Underrated high school football hotbeds for the 2020 season

Mitch Stephens | MaxPreps.com Wednesday, June 24, 2020 11:30am

MaxPreps experts Zack Poff and Steve Montoya talk gridiron regions not always recognized.

Video: Country's most underrated football regions
Watch Steve Montoya and Zack Poff break it down.


The high school football hotbeds have been well documented. California, Florida and Texas — plus a recent emergence of Georgia are frequently talked about most.

During a recent CBS Sports HQ Show, MaxPreps National Football Editor Zack Poff and expert Steve Montoya pulled out at least two more regions prep football fans should take note in 2020 in the video above.

With five teams in the MaxPreps preseason top 100 — No. 36 Pickerington Central (Pickerington), No. 41 Mentor, No. 47 St. Edward (Lakewood), No. 66 La Salle (Cincinnati) and No. 73 Washington (Massillon), the state of Ohio is loaded with talent, Montoya notes.

The big crowds and rabid student bodies at many Buckeye State games give an "electric feel," said Montoya, who noted the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and No. 1 pick in the 2020 NFL draft Joe Burrow, of Athens (The Plains) is from Ohio.



Poff is a big believer in the DMV (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) region, which boasts four teams in the preseason Top 20: No. 4 St. Frances Academy (Baltimore), No. 18 Our Lady of Good Counsel (Olney, Md.), No. 19 St. John's (Washington, D.C.) and No. 20 DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.).

Right behind Burrow in the NFL draft was defensive end Chase Young, a graduate of DeMatha who played college ball in Ohio, giving the DMV even more football cred.

"The last 5-6 years, the DMV has been coming on very strong," said Poff, noting the No. 31 team in Gonzaga (Washington, D.C.) features the nation's No. 1 quarterback recruit from the Class of 2021 in Caleb Williams. "It's been pretty insane."
Caleb Williams, Gonzaga
File photo by Fred Ingham
Caleb Williams, Gonzaga