Greatest St. John Bosco High Football Players of All Time
Few high school football programs in the United States have risen to prominence over the last decade like St. John Bosco High School, a Catholic, all-boys school located just southeast of Los Angeles in Bellflower, California.
Since 2013, St. John Bosco has won three CIF Open Division state championships and a pair of national championships in 2013 and 2019 under head coach Jason Negro, a 1991 St. John Bosco graduate.
While St. John Bosco's football program isn't new, their success is, and the biggest part of that success has been a string of standout players who have been some of the highest-recruited high school football players in the country, college All-Americans and NFL draft picks.
These are the greatest St. John Bosco football players of all time.
10. Leon McFadden
Graduation yyear: 2009
College: San Diego State
Bottom line: Leon McFadden was a football and track star at St. John Bosco. He went to college at San Diego State and was projected to be a wide receiver at the next level but quickly switched positions, becoming a standout defensive back.
It ended up being a brilliant move for McFadden, who ended his career as one of San Diego State's greatest defensive players ever. He was a four-year starter and just the fifth player in school history to be named All-Mountain West Conference three seasons in a row.
McFadden became the second person in his immediate family to play professional sports after he was selected in the third round of the 2013 NFL draft by the Cleveland Browns and played for seven different teams over five seasons. His father, Leon McFadden Sr., played three seasons of Major League Baseball for the Houston Astros from 1968 to 1970.
9. Jacob Tuioti-Mariner
Position: Defensive tackle
Graduation year: 2014
Bottom line: There's not a lot of glory in playing on the interior defensive line — outside of Aaron Donald — but Jacob Tuioti-Mariner did it as well as anyone who ever played for St. John Bosco.
Tuioti-Mariner, at 6-foot-2 and 285 pounds, was one of the defensive standouts on the 2013 Open Division state championship team and first national title team at St. John Bosco, when he racked up 108 tackles, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
Tuioti-Mariner was a three-year starter at UCLA and an All-Pac-12 selection as a senior in 2017. He made the Atlanta Falcons as an undrafted free agent in 2018 and played three seasons for the team before playing for the Carolina Panthers in 2021.
8. Jaleel Wadood
Position: Defensive back/wide receiver
Graduation year: 2014
Bottom line: Jaleel Wadood was arguably the best player on St. John Bosco's first national championship team as a senior in 2013. He had 78 receptions for 1,293 yards and 21 touchdowns, and on defense, he had 115 tackles and four interceptions.
Wadood, at 5-foot-9 and 180 pounds, was named CIF Defensive Player of the Year and The Los Angeles Times Glenn Davis Award winner as well as a MaxPreps All-American and U.S. Army All-American.
Wadood played college football for UCLA, where he was a three-time All-Pac-12 selection and finished his career on the school's top 20 list for tackles.
7. Trent McDuffie
Graduation year: 2019
Bottom line: Trent McDuffie is one of the latest and greatest players to come out of St. John Bosco.
A U.S. Army All-American, he became a two-time All-Pac-12 selection at the University of Washington, was named an AP All-American as a junior in 2021, and left school early to enter the NFL draft.
McDuffie was selected with the No. 21 overall pick in the 2022 NFL draft by the Kansas City Chiefs, who were counting on him to be a starting, shutdown cornerback from the jump.
6. Todd Husak
Graduation year: 1996
Bottom line: The one player to make this list outside of the modern era of St. John Bosco football is Todd Husak, a name that should be familiar to the old-head football fans as a standout quarterback at Stanford in the late 1990s.
Husak was an absolute beast at Stanford, where he led his school to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1972 as a senior on the way to being named All-Pac-10 and the MVP of the 2000 Hula Bowl.
Husak was a sixth-round pick by the Washington Redskins in the 2000 NFL draft and also played one season in NFL Europe for the Berlin Thunder, winning the World Bowl in 2002, which you can watch in its entirety on YouTube.
5. Sean McGrew
Position: Running back
Graduation year: 2016
Bottom line: Sean McGrew was a key part of St. John Bosco's first national championship team in 2013 as a sophomore, when the Braves took down De La Salle in the CIF Open Division state championship game and came within one win of another national title as a senior, when Bosco fell to Centennial in the state championship game.
McGrew, at 5-foot-7 and 172 pounds, was the first St. John Bosco player named California Gatorade Player of the Year after he put up over 2,000 yards of total offense and scored 30 touchdowns.
McGrew played for the University of Washington, where he was an All-Pac-12 pick as a senior in 2021.
4. Matayo Uiagalelei
Position: Defensive end/tight end
Graduation year: 2023
Bottom line: We had little to no hesitation to put a player on this list who is still playing high school football. Matayo Uiagalelei is just that good.
Uiagalelei, who will graduate in 2023, is a 6-foot-5, 265-pound defensive end/tight end and a five-star recruit who projects as a Power Five starter almost immediately and future first-round pick in the NFL draft.
There's part of us that wants to beg the head coach at whatever college Uiagalelei picks to let him play on both sides of the ball. If you're a football purist, you can't help but feel a little bit of joy watching this dude dominate on both sides of the ball for St. John Bosco. Just a baller.
3. Josh Rosen
Graduation year: 2015
Bottom line: College football fans and NFL fans know Josh Rosen really well. He was traded from the Arizona Cardinals just one year after being the team's No. 10 overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft and was on his sixth NFL team in five years in 2022.
Before that, Rosen was a wunderkind quarterback at St. John Bosco, where he led the Braves to their first national championship and the CIF Open Division state championship as a junior in 2013, then was named The Los Angeles Times Glenn Davis Award winner and USA Today All-American as a senior in 2014.
Rosen was the No. 1 quarterback recruit in the nation for the Class of 2015 and went on to star at UCLA, where he was the Pac-12 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year in 2015 and an All-Pac-12 selection in 2017.
2. D.J. Uiagalelei
Graduation year: 2020
Bottom line: College football fans know D.J. Uiagalelei as one of the most scrutinized quarterbacks of the last few years as Clemson's starter. He's answered those doubters so far in 2022, but before that, he was one of the most heralded high school prospects of all time coming out of St. John Bosco.
As a junior in 2018, Uiagalelei led the Braves to a 15-0 record and a CIF Open Division state championship on the way to being named California Gatorade Player of the Year and USA Today Offensive Player of the Year. He repeated as a USA Today All-American as a senior in 2019.
Uiagalelei suffered through one of the worst seasons for a high-profile college quarterback in recent memory in 2021, when he threw nine touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in 13 starts. But he has bounced back as one of college football's best quarterbacks in 2022.
1. Wyatt Davis
Position: Offensive line
Graduation year: 2016
College: Ohio State
Bottom line: Wyatt Davis was one of the most highly coveted offensive line recruits of the 2010s coming out of St. John Bosco, and for good reason.
Davis, at 6-foot-4 and 315 pounds, is the only offensive lineman to win The Los Angeles Times Glenn Davis Award as the top high school football player in California. He was also named a USA Today All-American before picking Ohio State over Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan and pretty much every school in the Pac-12.
Davis was just as good in college, where he was a two-time All-American as well as being named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year in 2020. Davis was a third-round pick in the 2021 NFL draft and currently plays for the New Orleans Saints.
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