At a time when many across the country are beginning to question how tough the state of Florida is on the football field, with key losses by traditional state powers against nationally-rated competition, Friday night’s resounding win by St. Thomas Aquinas put the focus back on the Sunshine State.
If the rest of the nation needs to be reminded, the state of Florida has won the past three “mythical” national titles, and with the Raiders total dominance at home in front of a national audience, it’s safe to say that following Lakeland (2005 & 2006) and Northwestern (2007) as the best team in the country has to be strongly considered by those who vote for those sort of things.
George Smith had his team ready, realized that even though the Deerfield Beach Bucks are talented, they are thin at many positions, and St. Thomas Aquinas happens to be one of the deepest high school teams you will see.
The game was truly a showcase of how tremendous the talent is on both sides of the ball. Is there any team in the nation with a better Class of 2010 than STA? How could there be. They have two major college running backs in the backfield, a big time lineman and a linebacker who hits everything - all over the field.
Friday night had one of those Game 7 kind of atmospheres with star-quality people in attendance. At one end, you had Florida head coach Urban Meyer and his staff with starting safety Major Wright and Pahokee recruit Nu’Kese Richardson. Then you had Baltimore Ravens linebacker Tavares Gooden, who is injured and out for the year, with Notre Dame standout lineman Sam Young. At the other end, you had basketball standout Ron Harper and many other fans who had the place rocking all night.
The game was also attended by state website editors David Lake (Inside The U), Mike Langston (Florida Varsity), Robert Sumpter (Florida Prospects) and Luke Stampini (South Florida Prospects) as well as many other members of the media.