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49 posts from July 2010

July 30, 2010

Columbus DE Anthony Rabasa commits to Notre Dame


   Columbus defensive end Anthony Rabasa didn't need more than
three days in South Bend, Indiana to realize he'd found the right
place to go to college.

   Rabasa, a 6-3, 235-pound defensive end, told The Miami Herald
Friday he had committed to the University of Notre Dame. Rabasa, a first
team All-Dade selection last year, had 80 tackles and 10 sacks to
help Columbus win a district championship.

   Rabasa is the second Columbus player this week to commit to a
major college. Wide receiver Tacoi Sumler recently committed to
Oregon.

   "I got up here and immediately I was blown away by the
atmosphere up here,'' said Rabasa, who arrived at Notre Dame on
an official visit Wednesday. "I love it. We're by Chicago, a
great city like Miami and around here the people are all about
Notre Dame football.''

   Rabasa said he visited Miami, Florida State and Florida. But
after his three days in Notre Dame, he said he probably would not
take his remaining visit.

   Rabasa, a 3.0 student, said he was excited to play for new
Irish coach Brian Kelly, and a defensive scheme that will allow
him to broaden his skills on defense.

   "This is it for me,'' Rabasa said. "They have a whole new
defense they're planning to run and it's going to be great
because it will allow me to be more than just a pass rusher. I
know this is the place where I want to be.''

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Nequan Phillips

Nequan phillips1
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: Nequan Phillips
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Southridge
CITY: Miami
POSITION: DB
HEIGHT: 5-9
WEIGHT: 170
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Pat Burrows

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: While athletes such as Tracey Howard (Miramar) and A.J. Leggett (Booker T. Washington) have received much of the early publicity for the Class of 2012, and for good reason, here is yet another strong, quick, physical athlete that continues the recent tradition of quality defensive back prospects for the Spartans.

While he has the physical abilities to play safety, his athleticism will give him a chance to play cornerback as well, which many colleges have already been watching him play.

Will emerge as one of the premier defensive backs in a class, statewide, that has already produced a number of quality athletes.

During the spring and into the summer, we had the opportunity to watch him play, along with dozens of other college coaches who were all impressed with the way he plays the game. Expect him to continue receiving attention from the top colleges in the country.

Photo Courtesy of EliteScoutingServices.com

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July 29, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Jessie York


Jessie York1
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: Jessie York
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: Boyd Anderson
CITY: Lauderdale Lakes
POSITION: WR
HEIGHT: 6-0.5
WEIGHT: 175
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Mark James

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Another of the many football players we started watching at the youth level and then followed his progress to high school, where he has been turning heads for almost three years now.

A game-breaking receiver who has tremendous hands, exceptional leaping ability and confidence where he believes that it's difficult for just one defensive back to contain him. His speed and knowledge of the position continues to elevate his status.

Has established himself as a top tier prospect who runs tremendous patterns and has an advantage of working against some of the elite defensive backs in the nation every day in practice.

The college coaches who broke down his play last year and into the spring and summer were impressed with his overall ability. Most rated him as the top prospect in Broward County, where there are several top-flight prospects.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

July 28, 2010

Varela's Undray Clark to Maryland

From the first time Undray Clark saw the University of Maryland, he was sold. It was just like he had thought it would be.

On Wednesday, a week after returning from his trip to College Park, with schools such as Duke and Minnesota still interested, the 5-11, 175-pound Felix Varela safety made his decision.

"It was like home," Clark said. "Everything about the campus, the coaching staff and the people I met was a perfect fit for me."

One of the most overlooked athletes in South Florida, Clark has continued to turn heads at every event he and his teammates have been to.

An impressive football talent that head coach Matt Dixon has been talking about over the past year, Clark finally showed why so many opponents have thought so highly of him.

"Last year when I saw him play, it was a no brainer that people were missing out on a very promising talent," said Charles Fishbein of EliteScoutingServices.com. "This is a football player who is getting better and better every time we watch him."

Clark is currently the only player from the state of Florida that is committed to the Terrapins.

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Statewide Commitments

July 27, 2010

VIDEO: Coral Gables LB Denzel Perryman

Football season is right around the corner and this year at The Miami Herald we plan to bring you more interviews with the best athletes and players in South Florida. Today, high school sports editor Andre Fernandez visited Coral Gables High where he caught up with star linebacker Denzel Perryman to get the latest on recruiting and much more.

Turene, Niumatalolo & Langston on radio

Hsfootballpage1
With less than two weeks before area football teams get it going for real, the High School Gridiron Report has the headliners lined up for Wednesday night's show on WQAM (560 AM).

Larry Blustein and Kevin Rogers will welcome Boyd Anderson linebacker Kent Turene, Naval Academy head coach Ken Niumatalolo and Michael Langston, Publisher of the popular Rivals.com website FloridaVarsity.com to the show between 9-10 p.m.

TURENE IS ONE OF THE BEST
Turene just returned from Disney's Wide World of Sports where he competed for the champion Southeast squad in the second annual Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 event, which attracted some 70 of the top high school football players in the nation.

The 6-3, 230-pounder, considered one of the best linebackers in the state of Florida, will be the first Broward County football player to attend the University of Southern California on a football scholarship. He chose head coach Lane Kiffin and the Trojans over some 50 plus schools who had offered him a scholarship.

NIUMATALOLO MAKES AN IMPACT
A native of Hawaii, Niumatalolo had one of the most successful first seasons as a head coach in school history. He is the first coach to lead Navy to a bowl game in his inaugural season and, thanks to a 33-27 victory over Air Force and a 34-0 win over Army, he became just the second Service Academy coach to win the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy in his first year.

Niumatalolo led the Midshipmen to an 8-5 record, the most wins for a first-year coach at Navy since 1934. Included in those eight wins was a 24-17 victory over 16th-ranked Wake Forest, which was Navy's first win over a team ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 since 1985. Navy also beat teams currently in the BCS in back-to-back weeks (Rutgers and Wake Forest) for the first time since 1981 and defeated a program-record four bowl teams.

Niumatalolo (44) was promoted to head football coach at the Naval Academy on Dec. 8, 2007. He is the second Polynesian head coach in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) history and the first Samoan collegiate head coach on any level.

Prior to being named head coach, Niumatalolo had two coaching stints at the Naval Academy for a combined 10 seasons, including the last six where he served as assistant head coach and offensive line coach.

As the offensive coordinator, Niumatalolo tutored Chris McCoy, who set the then-NCAA record for most rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in a season with 20 in 1997 and became just the 10th player in NCAA history to rush for more than 1,000 yards and pass for more than 1,000 yards in the same season. In addition, Navy finished among the nation's top five in rushing his last-two years and broke 38 school offensive records during his tenure.

LANGSTON HAS THE AUDIENCE
By far the most popular high school sports website in the state, Langston travels and sees more players, teams and events than any other, promoting the athletes in the Sunshine State throughout the year.

From daily stories and rankings to game coverage and off season events, FloridaVarsity.com is a valuable resource for fans throughout the state and the country who follow the tremendous football played in Florida.

Last weekend, Langston and the impressive staff covered Friday Night Lights in Gainesville as well as the Gridiron Kings and a number of 7-on-7 events. He will share some of his views on players such as Teddy Bridgewater, Rashad Greene and many others across the state.

You can hear the show live and check out the show BLOG on www.wqam.com.

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Hunter Boyett


Hunterboyett
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: Hunter Boyett
YEAR: 2014
SCHOOL: Gulliver Prep
CITY: Miami
POSITION: QB
HEIGHT: 5-10.5
WEIGHT: 175
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Earl Sims

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: As much of the nation watched with amazement last fall when an eighth grade running back captured the imagination of every football fan, Sony Michel went on to have a banner year, setting the table for an impressive career that still has four years remaining.

Flash forward to this fall, when more Class of 2014 athletes (incoming freshmen) are scheduled to have more of an impact at the varsity level than ever before, and one of those standouts will be Boyett, who has been on the radar screen for over a year now.

One of the most publicized and impressive members of the Class of 2014, Boyett has proven that he does indeed belong with tremendous camp outings that often pit him against athletes four and five years older.

Heading into his freshman year with the Raiders after moving over from Miami Westminster Christian, Boyett has the arm strength, knowledge of reading defenses and plenty of experience and maturity that comes with throwing yourself into competition with heavily recruited juniors and seniors.

While it is never a policy to shine the spotlight on athletes so young, this is a football prospect who has already started to turn heads – much like Michel has done!

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HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Anthony Gadson


Anthony Gadson Deerfield1
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: Anthony Gadson
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Deerfield Beach
CITY: Deerfield Beach
POSITION: S
HEIGHT: 6-1
WEIGHT: 180
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Adam Ratkevich

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: With so many summer events, more and more players are being discovered earlier than ever before.

If you watched the Bucks play over the past few months, here is a player who has leaped onto the watch list for the future with his impressive football abilities. His speed and knowledge of reading offenses has been a huge plus.

While he covers very well and is extremely athletic, his run-stopping skills are off the charts as he hits as hard as anyone we've watched in this class. This is an athlete we have watched and evaluated and will continue to track his progress.

College coaches we talked to during the spring were impressed with his size, quickness and demeanor on the field. Has the chance to accomplish some impressive things over the next few years, and we will be there along the way watching and promoting!

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July 26, 2010

Tim Burton chooses Duke

Tim Burton22
When it came down to making his final decision where to attend college, Cardinal Gibbons defensive back Tim Burton had a pretty good idea where he wanted to go.

As he did his research, visited each campus and met coaches and other personnel from the colleges he was interested, Burton went with his instincts on Sunday night when he chose Duke University.

"While Duke is a great challenge for me as a student, the opportunity to come into a program that is moving forward in the ACC is something that I just couldn't pass up," said Burton. "Great coaches, a school that has improved every season and a conference where a lot of great football is played."

The 5-10, 170-pounder who had been recruited by Wisconsin, Bowling Green, Marshall and East Carolina among others, loved the state of North Carolina and the fact that his close friend, Orville Reynolds of Douglas, committed in the spring to Wake Forest.

"We will keep our rivalry going," Burton laughed. "This entire thing is working out for both of us. We both picked tremendous programs that also have excellent academics."

Burton was a catalyst on the Chiefs' defense last year. His 4.4 (40) speed gives Cardinal Gibbons several options on both sides of the ball.

HERALD STATEWIDE COMMITMENTS
Statewide Commitments

July 25, 2010

Central's Miles Pace to UCF

Somebody quickly tell the University of Central Florida that they aren’t supposed to be picking Miami-Dade County clean of marquee football players.

After reeling in seven quality football players last year, including Central quarterback Jeffrey Godfrey and Joshua Reese, UCF has been back at it again this year with Northwestern safety Jermaine Reve pledging his verbal commitment a few weeks back.

On Friday, the Knights may have landed the biggest star of the class when Central linebacker Miles Pace committed.

The 6-2, 235-pound linebacker who has also been projected as a defensive tackle, was one of the leaders for the Rockets a year ago. Several Division 1 school had expressed interest in him such as Clemson, USF and West Virginia to name a few.

“We had the chance to watch him, in the spring of his sophomore year,” said Charles Fishbein of EliteScoutingServices.com. “This is a kid who is strong, runs extremely well and makes plays. UCF once again came into South Florida and came away with a very impressive football player.”

Pace is the sixth Rocket to pledge a commitment this summer. Running back Devonta Freeman (FSU), lineman Marquis Lucas (Rutgers), linebacker Oliver Vigille (Syracuse), quarterback Rakeem Cato (FIU) and defensive back Thomas Finnie (South Carolina).

CENTRAL FLORIDA KNIGHTS (10)
Brandon Bragg, S, 6-1, 195, Orlando University
Mike Easton, S, 6-0, 180, Winter Haven
Joey Grant, DE, 6-4, 255, Altamonte Springs Lake Brantley
Jacques Mackeroy, WR, 6-0, 200, Lakeland Kathleen
Willie Mitchell, LB, 6-0.5, 225, Deltona Pine Ridge
Miles Pace, LB, 6-1, 230, Miami Central
Jermaine Reve, S, 6-0, 175, Miami Northwestern
Cedric Thompson, RB, 6-0, 200, Miramar Everglades
Dalton Wertz, DL, 6-2, 290, Arcadia DeSoto
Kion Williams, RB, 5-10, 195, Interlachen

HERALD STATEWIDE COMMITMENTS
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