High-SchoolNew-York: Chad Kelly

The Top 10 Stories of the Year in New York

December, 29, 2011
10. Surprise, Surprise
After losing their star player in Ishaq Williams and falling just short of the PSAL title, most figured Lincoln would spend this season rebuilding. Instead, the Railsplitters built a championship season by going 13-0 en route to the championship behind talented rusher Kareem Folkes.

9. In the Nick of Time
For the past decade, Fayetteville-Manlius' girls cross country program has garnered all of the attention, but this year, the boys stole some of the spotlight. Led by Nick Ryan's first-place finish, the boys joined the girls as Class A state champs. Ryan went on to finish fifth at the Nike Cross Nationals meet.

8. Dream Season
After failing to reach the PSAL final for the first time in 15 years, MLK returned to the throne of New York city soccer by beating Francis Lewis, 3-2. Ibrahim Diaby provided the decisive goal, scoring on a header in the 69th minute to give the Knights their 13th crown in the last 16 seasons.

7. Watch the Throne
Jamesville-DeWitt and Mount Vernon both made history on the same day this past winter. Led by Dajuan Coleman, J-D won its state-record tying fourth straight Class A title while Mount Vernon rode the play of Jabarie Hinds to cop its state-record tying ninth overall crown.

6. Elite Class
In just two years on the New York football scene, Chad Kelly made national waves. This past summer, the St. Joe's Collegiate senior earned a spot in the Elite 11 during the annual QB camp in California. Kelly, the son of Hall of Famer Jim Kelly, took those skills to become the first New York QB to throw for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000.

5. Perfect Saint
Despite losing its starting quarterback before the year began and enduring injuries all season to its top players, St. Anthony's continued its reign of success by going 10-0 and copping its third straight CHSFL crown this past fall.

4. Luck of the Irish
Penn State saw itself spurned not once, but twice in the same year by New York's top football recruit. In January, as Lincoln's Ishaq Williams was packing for a visit to Penn State, a Notre Dame coach knocked on his door and eventually led him to commit to the Fighting Irish. Then this past fall, Aquinas Institute's Jarron Jones decommitted from Penn State and then chose Notre Dame as well.

3. Coaches Suspended
PSAL coaches Steve Mandl, who has 900-plus wins managing George Washington's baseball team, and Forest Hills hoops coach Ben Chobhaphand were suspended for recruiting violations. While Mandl fought the ruling in the courts, George Washington went on to win the PSAL title this past spring. Chobhaphand is poised to return to the sideline after his one-year suspension ends in February.

2. 'Cuse Lands Another Coleman
He's not related to former Syracuse and NBA star Derrick Coleman, but Dajuan Coleman is following in the big man's footsteps. The J-D senior committed to Syracuse this past fall over the likes of Kentucky and Ohio State.

1. We Will Never Forget
Middletown may be a 90-minute drive from Ground Zero, but on Sept. 10 the memory of 9/11 was close at hand for everyone attending a tripleheader of football games to honor the memories of those who died a decade ago. Manhattan Xavier faced Pine Brush, Xaverian played Monroe-Woodbury and Archbishop Stepinac took on Middletown. More than $4,000 was raised in donations and raffles during the event, as all involved teams paid tribute to the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Five Days of List-Mas: NY's A-List

December, 12, 2011

Monday | Tuesday | Wednesday | Thursday | Friday

Whether you’re putting together a grouping of best quarterbacks or worst albums, or you’re making that special list for Santa, there’s nothing quite like a good list. So in honor of the holiday season we’re bringing you lists all week long — Merry List-Mas!

Today: A-Listers.

In the NFL, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are A-Listers. In the NBA, it’s LeBron James and Kobe Bryant. But who are the A-Listers in New York? That’s where today’s list comes in. Regardless of sport, here’s our list of the top five A-List athletes in the state. Can you think of an A-Lister we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments.

5. Justin Combs (SR), Iona Prep, Football
Credentials: son of Diddy, UCLA recruit, played three positions at Iona Prep

4. Isaiah Whitehead (SO), Lincoln, Basketball
Credentials: No. 20 in ESPNU 25, primed to follow former Lincoln stars Stephon Marbury and Sebastian Telfair into NBA

3. Chad Kelly, St. Joe's Collegiate Football
Credentials: Elite 11 finalist, Clemson recruit, Under Armour All-American, only QB in state to ever pass for 3,000 yards and rush for 1,000 yards, nephew of former Buffalo Bills QB Jim Kelly

2. Omar Calhoun (SR), Christ the King, Basketball
Credentials: No. 27 in ESPNU 100, UConn recruit, led Royals to 2010 state Federation Class AA title

1. Dajuan Coleman (SR), Jamesville-DeWitt, Basketball
Credentials: No. 14 in ESPNU 100, Syracuse recruit, led Red Rams to three straight Class A state titles, three-time Elite 24 participant

Click here to check out some of the other states in our Five Days of List-Mas.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHS.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

St. Anthony's looks for 10th football title in 11 years

November, 18, 2011
Championship football is upon us, meaning dreams will be realized and crushed simultaneously, often in thrilling fashion.

So was the case Thursday when St. Joe's Collegiate and St. Francis faced off for the MMA title. The Marauders entered with the upper hand after beating the Red Raiders earlier this season. Plus, Chad Kelly was attempting to become the first QB in state history to pass for 3,000 yards and run for 1,000 yards in the same season. The Elite 11 quarterback gained 325 total yards to surpass the mark, but in the all-important contest, the Marauders came up short, falling 37-16.

Star tailback Akeel Lynch, who missed their first meeting with an injury, scored on the first play from scrimmage with 62-yard run. The senior finished with 164 yards and two scores, giving him a school-record 2,131 yards for the season, but a turf toe injury sidelined him for most of the second half. But the Red Raiders didn't skip a beat, as Alex Misterman (153 rushing yards, one TD) scored to give them an insurmountable 23-8 halftime lead.

St. Anthony's vs. Archbishop Stepinac
The championship bouts will continue tonight as St. Anthony's battles Archbishop Stepinac in hopes of winning its 10th CHSFL AAA title in the last 11 years. The Friars, who have reached the last 13 title games, enter as the hands-down favorite after beating the Crusaders, 55-29. Friday's contest is likely to be a bit closer, but with the Friars' experience and wealth of talent, my guess is they will once again hoist the trophy at night's end.
My pick: St. Anthony's 35, Archbishop Stepinac 24

Kellenberg vs. Fordham Prep
This one is bound to be a bit closer than the AAA final, as these two teams already played a classic matchup earlier in the season. Then, Fordham Prep pulled out a 29-28 win on a late two-point conversion. The Rams lost four straight following that thriller, but have righted the ship to reach tonight's AA championship. The question here will be, is two better than one? Kellenberg relies heavily on standout QB Matt McDaniels while Fordham Prep uses a dual-QB approach with James Drago and Logan Williamson.
My pick: Fordham Prep 24, Kellenberg 21

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

New York football playoffs beginning to heat up

November, 11, 2011
With the PSAL entering its postseason play this weekend, the entire state of New York is now in the midst of its most exciting time during the football season — the playoffs.

An epic battle between St. Joe's Collegiate and Canisius on Thursday proved just that. Marauders QB Chad Kelly showed why he made the Elite 11 this past summer, orchestrating a last-minute drive to help his team pull out a 48-47 win in the MMAA semifinals.

Down 47-40 with, Kelly drove his offense to the Canisius 6 with under a minute to play. Two incomplete passes and a run play that yielded negative yards brought up fourth-and-16. But Kelly showed his poise, connecting with Rod Payne for the touchdown before finding Yanni Zaulia for the decisive two-point conversion with 18 seconds remaining. Next, the Marauders will face St. Francis, which they beat earlier this season, 27-20.

Here are some other intriguing games to watch out for this weekend:

Iona Prep vs. St. Anthony's
When these two met on the gridiron two weeks ago, even though St. Anthony's escaped with a 21-20 win, there were some who weren't convinced that the Friars were the better team. The difference came when Iona Prep's two-point conversion try was stuffed with 24 seconds remaining, but coach Vic Quirolo said that had his kicker (and All-State goalkeeper) Alex Kapp been at the game rather than at a soccer commitment, they would have kicked the PAT and rolled the dice in overtime. Kapp is expected to play this weekend, which is welcome news for the Gaels, but is it enough? The Friars appear to be as close to full strength as they've been all season after standout players like Dariyan Riley and Brian Sherlock struggled with injuries. And though Kapp is slated to play, starting QB Mario Biaggi III might not due to an ankle sprain he sustained last week. If not, Justin Combs, who scored three times in last round's win, will get the nod.
My pick: St. Anthony's 24, Iona Prep 21

Campus Magnet vs. Curtis
Campus Magnet's season began with hope (a 24-20 comeback win against Erasmus Hall) while Curtis' started in defeat (a 40-12 loss to Boys & Girls). Both have had their ups and downs en route to a 6-3 regular season showing, making this weekend's first-round PSAL contest a closely matched one. Homefield advantage is in Campus Magnet's favor, but Curtis has a tailback Kevin Austin who could exploit the Bulldogs' struggles against the run this year.
My pick: Campus Magnet 24, Curtis 17

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Tottenville and St. Francis fall, shake up Week 4 NY rankings

October, 3, 2011
After games as of Sunday, Oct. 2.

Even though Erasmus Hall has plenty of talent and boasts an All-American in Wayne Morgan, few figured the Dutchmen would pull of an upset of Tottenville. Not after losing 30-8 to the same Clinton squad that the Pirates had shut out 21-0 earlier this season. But after falling behind 13-0 in the first half, the Dutchmen put the clamps on Tottenville's high-powered offense and pulled off the 14-13 upset.

St. Francis also fell, losing for the second time this season to a top 10 squad. In a rematch of last year's Monsignor Martin championship, St. Joe's Collegiate once again beat the Red Raiders, this time by a count of 27-20. Elite 11 QB Chad Kelly led the way, connecting with Kyle Briggs for two late scores to make the difference. The win gives the Marauders a signature win following their season-opening loss to Aquinas Institute and knocks the Red Raiders out of the top 10.

And without further ado, here are this week's rankings (last week's rankings are in parentheses):

1. St. Anthony's (Mehlville) 3-0 (1)
The Friars used a late turnover to seal a close, 29-19 win against previously undefeated Holy Cross. Next up: Archbishop-Stepinac.

2. Aquinas Institute (Rochester) 5-0 (2)
The Little Irish breezed past Corning, 51-12. Aquinas Institute will look to continue their unbeaten streak against Canisius this week.

3. Orchard Park 5-0 (5)
The Quakers avoided the upset bug and continued their winning ways, downing a talented Clarence squad, 44-13. Next up: Lancaster.

Click here for the full POWERADE New York weekly football rankings.

Holy Cross shoots for upset of No. 1 St. Anthony's in Week 3 NY football

September, 30, 2011
It's been a pleasantly surprising start to the season for Holy Cross. A win against Xaverian along with coach Tom Pugh;s 200th victory last week highlights the Knights' 3-0 start, but nothing would top a victory against defending CHSFL champ and current No. 1 St. Anthony's (2-0).

The Knights have homefield advantage and a solid defensive attack, but quite frankly, most of the odds are stacked against them. The Friars boast tons of experience and depth — both of which were witnessed last week when Anthony Anderson stepped in for the injured Dariyan Riley to rush for 136 yards in a 51-0 rout of Fordham Prep. Riley is expected back this week and the Friars' defense is evolving into midseason form. Don't get wrong — Holy Cross will put up a fight, but this bout will end in a 22nd straight victory for the Friars.
My pick: St. Anthony's 35, Holy Cross 17

No. 8 St. Joe's Collegiate (3-1) at No. 4 St. Francis (3-1)
Just two weeks after facing No. 2 Aquinas Institute, St. Francis comes up against another strong team in St. Joe's Collegiate. Both teams possess big-time playmakers, with St. Francis anchored by Akeel Lynch (705 rushing yards and seven scores despite missing a game a half with injury) and the Marauders led by Elite 11 QB Chad Kelly. Ironically, this will be the first time these two will play on the same field. Last year, an injury held out Lynch, as Kelly went off for five scores in an easy win. And the year before that, Kelly was still playing in Pennsylvania, as Lynch had a career-high five touchdowns in victory. What's more is that both teams only loss came to No. 2 Aquinas Institute. Like Lynch, Kelly has been off to a great start, totaling 14 TDs through the air and on the ground. In other words, this matchup is primed to be a shootout.
My pick: St. Francis 38, St. Joe's Collegiate 35

Xaverian (2-1) at No. 9 Iona Prep (3-0)
Last week was the Justin Combs show, as Diddy's son stepped in at quarterback to score three touchdowns for the surging Gaels in a 28-7 win against Monsignor Farrell. The Gaels will need a similar effort from the versatile starter this week against a tough Xaverian squad. Quarterback Isaiah Kearney (a total of 644 yards and seven TDs) will keep the Gaels defense on its heels, but ultimately, I think Iona Prep's offense of Combs, Mario Biaggi and Shaquille Townsend will be too much for the Clippers.
My pick: Iona Prep 28, Xaverian 20

No. 3 Tottenville (3-0) at Erasmus Hall (1-2)
Many thought this game would be a matchup of undefeateds, but Erasmus Hall has sputtered in its first three games. Despite boasting All-State DB Wayne Morgan, the Dutchmen defense has struggled, surrendering 17 second-half points in a loss to Campus Magnet and 30 points last week against Clinton. Tottenville, on the other hand, has cruised to a 3-0 start behind the three-headed monster of QB Brandon Barnes, RB Augustus Edwards and WR Alvin Cornelius. The good news for Erasmus Hall is talented enough to rebound and still contend for a state title. The bad news is that Tottenville easily beat Clinton a few weeks ago and won't let up tonight.
My pick: Tottenville 31, Erasmus Hall 17

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Week 2 NY football: St. Francis presents test for Aquinas Institute

September, 16, 2011
For the second time this season, No. 2 Aquinas Institute will face a top-10 squad, as No. 3 St. Francis comes to town on Saturday.

As most know, the Little Irish (2-0) are led by the state's top recruit, Jarron Jones, who has committed to Notre Dame. The senior defensive lineman can plug up holes and get into the backfield in a hurry. Plus, All-State players Marc Pettrone (LB) and Jamahl Pardner (DB) have his back.

As a result, a Red Raiders (2-0) offense that has put up 85 points in two games could be slowed. Akeel Lynch is the backbone of their attack, gaining 479 yards and five touchdowns on the ground. Thing is, if the Little Irish can solely focus on stopping Lynch, as the Red Raiders' passing game has struggled in minimal action this year.

On the other side of the ball, Aquinas also has a rushing attack to be respected. Junior Billy Lombardi has surpassed the 150-yard mark in two games to go with five scores. What's more, quarterback Cory Benedetto has yet to throw a pick this season.

The Red Raiders should put up a good fight, but Aquinas has too many weapons for St. Francis on this day.
My pick: Aquinas 35, St. Francis 20

No. 7 Fort Hamilton (1-0) at Campus Magnet (1-0)
Fort Hamilton extended its regular-season win streak to 33 games, but the Tigers face a Campus Magnet that appears prone to surprise teams. Last week, the Bulldogs fell behind 13 points before gaining a first down to a tough Erasmus Hall squad. But that was no sweat for the Bulldogs, who stormed back for a 24-20 win. Quarterback Khalik Greenwood will be tested again against a solid Tigers defense.
My pick: Fort Hamilton 20, Campus Magnet 17

No. 9 St. Joe's Collegiate (1-1) at Canisius (2-0)
With two potent offenses meeting up, this could be an old-fashioned shootout. For St. Joe's, Elite 11 QB Chad Kelly can make plays with his arm and feet, totaling 586 yards, seven scores and just one pick. For Canisius, Mercer Timms is the focus. The tailback has tallied 463 yards and seven touchdowns in just two games. Likewise, quarterback Chris Jugovic showed his stuff last week with four touchdowns through the air. The Marauders' defense has struggled this season, which could give Canisius a slight advantage on its homefield.
My pick: Canisius 24, St. Joe's Collegiate 21

Erasmus Hall (0-1) at Boys & Girls (1-0)
While one team showed it can adjust on the fly, the other is looking to prove its mettle after a shocking opening loss. Just days after Clive Harding replaced dismissed coach Barry O'Connor, Boys & Girls showed their resolve in a 40-12 win against Curtis. Meanwhile, Erasmus Hall, led by All-State player Wayne Morgan, lost a 13-point lead and eventually the game to a surprising Campus Magnet squad. This bout will be key for both squads, with Erasmus facing an 0-2 hole and Boys & Girls looking to gain some early momentum. Look for Erasmus Hall to bounce back behind Morgan and freshman phenom Curtis Samuel, who rushed for two scores last week.
My pick: Erasmus Hall 24, Boys & Girls 20

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.
Chad Kelly, a senior at St. Joe's Collegiate, is one of the top-rated quarterbacks in the nation after earning a spot in the Elite 11 this past summer. Kelly, who has already committed to Clemson, agreed to chronicle his senior season through a weekly diary as told to ESPNHS editor Brandon Parker.

We were so hyped going into Saturday's game against Aquinas Institute. The game was on TV and we knew we were playing a team that's not only ranked in the state but ranked nationally, so we figured they weren't going to make many mistakes. We knew it would be tough, but we thought we could do something against them if we played mistake-free football.

Unfortunately, though, we couldn't get it done [St. Joe's lost 40-20 to Aquinas]. I know I don't play defense, but we just couldn't tackle well at all. [Aquinas tailback Billy Lombardi] was running all over the place, so that's something we've got to work on. Jarron Jones is a good player, but he didn't have a dominant game. We actually felt like we got more yards going at him than when we did when we tried to go around him, so that was a pleasant surprise.

You always hate to lose, but we have to look past that one now and move on. It wasn't a league game and knowing we played the state's top team in our first game should have us prepared going forward. When we watched the film, it took us four and a half hours to go through the first half alone, so that gives you an idea of how much we can learn from this — and how bad it was at times. We just made so many mistakes and it was embarrassing for us on both sides of the ball.

Our coach [Dennis Gilbert] made me come in bright and early Sunday at 7:30 to talk and we didn't get out of practice until 3, so we're putting in work. We just sat down for about an hour and a half and he was saying how sometimes he goes hard on me so the guys know there are no favorites. Then we just talked about how bad we played and how we're really going to have to work on tackling, even if that means going hard in practice.

Next up, we have Monsignor Farrell. Last year, we lost a tough one to them, 21-20. With a minute and a half left, we scored to go up by six points. Then they got the ball, drove to their 30 and threw up a pass to score on the last play and then win it on the extra point. I actually got hurt on the first play of that game with a thigh bruise and our running back hurt his tailbone, so we should be better off this time around. They have a new coach now who runs a spread like Oregon does, so we'll have to be ready.

It was nice to have college football back on TV. After our game, I was of course checking up on the Clemson game. I saw the LSU-Oregon and Baylor-TCU games. Baylor looks like the real deal and LSU has a good team. Boise State is always tough, too. I think this will be an interesting season where a lot of people will be be surprised with the strides some teams make.

I'm also excited for the NFL season. All I can say for my Buffalo Bills is good luck. Hopefully they can win some games, but it's not looking too good for them right now. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Aquinas downs St. Joe's, Spelman goes off

September, 6, 2011
With St. Joe's Collegiate a year wiser and with a bit more hype, many expected this year's season opener between the Marauders and defending Class A champ Aquinas Institute to be closer this time around.

But a year after putting together a 48-21 victory, the Little Irish looked just as good, coming away with a 40-20 win in a matchup of top 10 teams on Saturday.

Junior tailback Billy Lombardi led the charge with 221 yards and three touchdowns, as Aquinas scored the game's first 20 points and never looked back. Lombardi's monstrous game is a welcome sign for the Little Irish, who are looking to replace standout runner Mike Messina.

St. Joe's QB Chad Kelly finished the game with a total of 251 yards and two touchdowns. For Kelly's thoughts on the game, check back here later today for the first installment of his senior diary.

Speaking of quarterbacks, how about Monroe-Woodbury's Ryan Spelman? Then again, I should probably use the term "quarterback" loosely with Spelman after what he did Friday. In the Crusaders' 61-28 victory against Warwick, Spelman ran for 415 yards and six touchdowns, tying him for the 18th-best rushing output in state history. The senior also threw for two touchdowns in the rout.

*Since the majority of New York teams don't begin play until this coming weekend, our first weekly state rankings will be released next Monday, so ya'll come back now.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Aquinas Institute, St. Joe's Collegiate kick off football season

September, 3, 2011
A lot has happened in the last few days, from Boys & Girls firing and hiring a football coach to one of the state's top soccer players leaving for Arizona.

But first, I of course have to touch on today's big matchup between No. 2 Aquinas Institute and No. 8 St. Joe's Collegiate.

Outside of the obvious rankings implications, what makes this matchup intriguing is the struggle that could ensue between St. Joe's offense and Aquinas' defense. The Little Irish feature the state's top-ranked player in defensive lineman Jarron Jones, who committed to Notre Dame earlier this week. His size and ability off the line are a big reason why Aquinas Institute won the Class A title last year and are favorites to do it again.

All day long, though, Jones must keep his eye on St. Joe's QB Chad Kelly, who's coming off a monster summer. The Elite 11 gun-slinger has the arm, athleticism and confidence to give the Little Irish defense fits. Jones, along with LB Marc Pettrone and their defensive comrades, must be on guard for Kelly's every move since he can scramble effectively when he sees an opening.

Because of the star power in this matchup, the difference could be made when the Little Irish have the ball. Aquinas boasts a talented wideout in Jahmahl Pardner, but with 14 returning starters across both sides of the ball for the Marauders, it's safe to say that the game will be a lot a closer than last year's 48-21 victory for the Little Irish.

Check back here on Tuesday for a recap as well as thoughts from Kelly in the first installment of his senior diary.

On Wednesday, the Kangaroos were without a coach after dismissing Barry O'Connor for reportedly receiving un unsatisfactory rating from administrators, according to this New York Post article. Two days later, Boys & Girls handed assistant coach Clive Harding the keys to its football program.

The in-house move should allow the Kangaroos to maintain some continuity, especially with its season opener against Curtis just a week away on Sept. 10. For more on the story, check out this article by the folks over at ESPN New York.

Jordan Allen could endure quite the culture shock when he heads from New York to Arizona soon. But the junior has good reason.

After netting 16 goals as a sophomore, the talented midfielder has opted not to play for Aquinas Institute this season and instead enter the Real Salt Lake Youth Development Program. Such a move is nothing new, of course, as talented soccer players across the nation choose similar routes. And Allen certainly fits that category, as he spent time at the IMG Academy this past spring for soccer development.

The move is a unique win-lose for Little Irish coach Howard Allen, who loses his best player but gets to witness his son advance his soccer career, according to this MPNnow article.

Speaking of Allen, stay tuned for October magazine, which features this year's All-State soccer team. And let's just say this: Allen's name can be found in those pages.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Jones commits to Notre Dame

August, 30, 2011
Just months after reneging on his "soft" commitment to Penn State, Aquinas Institute defensive lineman Jarron Jones has apparently found a new school: Notre Dame.

The senior announced his commitment to the Fighting Irish via Twitter on Monday night, tweeting:
"I'm taking my talents to #southbend #goirish #allin," - @Black_Magic_JMJ

Should Jones stick with his pledge come National Signing Day in February, it will be the second straight year that Notre Dame has reeled in the state's top recruit. (Former Lincoln defensive lineman Ishaq Williams headed to South Bend in January). And according to this article by The Democrat and Chronicle, Jones, who is ranked No. 97 in the ESPNU 150, doesn't plan on changing his mind again.

In the meantime, the 6-foot-7, 303-pound defender will anchor the Little Irish's (go figure) defense of the Class A state title, beginning with Saturday's big matchup against St. Joe's Collegiate, a squad led by star quarterback and Clemson recruit Chad Kelly.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

“Twinterview” with Chad Kelly

August, 25, 2011
Since we're still in the early stages of launching this blog, I figured I'd get creative and introduce a new word into this space. So ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you our first "Twinterview," where (you guessed it) an interview is done in Twitter format. (OK, maybe calling that "creative" is a stretch. Sue me.)

Our first subject is Chad Kelly, a senior at St. Joe's Collegiate who at this point probably needs no introduction after his cover story in ESPNHS, TV time at the Elite 11 and all-tournament performance at the Nike 7ON. (Kelly has also agreed to do a senior diary chronicling his season, so check back in two weeks for that)

See what the Clemson-bound QB had to say about his busy offseason, what it was like being on TV and why his famous uncle is against Twitter:

Read More »

Stock is rising for Morgan, Briggs

August, 24, 2011
Each week, we'll take a deeper look into our All-State football team to see whose stock is rising and falling based on recent performance and news. I know some of you are wondering, how can you have a stock watch when football hasn't officially started? Easy. Every football fan knows that the season never truly ends.

UP — Wayne Morgan, Erasmus Hall, DB
When it comes to football, Morgan is all about putting on for his city. So as the lone New York player at Gridiron Kings this past summer, the Erasmus Hall senior did just that with an impressive performance. Helped by Morgan's lockdown defense, his Midwest squad made an improbable run to the finals before falling to Southeast. Click here to read more about Morgan's solid showing.

UP — Kyle Briggs, St. Joe's Collegiate, WR
It's safe to say Briggs had plenty to smile about this past summer. In July, the senior wideout watched his quarterback Chad Kelly earn all-tournament honors at the Nike 7ON and Elite 11 status at the prestigious QB competition. So as Kelly's stock skyrockets, so too will Briggs', who stands to put up big numbers this season while serving as Kelly's main target.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter (@brandoncparker) or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

After big summer, Kelly is primed for an elite senior season

August, 23, 2011
Chad KellyKelly Kline/ESPNHSAfter a big summer that included a Nike 7ON championship and a spot in the Elite 11, St. Joe's Collegiate senior QB Chad Kelly is all smiles entering his senior season.

Fueled by determination and what some call freakish athleticism, Chad Kelly placed his stamp on the prep football scene this summer.

At the Nike 7ON in Oregon, the St. Joe's Collegiate senior QB threw the game-winning touchdown to push his team to the 7-on-7 title and earn all-tournament honors. A few weeks later, Kelly was at it again, earning a spot in the final Elite 11 at the prestigious Elite 11 quarterback competition in California.

Needless to say, with an uncle who quarterbacked the Bills to four Super Bowl appearances and several records already to his name, Kelly appears ready for a huge senior campaign. Click here to read about Kelly's journey to the top.
Also check back later this week for our recent "Twinterview" with the elite QB and stay tuned for our weekly diary chronicling Kelly's highly anticipated senior season.

Brandon Parker covers New York for ESPNHS magazine and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @brandoncparker or email him at brandon.c.parker@espn.com.

Jones, Elite 11 QB Kelly Headline All-State Team

August, 22, 2011
As featured in the ESPNHS New York magazine that hits schools this week, here is our annual All-State Football Team along with 70 more players to watch.
(The team is based on projected on-field performance and accomplishments, not necessarily recruiting potential. For a list of the top football recruits in the state, click here)

Want to see the All-State teams for the other 49 states? We've got 'em right here.


Brandon Barnes, Tottenville, QB, Junior
All-City pick after throwing for 22 TDs and only four picks as a sophomore

Chad Kelly, St. Joe’s Collegiate, QB, Senior
Clemson recruit is four-time NFL Punt, Pass & Kick champ

Okoya Anderson, Orchard Park, RB, Senior
All-State selection ran for 1,443 yards and 21 scores as a junior

Read More »