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34 posts from February 2011

February 28, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Joseph McClary

McClary1
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 continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, 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.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Joseph McClary

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: St. Thomas Aquinas

CITY: Fort Lauderdale

POSITION: CB

HEIGHT: 5-7

WEIGHT: 160
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Rocco Casullo

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: When it comes to cornerbacks, especially those who are considered top-flight prospects, there are a few things you need to put in motion.

One major thing that any college coach will tell you is when it comes to height, you can throw that measurable out the window. At just 5-7, this is a player who is as impressive as they come, and his physical style of play helps that along.

His knack of knowing where the receiver is going puts his cover skills over the top. That is in addition to the fact that he runs in the 4.4 range, has a mind-boggling vertical jump and is extremely strong for a player his size.

After watching him over the past few years, and seeing his 7-on-7 coverage abilities, there is little doubt why Texas Tech offered early, and more colleges will start making a move in his direction.

This is a player who will certainly make a huge impact for the Raiders in 2011!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

February 26, 2011

ESS Football Combine, March 20th

Campers223
It’s a combine that has attracted some of the top names in high school football the past two years, and as Elite Scouting Services embarks on the 2011 Spring Elite Combine at Cardinal Gibbons High School, the reception has been overwhelming.

With athletes such as Jakhari Gore, Sean Corker, Wayne Lyons, Avery Johnson, Ricardo Williams, James Burgess, Jr. and so many others who have attended the event, this year promises to be the best event ever.

“This is a combine that uses over 50 years of recruiting experience as a major attraction,” said Elite Scouting Services President and founder, Charles Fishbein. “For the past two years, the young men and their parents who attended this event left with a greater appreciation of the entire process.”

This year’s event, scheduled for Mar. 20, getting under way at 10 a.m., will provide an opportunity for any athlete who wants to learn, compete and come away with what it takes to remain on the recruiting radar.

While many combine events get the message out to schools across the country, ESS has been providing film and written evaluations to colleges and universities from Florida to California - D1 to community college programs - for the past two years, and the results have been impressive.

“Nobody who runs these kinds of events will work as hard to help the kids land scholarships as we do,” Fishbein said. “This is about every young man who wants to play the game at the next level. Whether it’s at Miami, Florida and FSU - or Wheaton College, North Alabama or Pasadena Community College, we can start the process going with a film or an evaluation.”

ESS, which hosted a combine last year in Tampa, will return there this year as well take a trip to North Florida (Fleming Island) to give the athletes across the state a chance to have exposure from so many colleges and universities.

Cardinal Gibbons is located at 2900 N.E. 47th St., Fort Lauderdale, Fl. 33308. (305-467-4386). There will be a concession stand open at the event.

To sign up for the event or find out more information, click below:

ESS COMBINE INFORMATION
South Florida Combine

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Andy Garcia

Andy Garcia1
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 continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, 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.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Andy Garcia
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Hialeah
CITY: Hialeah
POSITION: LB
HEIGHT: 6-0
WEIGHT: 220
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Marc Berman

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: While many are just starting to hear about this impressive football talent, those who follow football in South Florida have been watching this play-maker do his thing since his days at the youth football league level, where he was regarded as one of the best.

From the time he stepped onto the field for the T-Breds, it was evident that this quality talent would not just blend in. Since the ninth grade, he has been turning heads with his speed (4.6), strength, worth ethic and ability to make tackles all over the field.

Many coaches we have talked to all agree that this is indeed a throwback type of player. Many compare his high school skill level to former Hurricane and NFL great Ray Lewis, who combined a zest for working out and the ability to make plays.

If you have watched Garcia play, you already know that he has the chance to be one of the best in the state - as he gains more exposure and gets to his final season on the field. He also gets it done in the classroom as well.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

February 25, 2011

St. Thomas DE Ken Hankerson signs with Eastern Illinois

St. Thomas Aquinas defensive end Ken Hankerson has found a college destination.

St. Thomas athletic director George Smith told The Miami Herald that Hankerson has signed with Eastern Illinois.

Hankerson had 58 total tackles, which ranked second on the team last season, including 12 for loss. He also had five pass breakups and four forced fumbles as he helped the Raiders to a 15-0 record, a state championship and an ESPN national championship.

Hankerson, 6-2, 205, was ranked the No. 22 overall prospect in Broward County by The Miami Herald.

St. Thomas Aquinas football to play De La Salle (CA) next season on ESPN

St. Thomas Aquinas has played some premier powerhouses from around the country in the past few seasons.

This season, the Raiders will take on their most notable yet.

ESPN announced Friday that it will broadcast St. Thomas' clash with California powerhouse De La Salle on September 23 live on one of its networks.

Aquinas is coming off its second national championship in the past three seasons, and a 15-0 perfect record under legendary coach George Smith. Smith recently announced he was stepping down from coaching the team and defensive coordinator Rocco Casullo was promoted to the position.

De La Salle, a longtime national powerhouse, will start the season on a 25-game winning streak coming off a No. 4 national ranking by ESPN and consecutive CIF Open Division championships. De La Salle is famous for owning the nation's longest winning streak - 151 wins from 1992-2003.

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 continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, 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.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Jordan Armstrong 

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Felix Varela

CITY: Miami

POSITION: Athlete

HEIGHT: 5-9

WEIGHT: 170

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Matt Dixon

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: In a region that has more than its share of football talent for the upcoming class, here is a tremendous athlete who showcased his impressive skills a year ago as a quarterback and an athlete for the Vipers.

This year, more and more BCS colleges across the country will see a very talented football player who can catch the ball and make things happen on the offensive side of the ball as well as make a huge contribution in the defensive secondary.

College coaches we have talked to are quite impressed at the way he handles himself on the football field. Will be a three year varsity starter who continues to emerge as a talent that schools are eager to see playing on both sides of the ball.

This is easily one of the most overlooked players in Miami-Dade so far in the off season. He has more than proven that he can compete against anyone at any level.

We will track his progress right through the 2011 season!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

February 24, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Cole Champion

Cole Champion1
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 continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, 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.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Cole Champion

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: St. Thomas Aquinas

CITY: Fort Lauderdale

POSITION: LB

HEIGHT: 6-1

WEIGHT: 195
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Rocco Casullo

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: If you go back and watch the 2010 5A state title game, there will be little doubt in your mind how impressive this football player is.

One of the most sure tacklers in the state of Florida, his ability to get to play-makers and stop them in their tracks is what has this exceptional talent on the radar screen nationally.

In the win over Tampa Plant, and throughout his entire junior season, the game-saving tackles he made certainly made it possible for the Raiders to bring home a second national title in three years.

Has quickness, knows how to read plays and can drop into pass coverage with some of the best in the state. Coaches who have played against the Raiders call him one of the best defensive players in the Class of 2012!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Gulliver baseball ranked No. 2 nationally by ESPN, 3 others in top 50

With the baseball season in its second week, Gulliver's baseball team is earning top spots in the national polls.

The Raiders are ranked No. 2 by ESPN Rise's Top 50 poll. Gulliver, the defending Class 3A state runner-up, is also expected to be in the top two when Perfect Game releases its top 50 Friday.

Also cracking the ESPN top 50 were Flanagan at No. 15. The Falcons are the defending Class 6A state champions.

Westminster Christian, the two-time defending Class 2A state champions, came in at No. 43.

And Archbishop McCarthy, the defending Class 4A state champions, debuted at No. 46.

February 23, 2011

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 continue to shine the spotlight on many athletes during the pre-spring, 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.

Don't forget that the exposure continues on FACEBOOK (Herald Recruiting) and via Twitter @ larryblustein.

PLAYER: Torry Clayton 

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: South Dade

CITY: Homestead

POSITION: RB

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 190

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Greg Dentino

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: For those who follow high school football in South Florida, you already know how impressive this quality back is.

His speed, strength and knack of knowing how to pick put holes and run to them put him a class by himself.

In a region of the state that routinely puts out football talent like this, here is a complete running back who not only runs for a huge amount of yardage, but he can also catch, block and turn a game around by himself.

Over the next few months, into the spring and summer, here is a player who will watch his stock soar. Will be among the state rushing leaders in 2011 again.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Ferguson, Clayton and Casullo on radio

Hsfootballpage1
Thursday night radio is sizzling this week as the Maroone High School Gridiron Report rolls out the welcome mat immediately after the UM-FSU women's basketball game for a full hour on WQAM (560 AM).

Larry Blustein hosts Pembroke Pines Flanagan receiver Justin Ferguson, South Dade running back Torry Clayton and St. Thomas Aquinas new head coach Rocco Casullo to the program this week.

UNDER THE RADAR
When he arrived in South Florida last summer from Philadelphia, there weren't many football fans who knew that the 6-1, 200-pound Ferguson would make such an impact.

As a junior, the gifted athlete turned heads and showcased some impressive skills as he was among the best pass catchers in Broward County.

With a number of schools keeping an eye on his progress, Ferguson will be one of the players that will be watched this spring and summer.

HE HAS IT ALL!
Ask many who cover high school football in the state of Florida, and it's a good bet that they have never watched Clayton play. But if you ask coaches and players in Miami-Dade County which runner has the biggest upside - this 5-10, 190-pound speedster would be right near the top.

An explosive back who can run, catch and block with the best in the state of Florida, Clayton has been near the top when speaking about true game changers.

With a number of colleges already in the hunt for his services, this is going to be a very special spring and summer in Homestead!

REPLACING LEGEND
The most asked question in the past week since Casullo was selected to replace legendary George Smith as head coach of the Raiders may be the future of this storied and fabled program.

The defensive coordinator of the nation's top high school teams the past few years, Casullo knows replacing a legend will never be easy, but with a tremendous coaching staff, great players and the knowledge that he has been a huge part of the success since he's been at the school, the adjustment period should be quick.

In his first spring as head coach, Casullo will search for replacements at several positions, which should make for an interesting and competitive spring in Fort Lauderdale.

You can follow the show in Thursday as well as check out the BLOGS and videos on www.wqam.com.