June 14, 2021

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Which N.J. high schools have the most football prospects? Who’s on the watch list? Analyzing the new NJ.com Top 50

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Saturday, we wrapped up the new NJ.com Top 50, a list of New Jersey’s top football recruits regardless of grade. However, there are plenty of trends captured throughout the list worth examining. How many recruits are from North Jersey versus South? Which high school has the most selections, overall? How have the public schools done versus private? Which college has the most commitments of players on the list? We answered all of those questions and more as we present fun facts about the new NJ.com Top 50.

Rutgers leads the way with seven commitments on the list, headlined by Hun (Princeton, N.J.) four-star offensive tackle Jacob Allen, New Jersey’s top player. The next closest teams have two commits apiece — Rutgers’ Big Ten foes Illinois and Maryland.

The list is composed of 37 rising seniors (players heading into their senior year) and 13 rising juniors.

Four more potential Top 50 members are leaving (or recently have left) N.J. — ex-St. Peter’s Prep wide receiver Jaylan Sanchez, who transferred to St. Thomas Aquinas in Florida, and safety Christian Lebrun, who also left Prep, but for Avon Old Farms in Connecticut.

Ex-Paramus Catholic athlete Sam Martin Jr. returned to Curtis high school in New York now that teams have returned to the field. Meanwhile, Eastern (Voorhees, N.J.) edge James Heard Jr. announced Sunday, after the Top 50 was released, his transfer to St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia, where top South Jersey talent sometimes migrates.

There are 12 defensive linemen on the list, 11 offensive linemen, nine defensive backs, five quarterbacks, four wide receivers, three tight ends, three linebackers, two running backs, and one athlete.

A majority of the players hail from North Jersey (27) while South Jersey boasts 18 and Central Jersey, five.

Fourteen players on the list play at one of the “Big Six” schools from the Big North (St. Peter’s Prep, Bergen Catholic, St. Joseph (Mont.), Don Bosco, DePaul and Paramus Catholic).

Bergen Catholic and St. Peter’s Prep have more players on the list than any other schools at five apiece. DePaul has two while St. Joseph (Mont.) and Don Bosco have one apiece.

North Jersey public schools with multiple picks include Irvington and Union City, which boast three apiece.

South Jersey public schools with multiple picks include Woodrow Wilson, which leads all public schools with four, and Union City, which has three.

St. Augustine (Richland, N.J.) has more picks than any South Jersey non-public school with two, followed by St. Joseph (Hamm.) with one.

The Hun School, located in Central New Jersey, is on the talent upswing with four picks.

Twenty-five players on the list play at public schools while 25 play non-public ball — a split right down the middle.

Next NJ.com Top 50 Watch list

2022: Nasir Hill, ATH, St. Augustine; Kenny Soares, ATH, St. Peter’s Prep; Sam Slade, RB, St. Peter’s Prep; Paul Lefkowitz, RB, St. Peter’s Prep; Jahqir Haley, DB, St. Joseph Academy; Marshawn Ferguson, WR, DePaul Caholic; Jimel Quann, RB/LB,Winslow; Nazir Dale, RB, Camden; Ahmad Nalls, Edge, East Orange Campus; Devion Sheppard, QB, West Side; John Lista, LB, Rumson-Fair Haven

2023: Nasir Addison, ATH, Irvington; XaVier Miles, DL, St. Peter’s Prep; Chris Moreno, OG, Don Bosco; Armend Uruci, OL, Bergen Catholic; Ryan Adams, DB, St. Peter’s Prep; Austen Frattura, QB, Sparta; Damarion Potts, ATH, South Brunwick; Muwaffaq Parkman, ATH, Hillside; Jabriel Mace, RB, Mainland; Nyair Domnie, DB, DePaul Catholic; Kyle Verriest, ATH, St. John Vianney; Logan Barnes, DT, St. Peter’s Prep; Gensley Auguste, DE, West Orange

2024: Yasin Willis, RB, St. Joseph (Mont.); Joshua Dalgetty, ATH, Don Bosco; Jaylen McClain, ATH, Seton Hall Prep; Kaj Sanders, ATH, Bergen Catholic; Malachi Bethea, OL, Eastside; Vaboue Toure, ATH, Irvington

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Todderick Hunt may be reached at [email protected].

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