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Xclusive Speed Top 45 Powered by West Coast Preps: Nos. 40-36

Monte Vista linebacker Josh Zeising finished with 100-plus tackles in 2019. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo
Monte Vista linebacker Josh Zeising finished with 100-plus tackles in 2019. Chris Jackson / Staff Photo

The latest edition of the Xclusive Speed Top 45 Powered by West Coast Preps is here, with Nos. 40-36 for football being released today and followed by Nos. 35-31 coming out next Monday, Nov. 2.

The entire list will feature five players each week, culminating with the top five players in the Bay Area rounding out the preseason player rankings on Monday, Dec. 14.

All player rankings are based on their overall production on the field, past stats, their recruiting trail and their growth during this offseason. Stars do not matter on this list, which is important to note, the Top 45 list has been curated based on these given points above.

Be sure to also check out who made the cut at Nos. 45-41 here.

Disclaimer: This list only featured players from cities listed on the Bay Area Census. Additionally, multiple players have opted to enroll in their respective universities for the spring semester and will not play their senior years of high school. Some players may choose to enroll early as the list is being released weekly, and the list is dated as of Oct. 15 for players’ decisions as the rankings will not be able to change as they are being sent out every week.

No. 40: Antioch senior defensive end Jailen Weaver

Antioch defensive end Jailen Weaver has emerged into one of the premier players at his position across the entire country.

Weaver tallied 46 tackles in 2019 and was all over the backfield, posting impressive numbers in every regard in the form of 12.0 tackles for loss and 9.0 sacks for the Wildcats during his junior campaign.

Weaver recently announced his top three colleges to play collegiately at are a trio of Power Five programs in Indiana, Nebraska and Tennessee.

No. 39: Monte Vista senior linebacker Josh Zeising

Playing behind two Division I bound players did not stop Josh Zeising from dominating his junior season.

Zeising accumulated 102 tackles in 2019 in Monte Vista’s run to an 8-4 record and a trip to the North Coast Section Division Division I semifinals before falling to eventual state runner-up De La Salle. Zeising’s 102 tackles were the third-most on the team and only behind two current college players in Connor Shay (Wyoming) and Nate Rutchena (California).

George Fox, Puget Sound and Whittier have all offered Zeising.

No. 38: Vacaville Christian junior defensive lineman Zack Mercado

Zack Mercado’s production and dominance have keyed Vacaville Christian’s rise in the Sac-Joaquin Section.

Mercado dazzled every step of the way as a young sophomore in 2019, recording 119 tackles and a whopping 26.0 tackles for loss en route to Defensive Player of the Year honors in the region.

With Mercado on the roster, Vacaville Christian went 7-5 last season – a drastic improvement from a 1-9 campaign the year prior – and advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII semifinals. It was Vacaville Christian’s first trip to the postseason since 2011.

No. 37: Cardinal Newman senior athlete Shane Moran

The do-it-all Cardinal Newman star could not be stopped on either side of the ball as a junior.

Moran racked up 108 tackles, 12.0 tackles for loss and a pair of interceptions defensively, adding another 750 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns – seven of which came in the postseason in Cardinal Newman’s run to a California Interscholastic Federation Division 3-AA state championship. In addition to those numbers, Moran had 318 receiving yards and one score.

Moran is committed to Long Beach State to play baseball.

No. 36: Acalanes senior quarterback Brady Huchingson

Brady Huchingson has been there every step of the way as a top-notch varsity player for Acalanes.

Hutchinson, a four-year starter, boasts a 22-11 career record and has improved his remarkable production each season. After throwing for 1,844 yards and 24 touchdowns – while running for five –  as a freshman, he accelerated those numbers to 2,022 passing yards, 29 passing touchdowns and five rushing scores his sophomore year.

Fast forward to his junior season, and Huchingson delivered again by tossing for 2,646 yards, 29 touchdowns and just five picks while lifting Acalanes to a 9-3 record and a spot in the North Coast Section Division IV semifinals.

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