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34 posts from June 2010

June 24, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Donaldven Manning


Donaldven Manning1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will shine the spotlight on many athletes during the spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

PLAYER: Donaldven Manning
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Edison
CITY: Miami
POSITION: DB
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 170
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Eddie Jackson

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The Class of 2012 in Miami-Dade County alone will uncover some impressive football talent. But when you look at secondary performers like this, it makes many believe that there are some national recruits lurking.

What's not to like about this gifted athlete who has the speed, play-making abilities and the knowledge of how read offenses.

The first time we watched him play was the spring game after his freshman season when he picked off a pass against North Miami and took back for the Red Raiders' only score. His speed and aggressive style of play had colleges watching him as far back as last season – during his sophomore year.

It addition to his play against the pass, Manning is also quite impressive playing the run. He is a sure tackler with surprising strength. He loves to play this game, and it shows!

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June 22, 2010

Joker Phillips, Jamarious Rowley on radio

The action never stops on football fields across South Florida. Every weekend there is a 7-on-7 tournament and team camps and we are staying right on top of all the action.

On this Wednesday night's High School Gridiron Show on WQAM (560 AM) from 9-10, Larry Blustein and Kevin Rogers will take a look back at last week's Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 tournament, preview this Saturday's Nike 7-on-7 event and discuss the commitments of locals Rashad Greene, Phillip Dorsett and Ryan Shazier.

In addition, they will welcome in University of Kentucky head football coach Joker Phillips and Glades Central quarterback Jamarious Rowley to the packed hour.

PHILLIPS RETURNS HOME
Phillips began his coaching career at his alma mater as a graduate assistant in 1988-89. In 1990, he served as an assistant recruiting coordinator. He was a full-time assistant coach, in charge of the wide receivers, from 1991-96. In 1991, under Phillips' guidance, wide receiver Neal Clark broke the single-season record for pass receptions with 47 catches. Clark's mark stood for six years. Another protégé, Kio Sanford, set three SEC records for kickoff returns in 1994. Craig Yeast, who became the SEC's all-time leading receiver, played his first two seasons under Phillips in 1995-96.

Phillips returned to UK from South Carolina, where he coached the wide receivers during the 2002 season. Gamecock newcomer Troy Williamson had an outstanding rookie campaign, earned consensus SEC All-Freshman honors. He went on to be the No. 7 pick in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft.

Phillips also has coached at Cincinnati (1997-98), Minnesota (1999-2000) and Notre Dame (2001). At Minnesota, Phillips guided first-team All-Big Ten wide receiver Ron Johnson, who went on to play for the NFL's Baltimore Ravens. Although he spent only one season with the Fighting Irish, Phillips placed two wideouts in the NFL, Javin Hunter with Baltimore and David Givens with New England.

ROWLEY MAKES IT HAPPEN
Last year, as a starting linebacker and as a backup quarterback, the 5-9, 225-pound Rowley proved to head coach Jessie Hester that while he wasn't the prototypical quarterback, he could move the team, twice throwing for over 300 yards in a game.

Last weekend, he rallied the Raiders in an exciting game against Miami Booker T. Washington to win the Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 event in Plantation, 41-40. The win sends the Raiders back to the national tournament in Tampa, where they will have the chance to defend their national title.

You can check out the archives and BLOGS on WQAM BLOG

Plantation's Ryan Shazier chooses UF

He was first noticed as a sophomore as a defensive end on a Plantation High football team that always has its share of talent. Last year, Ryan Shazier established himself as one of the top linebacker prospects in the state of Florida.

Over the weekend, after visiting the University of Florida, the 6-2, 205-pounder, made it official. He will become a Gator.

After talking things over with his family, Shazier decided that the University of Florida is the perfect fit for his many abilities.

"Ever since I first saw him play, I was impressed by how fast and athletic he is," said South Florida Express coach Brett Goetz, who has worked with Shazier the past year. "He is not only a tremendous football player and athlete, but he is a great kid, and that Florida should understand before anything else."

Shazier's decision to attend Florida put an end to a recruitment that also included North Carolina, USF, Ohio State and UCLA.

From his defensive end position, the talented Shazier had 87 tackles and an impressive 19½ sacks last season and also had 28 tackles for loss, two fumble recoveries and two defensive touchdowns. And he did all of that in just 10 games, sitting out two with a minor knee injury.

Plantation lost to eventual state champion Miramar twice last season. Once in the regular season and the other in the playoffs.

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Nike 7-on-7 this Saturday in Miramar

The summer 7-on-7 football season rolls on this Saturday for the 32 team Nike 7-on-7 Challenge at Miramar Regional Park (16801 Miramar Parkway).

A number of quality teams will be on hand for this event that annually attracts some of the elite players and teams.

All athletes on hand will open the day at 8 a.m. with SPARQ training. After an hour, the event will get under way with the defending 6A state champs Miramar facing off with Pompano, and the Hollywood Hills Spartans taking on Northeast on Field 1.

Field 2 action will see Wayne Lyons and the Dillard Panthers and Cypress Bay meeting as well as the impressive Everglades Gators and Monarch, and Stranahan-Ely and Deerfield Beach-Coconut Creek will open on Field 3. Ely features top junior Avery Johnson.

The South Broward Bulldogs and rival Hallandale will battle along with Boca Raton Pope John Paul and the explosive Boyd Anderson Cobras will play a first round game on Field 4.

On the Miami-Dade County side of things, the Central Rockets will square off with the American Patriots at 9 a.m. on Field 5. Also on the same field, Columbus and Coral Reef will battle in a first round game.

Field 6 will host Carol City and Hialeah at 9 a.m., and Booker T. Washington and rival Edison. The Field 7 games will spotlight the North Miami Pioneers and an impressive South Dade squad, and athletic Southridge against Norland. South Dade features quarterback Jovani McCray.

The Miami-Dade County side of the event will see the Jackson Generals taking Homestead on Field 8 along with the Northwestern Bulls and Miami commitments Teddy Bridgewater and Eli Rogers, and the Miami Springs Golden Hawks.

Northwestern and Central are two teams that rarely play local summer 7-on-7, and this will be the only time the Rockets and Bulls will be part of the same tournament!

June 21, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Rannell Hall


Renall Hall1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will shine the spotlight on many athletes during the spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

PLAYER: Rannell Hall
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: Carol City
CITY: Miami
POSITION: WR
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 170
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Harold Barnwell

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: While several top flight football players are being exposed throughout South Florida, here is one who we have watched over the past year and are quite surprised that this talented athlete has not received larger offers.

He has tremendous speed, great athletic ability and has turned heads at every event he has taken part in. The thing that college coaches love about Hall is his ability to create mismatches with his quickness, leaping ability and knowledge of the position.

Certainly someone who has started to showcase the abilities his coaches have been talking about for quite some time, and while many evaluators have simply passed him over, this is a D1 prospect that some colleges feel is as good as any in the class.

Make no mistake that on National Singing Day, this will be one of the many players who will emerge locally in the Class of 2011!


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HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Nick Menocal


Menocal1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will shine the spotlight on many athletes during the spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

PLAYER: Nick Menocal
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: Belen Jesuit
CITY: Miami
POSITION: LB/DE
HEIGHT: 6-3
WEIGHT: 235
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Richard Stuart

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Easily one of the most underrated and least exposed players in the Class of 2011. A natural athlete who has speed and strength to go along with his intensity.

An extremely quick and athletic football player who first made his mark as a baseball player, showcased his speed and skill level last year during the most productive year in school history.

Whether it's at combines, where he has turned in impressive results, or on the football field, where he continues to make plays, colleges love his all-out attitude and skill level.

Turned plenty of heads at a recent padded camp, making plays against athletes who are regarded as the best in the state. Is now being pursued by several large schools who have recognized what he brings to the table as a total student/athlete!

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June 20, 2010

Glades Central wins Dolphins 7-on-7 event


Glades

Glades Central defended their championship in thrilling fashion, defeating Booker T. Washington 41-40 at the Miami Dolphins 7-on-7 Tournament Presented by Under Armour Saturday evening at Plantation Park.

By virtue of their victory, the Raiders will represent the Miami Dolphins in the National Football League’s 2010 7-on-7 Tournament in Tampa this July, an event they won in 2009 in Minnesota. Well over 40 high schools participated in the tournament which featured action from the top teams from Miami-Dade, Broward County, Palm Beach, Charlotte County, Lee County and Collier County.

“This weekend was exciting because we were able to pass along a lot of valuable knowledge,” said Twan Russell, Director of Youth Programs. “The kids had a great time. We played over 240 games and to have a program to this magnitude that impact students in such a positive way is unbelievable.”

In all, more than 750 high school football players in South Florida took part in the weekend’s activities which began on Friday with the NFL High School Player Development Program Presented by the National Guard. The program, which is partially funded by the NFL Youth Football Fund, was free for students and provided participants with a curriculum that focused on inspiring excellence in the classroom, community, and on the playing field.

The event on Friday featured guest speakers from the Miami Dolphins, including CEO Mike Dee, General Manager Jeff Ireland, Team Security Investigator Stuart Weinstein, offensive lineman Nate Garner and a host of other speakers. Students also took part in a Centers for Disease Control session about player safety, including concussion treatment and management.

High schools that also participated in this weekend’s activities were North Miami Alonzo and Tracy Mourning, Fort Lauderdale Dillard, Hialeah American High School, Hialeah Barbara Goleman, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson, West Palm Beach Cardinal Newman, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna, Deerfield Beach, Ives Estates Dr. Krop, Estero, Miami Ferguson, Flanagan, Fort Lauderdale, Miami G. Holmes Braddock, Miami Gulliver Prep, Hallandale, Hialeah Gardens, Hollywood Hills, Greenacres John Leonard, Jupiter Christian, Lehigh, Hialeah Mater Academy, Miami Edison, Miami Jackson, Miami Norland, Miami Palmetto, Miramar, North Miami, Oakland Park Northeast, Davie Nova, Palm Beach Gardens, Pompano Beach, Pembroke Pines Somerset Academy, Fort Lauderdale Stranahan, Village Academy, West Boca, Davie Western, Westland Hialeah, Pembroke Pines Flanagan and Miami Carol City.


June 18, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Nick North


Nick North11
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will shine the spotlight on many athletes during the spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

PLAYER: Nick North
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: McArthur
CITY: Hollywood
POSITION: DB
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 185
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Mike Zarra

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Another impressive athlete who we have watched mature before high school and the past three years at the varsity level.

After an outstanding sophomore season, where he had the chance to compete against some of the top football players locally as well as throughout the state in the summer, his junior year was filled with injury, but he did manage to turn enough heads to be regarded as one of the top 2011 prospects.

Has impressive quickness, understands all kinds of coverage and has the overall size to matchup against even though most physical players on the Mustangs' schedule. Will continue to gain exposure.

Will be the leader on a team that lost plenty from graduation and to transfer. Colleges who have watched him play are convinced that he can be an asset to any program that brings him in!

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June 17, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Jordan Armstrong


Jordan Armstrong1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will shine the spotlight on many athletes during the spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

PLAYER: Jordan Armstrong
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Varela
CITY: Miami
POSITION: QB/Athlete
HEIGHT: 5-8.5
WEIGHT: 165
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Matt Dixon

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: There are some very impressive football players for the Class of 2012, and while many have already been pushed into the spotlight, here is a player who may have not had the chance to evaluate and appreciate.

College coaches during the summer were bowled over by his speed, athletic ability and the way he has helped to elevate this program.

Whether it's as a quarterback, receiver or defensive back, this is a football player who has the speed and overall athletic ability to get it done at this level and beyond.

As a quarterback, he has a very accurate arm and creates opportunities with his speed and ability to read defenses, which has helped his stock rise. He will only get more exposure this coming season and will be one of the top players in this class throughout the state.

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HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Elkino Watson


Elkino Watson1
Having the opportunity to watch many of the athletes in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties when they begin playing football at the youth football level, the Miami Herald will shine the spotlight on many athletes during the spring and summer.

With the chance to see the athletes away from the football field as well, we can bring you up close and personal with some of the top prospects in the nation - right here in our own backyard.

PLAYER: Elkino Watson
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: Booker T. Washington
CITY: Miami
POSITION: DL
HEIGHT: 6-2
WEIGHT: 270
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Earl Tillman

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Having watched this quality athlete since he made the move to Booker T. Washington two years ago, this is a football talent who continues to get better and attract more attention.

Great strength and quickness, he has emerged as one of the best in South Florida, and by the time the 2010 season ends, will be rated as one of Florida's top line prospects.

If you watch him in games, he is nearly impossible to block with one player. His impressive athletic ability, quick feet and upper body strength has provided a forum for him to turn heads at every level.

As a 10th grader, he pushed his way into the rotation on the defensive line, and by the middle of his junior year, there was little doubt that he would be a perfect fit at the next level as a play maker.

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