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The Xclusive Speed Top 45 Powered by West Coast Preps is officially here, with Nos. 45-41 for football launching today and followed by Nos. 40-36 coming out next Monday, Oct. 26.
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.
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. 45: Clayton Valley senior linebacker Dylan Seeley
Seeley’s production over the offseason has mirrored and built upon everything he accomplished in a historic junior season for him and the Clayton Valley Charter Ugly Eagles.
Seeley registered 79 tackles and three interceptions while blocking two kicks, bringing the Ugly Eagles from a 5-5 regular season to a remarkable postseason run that featured a Division 2-AA state championship win over Aquinas from San Bernardino. Seely was named the MVP of the state title game and had an interception in the 20-7 victory.
Since the 2019 season came to a close, Seeley has been one of the top performers during this extended offseason and garnered Linebacker MVP recognition at the second Xclusive Speed Bay Area Top 100 Showcase in September.
No. 44: St. Vincent de Paul sophomore running back Kai Hall
Right off the bat in his high school career, Hall emerged into one of the region’s and California’s top rushers.
Hall ran for 1,773 yards and 19 touchdowns while averaging 9.7 yards per carry as a freshman in 2019, adding another 147 receiving yards, one sack and two forced fumbles – all of which keyed St. Vincent de Paul to a 9-2 record, marking its most wins since winning 10 games when the program played for a section title in 2012.
Those gaudy numbers ranked among the best in the section and country for the 2019 North Coast Section Freshman of the Year, finishing as the No. 2 rusher in NCS and the No. 3 freshman rusher nationally. His 1,773 rushing yards were also the most of any freshman in California and were No. 40 among all players in California, according to statistics available on MaxPreps.
No. 43: Serra senior tight end Christian Pedersen
Rated as one of the top players in the country at his position, Pedersen is primed for even more heading into his final high school campaign.
Pederson, who recently committed to Louisville, dominated as a blocker in 2019 for Serra and also tallied 84 receiving yards and a touchdown to help the Padres to a 13-2 overall record, a shared West Catholic Athletic League crown and a runner-up finish in the California Interscholastic Federation Division 1-A state championship game.
The Louisville commit picked the Cardinals over a massive list of offers that includes Air Force, Boise State, Nevada, San Diego State and Virginia, among others.
No. 42: Branham senior quarterback Nick Bandanza
In a run-heavy offense where Branham ended up running the ball on 460 of its 639 plays (71.9%), Bandanza delivered and then some as a junior.
Bandanza tossed for 1,414 yards and 22 touchdowns compared to a mere four interceptions – good enough for a 5.5-to-1 touchdown-to-interceptions ratio – in 2019. On top of that, Bandanza showed his dual-threat abilities throughout by accumulating 678 yards and seven touchdowns on the ground.
With Bandanza – who is generating interest from numerous Division I schools across the country – in the fray, Branham won a Santa Teresa League title and made its first-ever appearance in the Central Coast Section championship game, falling by one point in over to Milpitas. Branham’s 11 wins were also its most in the MaxPreps era, which dates back to 2004.
No. 41: Vacaville Christian senior athlete Jaron Leaks
Another top performer this offseason, Leaks has been an integral piece in Vacaville Christian’s run to one of the top teams in its section.
Despite injury last season, Leaks made an impact on both sides of the ball by finishing with 395 receiving yards, four touchdowns, 40 tackles, one interception and a fumble recovery. All of that lifted the Falcons from a 1-9 record the year prior to a 7-5 season and a trip to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division VII semifinals, marking a special season that featured their first playoff appearance since 2014 and their first playoff win since 2011.
Leaks currently boasts four offers to play college football from La Verne, Pacific, UC Davis and Whittier, with La Verne sending an offer his way earlier this month.
Thank You for the kind words for my son Nick Bandanza.
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