With summer fast approaching, we have narrowed down the list to 25 top seniors.
While rankings are always subjective at best, our list was compiled from watching thousands of athletes perform with full gear on in football arenas, giving them the opportunity to showcase their football skills and not just a combine performance or a 7-on-7 event, which are helpful, but in no way definitive, and in no way what college coaches want to hear when seeking information.
The names you will see here, and in the many lists to come throughout the year, are based on countless hours spent in the spring and the early portion of the summer, physically attending events, talking with youngsters and their coaches.
While we understand that everyone has an opinion, in the coming months, names will be added and moved around to give you a working list for the start of the 2009 regular season, and then updated again at the completion of the year, giving us the advantage of seeing more football games and practices in South Florida
Expect over 100 athletes to sign D1 scholarships from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties.
1. Lamarcus Joyner, CB/WR, 5-8, 175, St. Thomas Aquinas: After watching him dominate as a sophomore and junior for Southwest Miami, this gifted football talent will spend his final season playing a key role for the defending national champions.
2. Brandon Linder, OT, 6-6, 280, St. Thomas Aquinas: From the first time we watched him play as a sophomore, it was easily to tell that this was going to be a national recruit. His quickness, strength, knowledge of the entire line of scrimmage and work ethic puts him in a unique class.
3. Gio Bernard, RB, 5-8, 200, St. Thomas Aquinas: The true measure of this impressive back came last year, as a junior for the national champion Raiders. His quickness, strength, durability and breakaway speed gives him the chance to become one of the nation’s premier backs.
4. Ivan McCartney, WR, 6-2, 175, Miramar: They call him “sticks” because of his slender build. Has tremendous hands, runs great patterns and has the ability to catch the ball against anyon. Was the catalyst in the Patriots’ run last year in the playoffs, and is expected to do much of the same in 2009!
5. Cody Riggs, CB, 5-9, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas: His football instincts combined with his impressive speed makes this a player who will be a huge get for any collegiate secondary. He rarely lets someone get behind him and has the ability to also break on the ball and make a play at anytime.
6. Devon Wright, RB, 6-0, 185, Taravella: He has quickness, balance, great size and the ability make people miss – often! Don’t be surprised at how fast he climbs the charts over the next few months. He is already the two-time defending Broward County rushing champion with the 2009 season coming up.
7. Tony Grimes, CB, 6-0, 170, Hollywood Hills: A three year starter who has been playing at a high level since he hit the football field for the Spartans, this gifted athlete has been working his way up the charts – quickly. While he may eventually end up at a safety position, his cover skills are impressive without the impressive speed that some colleges are fooled by.
8. James White, RB, 5-10, 185, St. Thomas Aquinas: What makes this athlete so impressive is his ability to filter out of the backfield to make catches and create mismatches in the defense. He is also a baseball player, which adds to his overall athletic ability. Keep your eye on this quality football player!
9. Demar Dorsey, S, 6-2, 180, Boyd Anderson: Having watched this gifted athlete play a number of times, you continue to see why some schools like him as a safety, while others love his speed and cover skills enough to put him at the corner position. (COMMITTED TO FLORIDA).
10. Shawn Corker, WR, 6-1, 185, Cardinal Gibbons: Last year, at this time, there wasn’t one person who knew who this gifted football talent was. Now, as we head toward the summer, he is regarded as one of the top performers in a receiving class that is easily as deep as it’s ever been in the state of Florida.
11. Jonathan Feliciano, OT, 6-4, 275, Western: This is easily one of the top prospects at the position, and while he gains more experience, there is little doubt that this three-year player will climb the ladder faster than any other player at this position in the state. A huge find – in more than one way! (COMMITTED TO MIAMI).
12. Brian Robinson, DB, 5-10, 185, St. Thomas Aquinas: Follows in the footsteps of his father, a one-time Fort Lauderdale Dillard and Auburn standout as a gifted athlete who is capable of making big plays, using his knowledge of the game, quickness and exceptional balls skills.
13. David Perry, DE, 6-6, 235, University School: What you have to like about Perry is his potential. He has all the physical tools to be a very good defensive end. He has the chance to be special at the next level.
14. Keion Payne, CB, 6-0, 170, St. Thomas Aquinas: A good size cover-corner prospect who has quickness and athletic ability. Is starting to get more physical, which colleges just love from a player with this size.
15. Clifton Coleman, DB, 5-10, 170, Boyd Anderson: Yet another quality prospects who will parlay speed and raw athleticism to play cornerback in college. What he needs to do is get bigger and stronger than he is now. Keep an eye out for this young man.
16. Justin Wilson, LB, 6-0, 218, Western: A quick, agile, strong and athletic prospect who has everything it takes to develop into a quality player. While he plays on both sides (running back) of the ball, he is also a two-sport (wrestler) athlete who has tremendous balance and a plays with a toughness that you cannot teach.
17. Vinnie Mauro, LB, 6-1, 215, St. Thomas Aquinas: After a brilliant junior season, this impressive prospects returns to give the defending national champions a player who is a sure tackler, has speed, drops into coverage and is as intense as you will find.
18. Cassius McDowell, RB, 5-8, 175, Deerfield Beach: If he is healthy, this is an athlete who will make a solid impact as an all-purpose back who can ignite the Bucks on special teams as well.
19. Khari Burke, DB, 5-10, 170, South Plantation: There’s little doubt that this one of those football players who continues to watch his stock rise every time he puts on the uniform.
20. Deven Drane, DB, 5-11, 180, Plantation: Another gifted athlete who leads one of the top secondaries in the state. Tremendous against the pass and improving against the run.
21. Desmond Bozeman, LB, 6-0, 215, Dillard: Has shown the ability to run, cover on passing downs and make a solid impact on the defensive side of the ball. A three-year starter who continues to get better.
22. Joseph McNamara, OL, 6-2, 280, Cypress Bay: Easily one of the most athletic linemen in Florida who continues to grow and uses his impressive strength, speed and balance to his advantage. (COMMITTED TO STANFORD).
23. Brandon Doughty, QB, 6-3, 200, North Broward Prep: After one full year at the varsity level as a starter, he is now ready to emerge as one of the best in the state.
24. Marcus Thompson, RB, 6-2, 220, Boyd Anderson: A transfer from South Plantation is a punishing runner who has speed and the athletic ability to lineup on both side of the ball.
25. Daryeon Chance, RB, 5-6, 170, Cardinal Gibbons: Continues to show why he is perhaps the best runner in the state of Florida - pound-for-pound. Very strong and elusive.