon Haselwood, 6-4, 190, Cedar Grove (Ellenwood, Ga.)
The country's second-rated receiver was named a Class 3A All-State selection by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and spearheaded the Saints to a Georgia Class 3A state title.AP — Jordan Whittington, 6-1, 185, Cuero (Texas)
Whittington did a little bit of everything for Cuero. The nation's sixth-rated athlete racked up 795 receiving yards, 361 rushing yards, 151 passing yards, 1,825 all-purpose yards and 21 total TDs. He also notched six interceptions to aid Cuero in charging to the Texas Conference 4A D2 state quarterfinals.K — Caden Davis, 6-1, 175, Coppell (Texas)
The productive kicker was a Texas AP All-State selection. He was 51-of-51 on extra points and15-of-20 on field goals with a long of 51 yards.Second Team Defense
DL — Nolan Smith, 6-2, 210, Calvary Day (Savannah, Ga.)
The nation's fourth-rated weak-side defensive was a menace in the backfield. He totaled 75 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 12 sacks. He also put up 712 rushing yards and nine TDs.DL — Dante Walker, 6-3, 240, Riverdale (Ga.)
Walker tallied 80 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and eight sacks. He's regarded as the country's eighth-best strong-side defensive end.DL — Jayden Jernigan, 6-1, 262, Allen (Texas)
The promising defensive tackle helped perennial power Allen reach the Texas Conference 6A D1 state semifinals.DL — Terrence Faumui, 6-2, 205, Timpview (Provo, Utah)
The disruptive force recorded 153 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and 16.5 sacks.LB — Henry To'oto'o, 6-2, 205, De La Salle (Concord, Calif.)
To'oto'o was a key performer for the California Open Division state finalist Spartans.LB — Diamante Howard, 6-2, 195, Southridge (Miami)
The nation's No. 2 outside linebacker and Miami commit ignited Southridge to a Florida Class 8A state championship.LB — Ahdarrious Gee, 6-1, 190, Crisp County (Cordele, Ga.)
The hard-hitting linebacker recorded 208 tackles, 26 tackles for loss and seven pass deflections in guiding the Cougars to the Georgia Class 3A state semifinals.LB — Trey Stephens, 6-0, 220, Coronado (Lubbock, Texas)
Stephens logged 185 tackles, 24 tackles for loss and five sacks.DB — Jaleel McRae, 6-2, 206, New Smyrna Beach (Fla.)
The country's second-rated safety and Florida commit is a rare breed.DB — Tyler Green, 5-10, 158, Christian Brothers (Sacramento, Calif.)
The dynamic playmaker posted 12 interceptions, 44 tackles, and added 548 total yards and six TDs.DB — Kimani Quade, 5-8, 150, Sheldon (Eugene, Ore.)
The ballhawk snatched 11 interceptions and had 40 tackles. He also registered three TDs on offense in spurring Sheldon to the Oregon Class 6A state quarterfinals.DB — Jaxen Turner, 6-2, 160, Rancho Verde (Moreno Valley, Calif.)
Turner snared 10 interceptions and had 45 tackles with five pass deflections.AP — Jalen Williams, 6-4, 190, Brookside Christian (Stockton, Calif.)
The three-sport standout notched 218 tackles and 32 tackles for loss. He also did damage at wideout with 606 receiving yards and seven TDs.P — PJ Buck, 6-0, 160, Center Grove (Greenwood, Ind.)
Buck did work in the special team's department and averaged 38 yards per punt to help the Trojans reach the Indiana Class 6A state finals.