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35 posts from January 2010

January 31, 2010

Joe McNamara is headed to Wisconsin

This has been quite a year for Joe McNamara. The past seven months have been filled with many ups and downs.

On Saturday night, nearly eight months after he originally committed to attend Stanford, the 6-2, 280-pound offensive and defensive lineman finally had reason to smile again.

“I made my decision,” McNamara said. “I am going to Wisconsin.”

With those words, the rollercoaster year took a huge swing upwards, and it put an end to a recruiting campaign that had many twists and turns along the way.

For this gifted three year Cypress Bay standout, who began his career at Chaminade-Madonna, everything was going along smoothly after his decision to head west and play for the Cardinal. But then came a season-ending injury before the season ever began, and then the questions about his future.

While schools such as Wake Forest, FIU, FAU and Marshall had kept in touch with McNamara, Stanford slowly pulled away and put this impressive athlete back on the decision making trail.

As he recovered from the knee surgery, McNamara kept his options open, never closing any doors. When Wisconsin came into the picture, McNamara was eager to see how he would fit into the improving Badger program.

With family still living in Iowa, where his parents grew up, weather was not going to be a factor. What McNamara was looking for was a school that would provide strong academics and a chance to play. The Badgers fit all the things he had been searching for.

“All those schools who had me on campus, I cannot thank them enough,” McNamara said. “I really appreciate the way they never stopped recruiting me through this entire process.”

McNamara joins former youth football (Pasadena Lakes) teammates James White, the gifted St. Thomas Aquinas running back who committed to Wisconsin a few weeks back.

McNamara is the second Cypress Bay lineman to commit. Alex Tucci made his verbal decision to attend Colorado State during the season.

Catch up on all our stories, rankings, commitments and all other archived information by clicking on Miami Herald Recruiting Information:


January 30, 2010

Saint-Vil gets a chance to attend U-Mass

It’s been quite a past seven months for Edward Saint-Vil. A period of time that has certainly changed his life forever.

After spending three years at Miramar High and never competing for the Patriots on the football field, this gifted athlete made his move for his final year to Hollywood Hills. The change truly did this athlete good.

Not only did he play high school football for the first time, but the 6-0, 175-pounder started to receive attention from colleges for his play in the Spartans’ secondary.

After committing to attend Florida Atlantic University a few weeks ago after a visit, Saint-Vil took a trip to the University of Massachusetts and was sold.

“It wasn’t all about playing football,” Saint-Vil said. “What it came down to was a college atmosphere and a chance to be on my own away from home.”

The Trip to U-Mass was one that was so impressive that when he told head coach Scott Barnwell and some of his teammates, they all understood the decision to change his mind.

“I am so proud of Edward for the way he came here this year and picked up this sport so quickly,” said Barnwell. “He fit in so well with the team, it looked like he was a part of the program for years.”

Saint-Vil, who was one of the fastest players on the team, is amazed at how things turned around so quickly for him as he now gets ready to head off to college.

“If it hadn’t been for the coaches and Tony Grimes who had urged me to come out for the team, I would never have gotten this opportunity,” he pointed out. “This is a lesson to people who feel that things can’t change. Take it from me, my life totally changed.”

Catch up on all our stories, rankings, commitments and all other archived information by clicking on Miami Herald Recruiting Information:


Tony Grimes decides on Ole Miss

He had been on the radar screen since he was a sophomore. Whether it was for his play as a cornerback or a potential safety prospect, there was little doubt that Tony Grimes was a player who would one day make the difference at the next level.

After two straight years of listening to what college coaches had to say, the 6-0, 175-pounder, who many have likened to former Oakland Raiders Lester Hayes, because of his physical approach to the game, has reached his decision.

For the next four years, the Hollywood Hills standout will leave is mark in the rugged and competitive Southeastern Conference.

“After checking out a number of schools and seeing what defenses would fit me best, I have found a program that was perfect for me,” Grimes said. “I am going to Mississippi.”

With programs such as Michigan, Maryland and others trying to close the deal on Grimes, who competed in the USA vs. The World game as well as earning praise in the Offense/Defense game in early January, Grimes chose Ole Miss for a number of reasons.

“A physical defensive team with a coaching staff that really understands and appreciates how I play the game,” Grimes said. “It was important for me to attend a school that was the right fit for me all the way around. From the classroom to the playing field, I was very comfortable with Ole Miss.”

One of Grimes’ biggest supporters from his sophomore season has been head coach Scott Barnwell, who promoted his talented player every step of the way. Barnwell calls Grimes a “leader” who has always been ready to meet any challenge.

“It amused me to read what fans had to say about Tony along the way,” Barnwell said. “I had the pleasure of watching him every day for three straight years and I will tell anyone that he was the total team player who was one of the best teammates any player could ask for.”

Catch up on all our stories, rankings, commitments and all other archived information by clicking on Miami Herald Recruiting Information:


Miami Central DE Lebrandon Richardson chooses UCF during USA game

Lebrandon Richardson didn't feel like waiting until Wednesday's National Signing Day to announce his college choice.

As the clock was winding down in the Team USA vs. World All-Star game Saturday afternoon at Lockhart Stadium, Richardson busted out a UCF cap and put it on while he and his teammates celebrated the USA's 17-0 victory over the World Team.

"I told [teammate] Josh [Reese] and my coach [Telly Lockette] earlier this week, but they thought I was gonna wait until signing day," said Richardson, who along with Reese played for the USA team. "But I wanted to announce it on live TV."

The game was broadcast on the NFL Network.

Richardson, a first team All-Dade selection, anchored a stout defensive line that helped Central advance to the Class 6A state semifinals for the first time this season. Richardson said he has visited UCF twice, but will take his first official visit this weekend. He also has offers from Marshall, Southern Mississippi and Bethune-Cookman.

Richardson and Reese both hinted that Central teammates Brandon Gainer (RB) and Jose Jose (OL) are also leaning toward UCF. 

"They might go with us too, but they said they're going to wait until Wednesday," Richardson said.

January 28, 2010

Aromashodu hosts Saturday camp

The timing could not have been any better. Fresh off a four-game stretch with the Chicago Bears that saw his NFL career take a huge leap, former Golden Hawks wide receiver Devin Aromashodu will serve as the host figure for the upcoming Devin Aromashodu Pro Bowl Football Camp. Organized by Genesis Marketing and Promotions, the camp, in conjunction with the upcoming AFC/NFC Pro Bowl, will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30 at Miami Springs Senior High School for all kids ages 12-17.

The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at a cost of just $5 per camper (if you pre-register) or $10 on the day of the camp. 

Registration will take place from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. And Aromashodu, who played at Springs for three seasons (1999-2001) will not be the only NFL star hosting the camp that day. Also in attendance will be numerous NFL players including three of Aromashodu's Bears teammates in Devin Hester and Johnny Knox, as well as Miami Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown. In addition, tentatively scheduled to appear are Minnesota Vikings QB Tavares Jackson and Washington Redskins QB Jason  Campbell. Former Golden Hawks running back Gartrell Johnson (Gartrell Shavers when he was at Springs six years ago), currently with the New York Giants will also be in attendance.

The fee includes admission to the camp, a camp T-shirt, lunch featuring Subway sandwiches, chips and a drink, a Meet & Greet autograph session with Aromashodu and the other NFL players, gift bags and a short session, led by Reggie Laroche, exercise physiologist at Baptist Health, on the importance of diet and exercise as it relates to a healthy lifestyle. The three-hour morning session will include 12 different football skill stations. There will also be $1 raffle tickets sold, with the lucky winner receiving a Bears helmet signed by the team. All funds from the event will go to the Miami Springs Senior High School football program.

"It's the first time I've done something like this and I'm really excited about it and looking forward to it," said Aromashodu. "It feels good to come back here and give something back to a place like Miami Springs that was so special to me."

With Devin, this is the ultimate example of someone giving back, said Springs head football coach Alex Pacheco. Were so happy and excited for him to have had the late-season success he had, and for him to have helped set this entire camp up and bring in some high-profile players, all just to help out our program, says a lot more about him as a person than a player.

For more information on the camp or to get yourself signed up, call 561-859-7522, 323-447-2583 or e-mail info@genesismp.com. You may also contact Pacheco directly at 305-467-2385.

Doughty switches to Western Kentucky

There are a lot of things that Brandon Doughty may not know at his young age. But what the North Broward Prep quarterback does realize is that making a commitment about his future is the most important decision he has ever had to deal with.

After committing to FAU a few weeks ago, the talented 6-3, 200-pounder, who led his team to the playoffs the past two years, began to weigh his options. While the Owls have a tremendous program, and his decision was based on a great coaching staff and a program on the rise, Doughty didn't feel that the program was a right fit for him.

On Wednesday night, after sitting down with his family and laying everything on the table, he felt comfortable with his choice. Next Wednesday, Doughty will sign with Western Kentucky University.

"This is a chance of a lifetime for me," Doughty said. "New coaching staff, an opportunity to compete for playing time as a freshman and a school that was certainly a great fit for my future."

Doughty has never quite gotten the recognition he deserved after throwing for over 4,000 yards the past two seasons for the Eagles after coming in from Chaminade-Madonna. Now, with WKU, he believes that his talents will be used.

With first year head coach Willie Taggart coming in from Stanford along with Offensive Coordinator and Quarterback Coach Mike Stanford, Doughty feels that he has the opportunity to get in on the ground floor with the rest of the quarterbacks on the roster.

Catch up on all our stories, rankings, commitments and all other archived information by clicking on Miami Herald Recruiting Information:


January 27, 2010

Harriott to coach at Syracuse University

One moment Roger Harriott is planning next Wednesday’s National Signing Day, and then he is on an airplane headed to Syracuse University.

Harriott, who started the football program at University School and elevated the Suns to a status where many have admired what this team has done in a short period of time, is the new running backs coach for the Orange.

“Talk about a quick decision,“ Harriott said. “They offered and it was something I simply could not pass up. A great move for the entire family.“

Harriott, who starred at St. Thomas Aquinas before heading off to college, had turned University School into a budding power among 2B schools. In fact, he been planning next Wednesday’s National Signing Day party in Davie early in the morning for a number of players who were heading off to college - including defensive lineman Max Beaulieu and defensive back Brice Hawkes, who committed to Syracuse.

Miami Carol City defensive back Gareef Glashen was also a commitment to Syracuse.

“I cannot say enough about the administration, students and parents at University School,” Harriott said. “While it’s tough to leave, I know that we started something that will continue. Leaving was never an option, but to coach at a school like Syracuse is a life-changing decision.”

Catch up on all our stories, rankings, commitments and all other archived information by clicking on Miami Herald Recruiting Information:


Keondrick Lyn will be heading to Syracuse

The season was magical from start to finish for Keondrick Lyn. On Wednesday, it got a whole lot sweeter for the Miramar High safety.

The 6-1, 200-pounder, who had originally committed to Northern Illinois, made a switch and will now head to Syracuse.

“Everything on the visit went so well,” Lyn said. “The campus, coaching staff and what they have to offer in the classroom.”

Lyn, who took part in the Nike Miami-Dade/Broward All-Star Game, had a tremendous season. Not only was his play vital for the Patriots during the 6A state title run, but he stepped up and took a lead role on a team that was rated among the best defensive units in Florida.

“When I went to a basketball game on campus in Syracuse, I was sold on the college atmosphere,” Lyn said. “It was everything you dreamed that a college would like.”

As for the Syracuse football program, Lyn is excited to have the opportunity to play in the Big East for a program that continues to improve.

Most felt that a Miramar receiver would end up going to Morgantown and playing for West Virginia University. The only thing that most never figured it would be Donte Chambers.

With all eyes on Ivan McCartney on National Signing Day, many forgot one of Broward’s top receiver. Chambers (5-10, 175) has come up with some huge catches over the past two years for the Patriots and was instrumental in this year;s team taking a home a first ever state title.

Chambers joins Eugene Smith and Steadmon Bailey, who spent this year at West Virginia.

Catch up on all our stories, rankings, commitments and all other archived information by clicking on Miami Herald Recruiting Information:


January 26, 2010

National Signing Day Show Live TV Show

The 2nd Annual South Florida High School Football Show- Signing Day Celebration and “LIVE” TV Show will take place on February 3rd at Dave & Buster’s Hollywood. The Signing Day Celebration starts at 6pm and LIVE TV show airs NBC6 at 7:30pm. The event is hosted by Joe Rose and Adam Kuperstein along with special guests including Recruiting Analyst Larry Blustein.
ALL senior football players in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County, along with coaching staffs, Athletic Directors, families and friends are invited to be a part of the TV show and celebration at Dave & Buster’s Hollywood. Last year the show was billed as “The largest gathering of high school recruits ever in South Florida”.
During the TV Show, The Scion Player of the Year Trophies for Miami- Dade and Broward County will be awarded along with $2,000 school donation winners. A select number of un-committed players will announce a selection and sign LIVE on air plus the show will feature highlights from that days earlier signings from around South Florida.
Come out and join us or watch the show as the players celebrate the next step in their athletic and academic careers. This special night is possible because of our partners including USArmy, Scion, Dave & Busters, Muscle Milk, VIP Miami, BP Gasoline and NBC6..
For questions, more information or to confirm player or coaches’ attendance please visit www.southfloridahighschoolfootball.com or CALL 954.862.1726 ext. 1189 or email lderemigis@arenaadv.com

Evans and Brees host SB XLIV ticket raffle

The Heath Evans Foundation and Drew Brees’ Dream Foundation are combining forces in raffling a super package for football fans featuring four tickets to Super Bowl XLIV between the New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts in Miami on Sunday, Feb. 7. Raffle tickets are $2 each with a minimum purchase of 5 tickets. 

For more information about the raffle and purchasing tickets, please visit www.HeathEvans.org. Sales end on Wednesday, February 3 at 1 p.m. EST and the drawing for the winning ticket will be held shortly after that.

Included in the package is $5,000 for travel expenses, two rooms for three nights at the Saints team hotel, autographed memorabilia from both Evans and Brees as well as a meet-and-greet with Evans after the game. The package is valued at more than $8,500.

Airfare is NOT included in the package.

Proceeds from the raffle will benefit both foundations equally – the not-for-profit 501(c)(3) Heath Evans Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering hope and healing in the lives of children and families affected by sexual abuse, and Brees’ Dream Foundation, which raises money to help advance cancer research, care for cancer patients, and help rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds, and athletic fields.

“Our raffle for four club seats to the NFC Championship Game was a huge success thanks to Saints fans and football fans around the country,” said Evans, the Saints starting fullback until he suffered a season-ending knee injury during the Oct. 25 game against the Dolphins. “We are taking it to the next level with the Super Bowl raffle. It’s a win-win for the fans, our foundations, and the kids they help.”

Evans said the money will help his foundation provide a variety of programs, treatments and services in communities with great need and scarce resources, including New Orleans and Palm Beach County in Florida, where he grew up and attended high school, about 75 miles from the site of the 2010 Super Bowl.

“The Foundation is very involved in the West Palm Beach area and we are becoming more and more involved in the New Orleans area,” said Evans. “There is a great need in both places and we will do our best to help as many people as we can.”

Evans is personally committed to the Foundation because his wife, Beth Ann, was sexually abused as a third-grader.

“We are a one-stop shop to bring hope and healing to the young victims of sexual abuse,” said Evans. “This is personal for me and Beth Ann and something that we are totally committed to. We want to break the cycle of abuse to innocent children through healing the psychological, physical and spiritual wounds.” 

Evans is bringing attention to a cause that doesn’t receive a lot of attention.

“Being in the NFL gives me a platform,” said Evans, who has continued to stay actively involved with the Saints throughout the playoff run. “When people hear about it and learn more about it, hopefully they become motivated to help sexually abused children and their families.”

Drew and his wife, Brittany, established the Brees Dream Foundation in 2003 and since then have raised and/or committed more than $4.5 million to help communities in New Orleans, San Diego and Purdue.

For information about the Heath Evans Foundation, visit the website at www.HeathEvans.org. For information about the Brees Dream Foundation, visit the website at www.DrewBrees.com.