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Bay Area Postseason Top 45: Nos. 45-41

Jayden Payne carries the ball in the season finale at Livermore. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo
Jayden Payne carries the ball in the season finale at Livermore. Cliff Jackson / Staff Photo

The Bay Area Postseason Player Rankings are here, starting with Nos. 45-41. Nos. 40-36 will be released Tuesday, April 27 at Only players located in cities on the Bay Area Census are eligible for the rankings.

45. Jayden Payne (Foothill Senior RB)

Payne and Foothill made history at the school this season.

Part of a Falcons squad that won its first East Bay Athletic League championship since 2015, Payne rushed for 562 yards and six touchdowns, adding another 95 receiving yards and a score. He capped it off with a season-best 161 yards in the league title game versus Livermore.

No schools have offered Payne yet, but Foothill assistant Johnny Millard said he spoke to a former coach of his who said Payne is a Division I caliber player.

44. Jahsai Shannon (St. Ignatius Senior DB/RB)

Shannon’s play on both sides of the ball was a key reason why St. Ignatius finished the spring with a 3-1 record and a No. 18 spot in the Bay Area Football Rankings.

Shannon finished with four interceptions defensively and also scored six times, following up an impressive junior campaign when he led SI to a 9-3 record and a spot in the Central Coast Section Division I semifinals.

Lincoln University offered Shannon in October.

43. Christian Pedersen (Serra Senior TE)

The Louisville signee’s blocking and big-play abilities keyed Serra during a remarkable 5-0 campaign when it outscored opponents 191-49.

Pedersen, a massive 6’5” target, scored twice in Serra’s unbeaten campaign, but he also provided game-changing blocks throughout the five-game spring.

His offers in addition to Louisville: Air Force, Army, Boise State, Bucknell, Cal Poly, Colorado State, Dartmouth, Idaho, Kansas, Nevada, New Mexico, Northern Arizona, Sacramento State, San Jose State, UC Davis, UNLV, Utah State, Virginia, Wyoming and Yale.

42. Michael Lewis (Castro Valley Senior RB)

Lewis was unstoppable out of the backfield.

Lewis totaled 733 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in five contests, equating to an average of 146.6 yards per game. 

Brown, Long Island, McPherson, Puget Sound and Whittier have offered Lewis.

41. Nate Bell (Liberty Sophomore QB)

The Liberty sophomore became one of the top players in the Bay Area by the end of his first year as a varsity starter.

Bell was electrifying in Liberty’s 4-1 campaign, throwing for 856 yards, six touchdowns and one interception while going for 219 yards and six scores on the ground.

His last two games were the most impressive, completing 29-of-34 passes for 364 yards versus Freedom, followed by 195 passing yards, 138 rushing yards and four total scores in the season finale against Heritage.

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