The Post’s Top 20: Preseason football rankings

August 29, 2012

Last year’s final ranking in parentheses.

1 } Good Counsel 12-0 (1)

Three-time defending WCAC champion returns 15 starters, including All-Mets Kendall Fuller (Virginia Tech) and Dorian O’Daniel and boasts eight seniors with BCS scholarship offers.

2 } Hylton 11-1 (11)

Brimming with BCS prospects, including All-Met linebacker E.J. Levenberry (Florida State), the Bulldogs are aiming not so much for a third consecutive unbeaten regular season but a Virginia AAA Division 6 title.

3 } S. Bridge 10-2 (15)

Bulldogs return two-time All-Met DL Jonathan Allen (Alabama) and Stanford-bound QB Ryan Burns off team whose string of six straight Virginia AAA Northern Region Division 5 championship appearances was snapped last season.

4 } Q. Orchard 13-1 (3)

Maryland 4A finalist Cougars have stout defense headed by linebackers Marcus Newby (Nebraska) and Tyrell Williams and might still be smarting from giving up three-touchdown lead in overtime loss in Maryland 4A final last year.

5 } Fr. Collegiate 9-1 (7)

Transfer RB Jonathan Haden and CB Jalen Tabor, two of the most coveted recruits in the area, lead a highly potent squad that has become an emerging power.

6 } Suitland 10-2 (20)

All-Met WR Taivon Jacobs (Ohio State) returns for an offense that averaged 36.4 points last regular season in advancing to the Maryland 4A South Region final.

7 } L. Braddock 7-5 (NR)

Touted junior QB Caleb Henderson transfers in from West Potomac, making the Bruins the favorite to win their third Division 6 Northern Region title in four years.

8 } Battlefield 10-3 (9)

The Bobcats, 54-9 the past five seasons, aim for a fourth straight Virginia AAA Division 6 state playoff berth behind lineman Brandon Dukeman and linebacker Nick Newman.

9 } DeMatha 6-4 (NR)

DeMatha’s streak of 14 straight WCAC final appearances ended last season in what was considered a rebuilding year, but the young Stags, led on defense by LB Spencer Kleinrichert, will be formidable.

10 } C.H. Flowers 9-4 (13)

Jaguars advanced to state semifinals for first time last season and, thanks to a solid defense and a pair of swift wideouts, are again set to contend in Maryland 4A.

11 } Old Mill 14-0 (2)

Defending Maryland 4A champion should be contenders again despite the graduation of All-Met Offensive Player of the Year Rob Chesson, who scored a state-record 49 touchdowns last season.

12 } Briar Woods 14-1 (6)

Two-time defending Virginia AA Division 4 champions return 12 starters, including LB/TE Matt Rolin (South Carolina) and TE/LB Cam Serigne (Wake Forest).

13 } Westfield 12-1 (5)

Although they graduated more than 40 seniors, the Bulldogs remain a favorite atop the Virginia AAA Concorde District, perhaps the top public school league in the area.

14 } Gonzaga 8-4 (NR)

Defending WCAC runner-up, with five league wins last year by eight points or fewer, return Notre Dame-bound DB Devin Butler.

15 } River Hill 12-2 (8)

Senior RBs Evan Griffin and Stephan Osong lead the push for a repeat Maryland 3A title for the Hawks, who closed last season with 10 straight wins.

16 } Chantilly 6-5 (NR)

Chargers return QB Sonny Romine and RB DeAndre Harris and some consider them the early-season favorite for the Concorde District title, ahead of Westfield.

17 } St. John’s 4-6 (NR)

Could be this be the breakthrough year for the Cadets, who gave up a league-low 28 points to Good Counsel last season?

18 } Patuxent 9-2 (NR)

SMAC tri-champions in 2011, the Panthers return 16 starters including dual-threat senior QB Trey Lee.

19 } Damascus 9-3 (NR)

Swarmin’ Hornets will try to earn their 15th straight Maryland state playoff appearance behind WR/LB Zach Bradshaw (Virginia).

20 } Seneca Val. 9-2 (NR)

Senior RB James Jones-Williams and junior WR Kevin Joppy give the 12-time Maryland state champion Eagles plenty of big-play potential.

Bubble teams

Wise (9-2) , Centreville (13-2), Oakton (8-3)

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