The sports annual, which has released a National College Football Preview annually since 1995 and releases for all four major professional sports as well as Golf and NASCAR, ranked the Braves No. 9. The annual touted Manalapan’s strong offense, as well as a defense that returns nine starters and allowed 12 points per game last year.
Manalapan has played in back-to-back sectional finals, including last year’s inaugural Central Jersey Group V championship game.
Blacknall made 40 catches for 743 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2012. On special teams, he averaged over 40 yards on kickoff and punt returns, and was responsible for a total of 16 touchdowns, according to the magazine.
He was also named to the annual’s preseason all-NJ team. There was no all-American team.
Earlier this year, it was reported Blacknall narrowed his college choices to Alabama and Louisiana State, as well as Ohio State and Notre Dame.
St. Joseph (Montvale) was the Preseason No. 1 for the state. The Green Knights were ranked No. 23 nationally, the only team from New Jersey in the preseason top 25.
Paramus Catholic senior defensive back Jabrill Peppers is the preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Peppers was ranked as the state’s top recruit, followed by Blacknall.
The Braves open practice Aug. 15.