Breaking down the top football players in class of 2019

Imhotep Charter junior defensive back Tykee Smith (2) has scholarship offers from multiple Division I football programs.

With the first early national signing period in the books, it’s time to take a look at some of the best football prospects from Southeastern Pennsylvania in the class of 2019.

Our top-10 list is based on a player’s potential to excel at a high level in college.

1. Tykee Smith, Imhotep Charter, defensive back, 5-foot-10, 185 pounds. The hard-hitting strong safety helped lead the Panthers to a 12-2 record and to the PIAA Class 4A championship game.

Smith, also a multipurpose threat on offense, has scholarship offers from Baylor, Duke, Maryland, Michigan State, Missouri, North Carolina, Pittsburgh, and West Virginia, among others.

Camera icon CHARLES FOX
Coatesville’s Aaron Young (4).

2. Aaron Young, Coatesville, running back, 5-11, 190. Young carried 171 times for 1,699 yards and 25 touchdowns as the Red Raiders reached the PIAA Class 6A semifinals. He has offers from Boston College, Indiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Wake Forest.

3. Patrick Garwo, Conwell-Egan, running back, 5-10, 205. The bullish and quick ballcarrier totaled 1,800-plus yards and 24 TDs in the Eagles’ drive to the PIAA Class 2A semifinals. He has offers from Army, Central Florida, Maryland, Rutgers, Temple, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

4. Omar Speights, Imhotep Charter, defensive end, 6-1, 235. Speights, whose stock rose considerably last season, has offers from Baylor, Brigham Young, Duke, Kentucky, and Tennessee.

Camera icon LOU RABITO
Malvern Prep’s Keith Maguire (4).

5. Keith Maguire, Malvern Prep, linebacker, 6-2, 215. The Inter-Ac League’s most valuable player has offers from Army, Baylor, Duke, Notre Dame, North Carolina, Northwestern, Rutgers, and Vanderbilt.

6. Yusuf Terry, Imhotep Charter,  wide receiver, 6-3, 170. The high-leaping and athletic wideout has offers from Howard, Rutgers, Syracuse, Maryland, Pittsburgh, and Temple.

7. Elijah Wroten, Germantown Academy, offensive and defensive lineman, 6-3, 305. A stout two-way lineman, Wroten has offers from Boston College, Buffalo, Duke, Connecticut, Old Dominion, and Temple.

8. Nick Gallo, Council Rock South, tight end, 6-3, 225. Gallo has offers from Connecticut, Maryland (where his brother, P.J., played the same position), North Carolina, Northwestern, Rutgers, Syracuse, Temple, and Wake Forest.

9. Jake Hornibrook, Malvern Prep, offensive lineman, 6-4, 275. The brother of Wisconsin quarterback Alex Hornibrook has offers from Army, Baylor, Duke, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, and Temple.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK
Haverford School’s Asim Richards (4) in a game against Edward Saydee (6) and Penn Charter.

10. Asim Richards, Haverford School, tight end/defensive end, 6-5, 250. A two-way player with a huge upside, Richards has offers from Connecticut, Indiana, Rutgers, Temple, and West Virginia.

Here are 25 others to watch, in ranked order, in the class of 2019:

Quincy Watson, Malvern Prep, ATH, 5-9, 180; Connor Bishop, Archbishop Wood, OL, 6-3, 260; DeeWil Barlee, Episcopal Academy, RB, 5-8, 175; Jonathan Haynes, North Penn, WR/DB, 5-11, 185; Drew Gunther, Malvern Prep, QB, 6-3, 195; Luke Benson, Central Bucks West, TE/DE, 6-4, 220; Edward Saydee, Penn Charter, RB/DB, 6-0, 185; Marlon Weathers, Marple Newtown, RB, 6-0, 185; TyGee Leach, Malvern Prep, DB, 5-10, 170; Brian Malinowski, Pennsbury, OL, 6-5, 280; Kennedy Poles, Penn Wood, WR, 6-1, 175; Jack Purcell, Episcopal Academy, TE/DE, 6-5, 230; Ricky Santiago, Coatesville, OL, 6-3, 305; Oleh Manzyk, Neshaminy, LB, 6-1, 205; Tre’Sean Bouie, Neumann-Goretti, WR/DB, 6-0, 170; Johnny Freeman, St. Joseph’s Prep, WR, 6-1, 195; Matt Norris, Central Bucks South, LB, 6-1, 225; Julz Kelly, Sun Valley, ATH, 5-11, 170; Connor Long, Avon Grove, OL, 6-4, 250; Jordan Mariney, Simon Gratz, WR, 6-2, 205; Shamar Edwards, North Penn, WR-DB, 5-11, 190; Avery Samuels, Germantown Academy, Germantown Academy, OL, 6-4, 315; Sy’Mear Williams, Imhotep Charter, LB, 6-1, 210; Katob Joseph, Father Judge, ATH, 5-11, 170; Michael Gray, West Chester East, WR-DB, 6-1, 190.

Class of 2020

Here are our top 15 players to watch in the class of 2020:

1, Dapree Bryant, Coatesville, WR, 5-8, 175; 2, Connor Noble, Downingtown East, TE, 6-2, 200; 3, Casey Stephenson, St. Joseph’s Prep, OL, 6-2, 305; 4, Ricky Ortega, Coatesville, QB, 6-0, 190; 5, Brendan Flynn, Malvern Prep, OL, 6-2, 255; 6, Will Howard, Downingtown West, QB, 6-4, 200; 7, Kolbe Burrell, St. Joseph’s Prep, RB, 5-8, 185; 8, Nick Pino, Avon Grove, OL, 6-2, 325; 9, Brady McAndrew, Neshaminy, QB, 6-3, 190; 10, Matt McGeary, St. Joseph’s Prep, OL, 6-2, 310; 11, Trae Vance, Germantown Academy, RB-LB, 5-10, 185; 12, Danny Dutkiewicz, Lansdale Catholic, DB, 5-11, 185; 13, Micah Mazzcua, Simon Gratz, OL, 6-5, 260; 14, Anthony Rightly, St. Joseph’s Prep, WR, 6-2, 185; 15, Zahir Booker, West Catholic, RB-DB; 5-10, 180.

Matta honored

Downingtown East head football coach Mike Matta has been nominated by the Philadelphia Eagles for the Don Shula high school coach of the year award.

The award recognizes coaches who display character, integrity, leadership, dedication to the community, commitment to player health and safety, and on-field success.

Camera icon STEVEN M. FALK
Downingtown East head coach Mike Matta.

Along with the nominees from the other 31 NFL clubs, Matta was recognized during the NFL’s week-long celebration at the Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. The game will be played at 3 p.m. Sunday at Camping World Stadium.

“It’s special,” said Matta, who has been at Downingtown East since the old Downingtown High split into East and West in 2003. “But it’s not for coaching wizardry. It’s more for the respect our program has gained over the years.”

Two finalists will each receive $15,000 from the NFL Foundation, with $10,000 being donated to the coaches’ high schools.

Matta guided the Cougars, who last season went 10-2 and reached the District 1 Class 6A quarterfinals, to Ches-Mont League National Division titles in 2005, ’08, ’10, ’12, and ’15.