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Summer football officially begins!

As if the Class of 2010 wasn’t loaded enough statewide with top prospects, which many likened to 2008, the University of Central Florida held its 7-on-7 tournament on Saturday.

Fourteen schools from central and west Florida converged on Orlando on one of those hot, muggy days.

Orlando’s Dr. Phillips, with senior quarterback Nico Rainieri, and linebacker E.J. Carter won the event, beating Lakeland Lake Gibson, but the afternoon was about some impressive rising juniors.

Of all the players on hand for the event, and Titusville’s wide receiver Willie Haulston (FSU commitment) was one of the best, the day belonged to junior Nickell Robey, a 5-8, 175-pound speedster from Frostproof. When we talked about LaMarcus Joyner of Southwest being the most impressive Class of 2010 player we saw at cornerback this spring, we can also add Robey, who joins such greats as Alvin Harper and Travis Henry to become so highly-regarded, so early on at the Polk County school.

Cape Coral was on hand and boasts running Spencer Boyd (5-9, 160), cornerback Jaylen Watkins (6-1, 165) and lineman Dan Koenig (6-5, 240), who follows his two brothers who went on to play at Oklahoma St.

St. Petersburg Gibbs has a solid receiver in Jarvis West, a small (5-6, 145), but cat-quick. Lake Gibson’s Quishawn Odom (6-2, 170) will be a quality safety.

The championship team, Dr. Phillips, also had some impressive juniors in defensive back Lorenzo Johnson (5-11, 170), running back Marvin Ford (5-10, 185) and receivers Kenny Shaw (6-0, 160) and impressive Ricardo Miller (6-1, 195).

Winter Park was also impressive with young talent. Running back Terrell Foy (5-6, 170) is the son of former Wildcat Terrance Foy, and quite impressive. Running back Patrick Mputo (5-7, 175), quarterback Jeff Hoblick (5-11, 165) and tight end/defensive end Michael Boles (6-2, 180) are also expected to hear from colleges.

If you are interested, there were some Class of 2011 kids as well. Running back Demetrius Hart (5-9, 165) from Dr. Phillips, running backs Shawndel Artis (5-10, 180) and Remy Watson (5-8, 175) and linebacker Jenson Pellarchy (5-8, 175) from Lake Gibson.

Frostproof running back/safety Devin Hamilton (5-11, 175), Cape Coral speedy receiver Prince Holloway (5-9, 145) and receiver Lee Dunham (5-10, 175) from Winter Park.

UCF will host a national qualifier 7-on-7 on June 27-28 with 40 schools coming.

FIU had its first camp on Saturday at Winter Springs - just to the north of Orlando. The Golden Panthers will have their second camp today at the FIU campus arena.

LARRY BLUSTEIN

lblustein@MiamiHerald.com

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