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2018 First Coast Player Rankings

By Southern Pigskin Staff
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Below is Version 1.0 of the 2018 First Coast Player Rankings. Five counties encompass this area; they are Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. John’s.

By: Barry Every

Southern Pigskin and ESPN Coastal have expanded their coverage along the eastern seaboard to include Jacksonville and the South Carolina Low Country. To coincide with the added territory we will be adding high school football rankings for the greater Jacksonville area and the entire state of South Carolina along with Georgia Player Rankings.

Below is Version 1.0 of the 2018 First Coast Player Rankings. Five counties encompass this area; they are Clay, Duval, Nassau, Putnam and St. John’s. The rankings will be expanded and updated several times over the next year.

Starting the year off in the #1 spot is two-way standout Tyreke Johnson of Trinity Christian Academy. As a junior he accounted for 566 all-purpose yards. Defensively he recorded 32 tackles, nine PBU’s and one pick. This dynamic athlete could project as a safety, corner or receiver in college. Johnson is one of the most sought after juniors in the country boasting over 25 FBS offers at this time.

College coaches are constantly looking for offensive targets that cause mismatch problems. Making his entry at #2 is Providence hybrid tight end Will Mallory. Last season he led the Stallions in receptions with 46 catches for 920 yards and 12 scores. At 6-foot-5

Mallory poses serious issues for smaller defensive backs. He currently has more than 25 DI offers.

Versatility is the key to long-term success in the game of football. At #3 is Bartram Trail athlete Joey Gatewood.  He completed 59 of 87 passes for 716 yards while carrying the ball 93 times for 753 yards and 11 scores. Gatewood also caught 25 passes for 315 yards and six scores. His size and athleticism allow him to project at several positions. He has given the Auburn Tigers an early verbal commitment.

Nease may have had a down year at (2-7) but they are not without young stars looking to improve upon that mark. Zach Sheffer led the Panthers in receiving with 45 catches for 607 yards and five touchdowns. He has the size, strength and hands to project as the ideal H-Back in college. Sheffer comes in at #4 and is nearing the 25 offer mark.

Chamarri Conner and Eriq Gilyard were the defensive stalwarts for 2016 3A State Champion Trinity Christian Academy. Conner led the Conquerors in tackles with 99 stops while adding five PBU’s and one pick. Gilyard was second in tackles with 91. He also added 14.5 TFL’s, 4.5 sacks and one INT. Conner has verbally committed to Virginia Tech while Gilyard possesses more than 15 FBS offers. They make their entry at #5 and #6 respectively.

The six prospects listed above are just the tip of the talent iceberg in the First Coast region of Florida. Below you will find 39 more athletes worthy of evaluation by college coaches at the FBS and FCS level.

At Southern Pigskin, we hope to bolster the recruiting of high school football prospects in the Southeastern region of the country. One avenue that will increase visibility while honing football skills is to attending camps.

On March, 11 at the Pooler Recreation Complex in Savannah, Georgia Southern Pigskin, ESPN Coastal and Explosive Sports Training will be hosting their first Explosive Southern Pigskin Football Camp of the 2017 season.   The top performers will be recognized on and For more information and registration you can go to