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49 posts from July 2010

July 23, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Andrew Johnson

Andrew Johnson1
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: Andrew Johnson
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: Southridge
CITY: Miami
POSITION: DB
HEIGHT: 5-9
WEIGHT: 170
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Pat Burrows

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: From the day head coach Pat Burrows walked into Southridge, it was evident that the talent level he knew from the days of playing against the Spartans when he was a player at nearby Killian was indeed in place.

The defensive secondary was so impressive, Burrows had to pinch himself when he walked out to practice and saw so many quality athletes.

After a strong junior season, Johnson followed it up with an impressive summer that has taken him to several tournaments, where he has been able to showcase his speed, athletic talent and overall skill level.

On a trip to Tuscaloosa for the Badger 7-on-7 tournament, he and teammate, Gerod Holliman, committed to Ole Miss, marking the second straight year that two Spartan defensive backs made commitments together. Last year, Phil Warren and Lavaughn Whigham signed with Texas Tech.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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July 22, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Devin Gaulden


Devin gaulden1
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: Devin Gaulden
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: University School
CITY: Davie
POSITION: DB
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 175
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Roger Harriott

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: When he committed to attend Auburn University earlier this week, it came as a huge surprise to many in the region and state who had never watched him play or even realized he had SEC potential.

having watched him play after he transferred in from Flanagan, where he was better known for his basketball skills than knocking down passes, catching balls or making big plays on the football field.

This is a football player/athlete who has the potential to be a big time player, and while he chose Auburn, they weren't the only ones who were bowled over by what he brings to the table as an all-around student/athlete.

Watch the things he does this coming season and you will understand why schools were so high on him. Tremendous pickup for the Tigers who are used to exceptional talent like Gaulden.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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So. Florida Touchdown Club hosts UM

Fresh off an impressive high school awards event, the South Florida Touchdown Club has a number of programs planned during the summer, starting with
Small_td
the July 29th Meet the UM Football Coaches Breakfast.

The South Florida Touchdown Club is an established organization that has been promoting the local athletes for decade.

In addition to the UM event, here are some other functions that fans would be interested in:
• August 7 - Meet the UM Freshman Football Squad (limited to the first 55 reservations)
• August 11 - Meet the FIU Freshman Football Squad
• August 19 - Meet the FAU Freshman Footbal Squad
 
1. Meet the UM Coaches Breakfast
   Location - Riviera Country Club, 1155 Blue Road, Coral Gables, FL 33146
   Date - Thursday, July 29, - 7:00 am Reception; 7:30 am Breakfast & Program
   Tarrif - Members $30; Guests $40 ($30 if they join the TD Club on or before the event)
   Reservation Deadline - Monday, July 26, Noon. See reservation instructions below.
 
2. Meet the UM Freshman Football Players Dinner
   Location - Hecht Athletic Center, 5821 San Amaro Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33146
   Date - Saturday August 7 - 6:00 pm
   Tarrif - Members $40; Guests $50 ($40 if they join the TD Club on or before the event)
   Reservation Deadline - Wednesday August 4, Noon. See reservation instructions below.
 
3. Meet the FIU Freshman Football Players Dinner
   Location - Panther Football Stadium Club (south side of the stadium), 11200 S. W. 8th St., Miami, FL 33199
   Date - Wednesday, August 11, 7:00 pm
   Tarrif - Members $40; Guests $50 ($40 if they join the TD Club on or before the event)
   Reservation Deadline - Sunday, August 8, Noon. See reservation instructions below.
 
4. Meet the FAU Freshman Football Players Dinner
   Location - FAU Campus, Howard Schnellenberger's Executive Lounge, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
   Date - Thursday, August 19, 7:00 pm.
   Tarrif - Members $40. Guests $50 ($40 if they join the TD Club on or before the event)
   Reservation Deadline - Monday, August 16, Noon. See reservation instructions below. 
 
 
Make Your Reservation, soon!
Call the TDC Hotline at (305) 477-1815 or via email: MTCEVENT@aol.com. Price at the door without prior reservation deadline is subject to available seating and a $10 surcharge. If you make a reservation and do not attend, you will be billed.

Youth Football event in the spotlight


Gen next flyer
From the humble days of the state and national letters of intent to billion dollar corporations backing some of the finest, young athletes around, recruiting has continued to reach new heights in the never-ending quest to find, evaluate and promote high school talent.

The days of the single talent scout roaming the sidelines in places such as Berwick, Pa., Massilon, Ohio or the dozens of other national hotbeds are over. Today, the rules are different. There are eyes and ears at everything that goes on from a small practice to a nationally-televised game.

In South Florida alone, there isn’t a weekend that goes by without some high school football related event taking place. There is a need to know which teams and players are going to be good for years to come.

Because of ninth-grader Sony Michel of American Heritage, the bar has been raised so high that football fans across this impressive region are now digging beyond this upcoming 2014 class. They are thirsting to know what Bunche Park player is the next Teddy Bridgewater or what Lauderdale Lakes receiver will follow in Phillip Dorsett’s shoes at St. Thomas Aquinas.

With the youth football season getting started around South Florida, the stars of tomorrow are being groomed from Florida City and Goulds to Deerfield Beach and Pompano Beach.

With the attention so much on what players will attend Columbus, Northwestern, Central and Southridge in the future, more emphasis has been focused to the youth football fields, where a Scott Lake/Bunche Park matchup would attract more than most high school games - for any of the seven plus games.

While youth football has served as an important building block for players such as Asante Samuel, Kenny Phillips, Bryant McFadden, Sean Taylor and so many others, it is, in some neighborhoods, the 'only' game in town.

This year, youth football in South Florida will have an opportunity to showcase many of those stars of the future as Mastrole Passing Camp and Generation Nexxt Youth Sports Marketing will host a first ever youth football camp (open to all youth players 8-14 years of age) at the Lauderhill Sports Complex on July 30 from 5-9 p.m.

Billed as “Future Friday Night Stars,” this Friday night event is giving athletes and their families the chance to come out and learn from high school coaches from Miami-Dade and Broward counties.

“This is an idea that came out of all the young players who attended our quarterback camps,” said Ken Mastrole. “This is chance for many athletes all over South Florida to come out and see how they stack up against others in their own weight and age class.”

In addition to learning from high school coaches, athletes will also have the opportunity to be part of the Generation Nexxt media experience. The largest voice for youth football in South Florida, Generation Nexxt will interview, film and use the information for the Sunday morning TV show as well as in the magazine.

“We are very excited about this event for a number [of] reasons,” said Jonah Woullard of Generation Nexxt. “This is [a] special Friday night event that will showcase the future football players of this region.

“We are also going to use the information from the testing events to rank players by weight class for the upcoming season,” Woullard continued.

The event costs $35 and will provide instruction in speed, technique, fundamentals and total understanding of the game. If you are interested in taking part in this showcase event that will produce some future stars, sign up at www.PassingCamp.com or visit Generation Nexxt (gennexxt.ning.com) for more details.

July 21, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Torry Clayton


Torrey clayton1
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: Torry Clayton
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: South Dade
CITY: Homestead
POSITION: RB
HEIGHT: 5-8
WEIGHT: 170
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Greg Dentino

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Having watched him play three times a year ago, there is no doubt that this was one of the premier sophomore backs in South Florida.

His powerful running style was a perfect compliment for an offense that mixed it up extremely well. He is fast, strong and ended the 2009 season a player who would work hard in the off season to become one of the top juniors in 2010.

With over 400 yards on the ground, you can guarantee that South Dade will rely on his durability this year to pound the ball with positive results as senior quarterback Jovani McCray returns to help keep the offense balanced.

While some college coaches believe his size will hinder larger offers, we respectfully disagree, believing that this is a football player who has enough speed, strength, good hands and running instincts to jump to the head of the class – quickly!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

July 20, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Elston Lane


Elston Lane1
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: Elston Lane
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Gulliver Prep
CITY: Miami
POSITION: WR
HEIGHT: 6-1.5
WEIGHT: 180
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Earl Sims

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: When many begin to evaluate this next class closely, there is little doubt that this is going to be an athlete who is among the best around.

The fact that those who are in the business of rating players easily miss out on a player like this is no surprise. There are dozens of quality athletes who seem to slip through the cracks. But you can guarantee that this is a prospect who everyone will begin to hear about – soon!

After starting his career out at Coral Gables High, his move to the Raiders last year showcased a player who can run, catch and turn in big plays. He was one of the sophomores that the coaches spoke about toward the end of the season.

This year, breaking in a new quarterback and several other key players, look for Lane to have a breakout season as colleges from across the country will start to recruit him hard, and feel very confident about doing so.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Dubuc, Schiano and Codrington on radio


Hsfootballpage1
As we head toward the end of July, the 2010 football season inches closer and the High School Gridiron Report is there every step of the way.

On Wednesday night, Larry Blustein and Kevin Rogers have a full program slated with Matt Dubuc, Rutgers head coach Greg Schiano and Kynon Codrington from ESPN Rise from 9-10 p.m. on WQAM (560 AM).

YOUTH FOOTBALL SHOWCASE
Dubuc, the offensive coordinator at Cardinal Gibbons, has organized a first ever Youth Football Friday Night Exposure Camp on Friday, July 30 from 5-9 p.m. at the Lauderhill Sports Complex.

The event, which is open to youth football players from ages 8-14, will be promoted by Generation Nexxt Youth Sports Network and include player evaluation and ranking for the upcoming season as well as instruction from local high school coaches. There will also be a fastest man competition for each age group.

SCHIANO HAS HIS TIES
More than any other football coach in America, Schiano, who has spent so much time in this region of the country, realizes what South Florida means to the success of the Scarlet Knights when it comes to recruiting.

Entering his 10th year as the head football coach at Rutgers University, Schiano has continued to make his mark in the annals of the Birthplace of College Football. Rutgers had advanced to a postseason bowl just once in 135 years of football, however, Schiano has made that infrequency a thing of the past as the Scarlet Knights continued its recent bowl tradition, accepting a bid to their fifth-straight bowl game – a program first.

Rutgers is just one of four schools in the nation to win four consecutive bowl games over the last four seasons. It’s another indication that Schiano and his staff have the program headed in the right direction.

Although he has created what he started out to accomplish - building one of the top programs in the nation on a rock solid foundation - both on the field and in the classroom, the ultimate goal remains the same for Schiano. Since the day he accepted the position on Dec. 1, 2000 the vision has always been winning the National Championship.

CODRINGTON STAYS BUSY
Last week it was the Nike 7-on-7 event at Miramar Regional Park, which Miami Northwestern won. This weekend, it's the prestigious Gridiron Kings 7-on-7 event at Disney, and Codrington has been on top of it all.

He will join the show to promote this weekend's event as well as look back at last Saturday's 16-team event in South Florida.

The show can also be heard live on www.wqam.com.

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Jeremy Smith


Jeremy Smith Flanagan1
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: Jeremy Smith
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Flanagan
CITY: Pembroke Pines
POSITION: WR
HEIGHT: 5-8
WEIGHT: 160
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Don Simon

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: While much of the attention, and for good reason, is on the Class of 2011 – the upcoming seniors across the state – there are also some quality underclassmen as well.

From the first time we had the pleasure of watching this gifted athlete play, it was a given that over the next two seasons he would emerge as one of the top players in the region.

His speed, athletic ability and knack of coming up with a big catch have already become a trademark that the Falcons are getting used to. He is a potential play-maker who has already started to turn heads.

Last year, the Falcons made quite a splash with one of the top offenses around. This year, with players like Smith, who can also return kicks and catch the ball out of the backfield, there is a chance they could be better.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Offor, Finnie make their choices

We haven't even reached August and the local college football commitments are taking center stage.

On Monday, Hialeah American defensive end Godspower Offor (6-3, 220) and Miami Central defensive back Thomas Finnie (5-10, 165) have joined the growing list of athletes making that important decision.

Offor, who was a Miami Herald discovery back in his freshman season, has parlayed tremendous athletic ability with superb grades in the classroom to grab the attention of several top-flight college programs.

His decision to attend Wake Forest University, an impressive academic/athletic school in the Atlantic Coast Conference was something that most expected as the Demon Deacons have been in him since last year.

"I remember the first time we had watched him play in the spring of his freshman season," said Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald. "You could tell that he was going to be something, just watching him move around the field."

While Offor was telling the Wake Forest coaching staff that he will be headed to North Carolina, another top-rated Miami-Dade County prospect was making it known that he was going to compete in the Southeastern Conference.

Headed to play for head coach Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Gamecocks, Finnie has emerged as one of the top defensive backs in southern Florida, and was a catalyst during the Rockets' impressive run in 2009.

"Finnie has great size, can cover extremely well and play the run as well," said recruiting analyst Rich Barimo. "I watched him two years ago as a sophomore, and then had the pleasure of seeing him last year. He has really matured into a top prospect."

Finnie is the fourth Central player to commit over the past two weeks. Running back Devonta Freeman (FSU), lineman Marquis Lucas (Rutgers) and linebacker Oliver Vigille told Syracuse he was going to play for the Orange.

HERALD STATEWIDE COMMITMENTS
Statewide Commitments

July 19, 2010

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Seitu Smith II


Seitu Smith1
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: Seitu Smith II
YEAR: 2011
SCHOOL: Deerfield Beach
CITY: Deerfield Beach
POSITION: S/WR
HEIGHT: 5-11
WEIGHT: 175
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Adam Ratkevich

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: It's not often a talent like this walks into your school, but you can guarantee that the Bucks will use his many skills to their advantage this season.

A versatile football player who comes in after starting his career at St. Thomas Aquinas, this is an athlete who has quickness, tremendous athletic ability, impressive strength and a superb work ethic in the classroom, which is a major selling point to go with his blazing 4.43 speed.

Watching him play receiver, it's almost impossible to cover him with just one defensive back. His ability to run crisp pass patterns and turn on the jets after catching the ball. He is also strong enough to break initial tackles and find his way into the endzone. He is also a very physical player who blocks extremely well.

His ability to return kicks and punts is also a major selling point to schools across the country. Make no mistake, this is another quality football player who will compete at the D1 level. Continue to track his progress and you will see someone who will certainly make a solid impact this coming season.


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