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39 posts from March 2011

March 14, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Frankie Hernandez

Frankie1
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: Frankie Hernandez

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Belen Jesuit
CITY: Miami

POSITION: S/RB

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 195
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Richard Stuart

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
If you watched this quality football prospect play the past two years, you don't need for anyone to tell you how productive he has been for the Wolverines. You already know how makes tackles on defense and has huge runs on the offensive side of the ball.

No matter what team this program has lined up against the past two years, Hernandez found a way to make key plays against schools such as Norland, Jackson, Columbus and more.

In a region loaded with players, this is one of the two-way prospects who has flown way beneath the radar screen. His speed, football skills and instincts and knowledge have given him a major advantage.

One of the big time play-makers for this class, and as the season gets closer, colleges will certainly get a look at one of the best this schools has ever produced on the football field!

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Express stunned by So. Florida Fire

Gheirry and parents1
TAMPA - Two years ago, as a receiver/quarterback prospect at Boyd Anderson High, Gheirry van der Kuyp made quite an impression with coaches and players.

While he was on the radar screen for the past two years with those who watched and appreciated his skills, it wasn't until this past weekend when the rest of the state had the chance to see what Hialeah head coach Marc Berman and his staff had been boasting about the past year.

Coming up with play after play, this athletic 2012 prospect led his surprising South Florida Football Fire team to a surprising 28-21 win over the defending national champion South Florida Express at the BadgerSport 7on7 tournament at the University of South Florida.

As he heads toward the spring, the name van der Kuyp is no longer one that is hidden behind so many impressive prospects in Florida. A full year after coming south from Broward County, this 6-1, 190-pounder is now one of the many quality athletes who all will now follow.

"The crazy thing about Gheirry is very few people had even paid attention to him over the past two years," said Football Fire defensive coach Travis Johnson, who helped put together the team with many players who were cut from the Express. "This is a young man who has been this talented since youth football. Because he didn't have a defined position, it was tough for people to get a grasp on his abilities."

While van der Kuyp was certainly the story of the weekend, where some 15 quality teams competed for the title that sends the top four squads, including the Express, Team Tampa and Ocala to Los Angeles in July to compete for the national championship, there were so many others who really turned heads.

With ESPN, Sports Illustrated and every media outlet across the state on hand for the weekend event, it was about showcasing quality football talent such as Vanderkup, Kent Taylor (Land O Lakes), Sean Price (Citra North Marion) and Ahmad Fulwood (Jacksonville Bishop Kenny, a 2013 prospect, who played for the Football Fire team.

Other players who turned heads included Jordan Diggs (Fort Myers Bishop Verot), T.J. Jiles (Cape Coral), James Brooks (Groveland South Lake), Chris Bivens (Gainesville) and Blanche Ely defensive back Adrian Burton.

As players performer, the media and recruiting services were there every step of the way, shining the spotlight on some of the impressive athletes who took part in he two-day tournament.

Some of the other Class of 2012 players who really made a lasting impression this past weekend included safety Lucas Thompson (Winter Garden West Orange), defensive end Stanley Slyverian (Naples Golden Gate), Tampa Wharton defensive back Vernon Hargreaves, Jr., the son of former University of Miami and current USF coach Vernon Sr. and Palmetto linebacker Daqual Randall.

Additional 2012 players who made an impression included Lehigh defensive back Malik Simmons, versatile Dalvin Battle (Fort Myers), quarterback Louis Pappas (Tarpon Springs), running back Willie Fleming from Cape Coral Island Coast

Class of 2013 defensive backs Jarmonte Jones and brother Damonte from defending 2B state champion Ocala Trinity Catholic were impressive.

GRIFFEY JR.
Ken Griffey Jr.
was on hand to support his son, Trey, who is a receiver at Orlando Dr. Phillips and competed in the event.

Here is a look at the South Florida area players who took part in the event:

HARD KNOCKS FOUNDATION 1:
Bob Orban, A.J. Leggett, Williams Cortes, Torry Clayton, Jacob McCrary, Demarus White, Elston Lane, James Burgess, Jr., Christian Hill, Trenton Perriman, Miguel Lopez and Derrick Guyton.

HARD KNOCKS FOUNDATION 2:
Michael Goodluck, Danny Gilbert, Akkil Walker, Tremaine Brock, Jarret Best, Michael Daniels, Daniel Sapp, Elijah Phillips, Ine Dean, Lamar Robbins, Karee Bailey, Lemmerick Hooker, Derrod Jones, Gary Zeigler and Cleveland Holmes.

SOUTH FLORIDA BLUR:
Kedric Bostic, Marcus Davis, Jamie Wilson, Cameron Posey, Tremaine McCullough, Adly Enoicy, Fred McRae, Gary Holmes, Roshard Burney, Corry Omeally, Donaldven Manning, Cre'von Leblanc, William Likely, Gerard Fulton, John Brockman, Dominque Gibson, Ja Wand Blue, Jatavis Brown, Devonte Robinson and Omar Pierre-Louis.

SOUTH FLORIDA EXPRESS:
E.J. Hilliard, Akeem Jones, Gunnar Holcomb, Duke Johnson, Sony Michel, Avery Johnson, Malcolm Lewis, Amari Cooper, Daniel Braverman, Devonte Mathis, Ricardo Louis, Macgarrett Kings, Brandon Snell, Herb Waters, Keith Brown, Feddie Davey, Eric Kinsey, Jeremiah McKinnon, Naquan Phillips, Sojourn Shelton, Deon Bush, Willie Bailey, Joseph McClary, Tracy Howard, Deshad Tucker, Hugs Etienne, Dinero Moss, Vernon Davis, Austin Logan and Isaac McDonald.

SOUTH FLORIDA FOOTBALL FIRE:
Tyler Cogswell, Jared Clark, Hansley Fleurejus, Brian Grole, Gheirry van der Kuyp, Robert Moore, Ahmad Fullwood, Isaiah McKenzie, Jonnie Durante, Dionte Taylor, Carl Marc, Adrian Burton, Larry Hope, Dion Witty, Deshawn Lindsey, Alonso Faison, Joshua Wright, Andy Garcia, Zachary Daise and David Rivers.

SOUTH FLORIDA FOOTBALL ICE:
Brandon Diaz, Kendrick Coumin, Jonaviote Ham, Henry Bussey, James Richadson, Kendall Coumin, Larry Faison, Tyler Cameron, Chris Bolton, Sammad Hinds, Illya Stafford, Quamin Floyd, Carlian Lewis, Brandon Dagnesses, Anthony Walker, Terry Harden, Jason Smith, Daniel Gray, Chris Morley and Molik Slade.

March 11, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Devonte Mathis

Devonte Mathis Miramar1
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: Devonte Mathis

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Miramar

CITY: Miramar

POSITION: WR

HEIGHT: 6-1

WEIGHT: 210

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Damon Cogdell

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Here's a solid athlete, who continues to make strides as a receiver, and is doing a tremendous job.

A physical football prospect that we have watched the past three years - through his quarterback period at Miami Carol City - to his role as an emerging pass-catcher with the Patriots.

This is a young man who has a real opportunity to become an elite BCS player. He has speed, strength, big play capabilities and a knack of being able to create separation even against top-flight defensive backs.

There is little doubt that he will not succeed at the next level. His sure hands and physical nature gives him such a huge advantage - in addition to his size and speed!

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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March 10, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Jeremy Donaldson

Jeremy donaldson1
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: Jeremy Donaldson

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Pines Charter

CITY: Pembroke Pines

POSITION: RB

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 195
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Steve Bruns

PHOTO COURTESY OF ELITE SCOUTING SERVICES.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: One of the most durable backs in the region this coming season, here is Broward County's top rusher last year when he was at Hollywood Hills, leading the Spartans to a district title.

While his transfer caught many off guard, he will give the Jaguars plenty of balance as he brings his quality running style to a program that will continue to keep him in the spotlight.

His speed, strength and instincts have paved the way the first two seasons at the varsity level. Has an opportunity pass the 2,000 yard barrier if he remains healthy.

College coaches we spoke to are impressed with his running style. He not only carries the ball, but has improved greatly on his blocking and pass-catching skills.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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March 09, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: James Burgess, Jr.

Burgess11
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: James Burgess, Jr.

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Homestead

CITY: Homestead

POSITION: LB

HEIGHT: 6-0.5

WEIGHT: 200

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Bobby McCray

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The comparisons were almost immediate. Fresh out of a quality youth football career with the Florida City Razorbacks, in his first two season at the high school level, Junior was compared to Senior.

Same position and same zest for the game his father had, this was going to be fun, watching another talented football player from a family that had carved out quite a name.

As a sophomore at nearby South Dade, you could see the football ability right away. He would chase a runner across the field to make a play. Everyone noticed.

After moving to his father's alma mater last year, he began to fit in on a very athletic team that had players he competed with - and against - at the youth football level.

This season, colleges are taking a closer look, and from some early events he had attended, this should be a special year for this talented Bronco.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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March 08, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Jean Marc Charles

Charles1
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: Jean Marc Charles

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Hollywood Hills

CITY: Emerald Hills

POSITION: DE

HEIGHT: 6-3

WEIGHT: 245

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Scott Barnwell

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: For some reason, this is a position the Spartans never fail to have a show-stopper. A player who makes plays, has size and ends up as an impact player.

From the school that has brought you such recent standouts as Jabaal Sheard and Clarence Murphy, here is the next great thing, and he has been making a major impression already this off season.

A quick-off-the-ball kind of player, Charles is strong, athletic and is very fluid at the position. The most impressive thing about him is the way he moves for someone with his size. That's the athletic part of him that every college is totally bowled over by.

While he is just getting on the local, regional and statewide radar, you can guarantee that his name will become more familiar as he stands out and turns heads at several spring/summer events.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
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Kinsey, Goetz and Grobe on radio

Maroonefronters1
The Maroone High School Gridiron Report returns to Wednesday night for the first time in the new year with an outstanding show.

Larry Blustein welcomes Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna standout DE/OLB Eric Kinsey, South Florida Express founder and coach Brett Goetz and Wake Forest head coach Jim Grobe between 9-10 on WQAM (560 AM).

KINSEY IN CHARGE
Over the past two years, there may not have been a more promising defensive end/linebacker prospects than Kinsey, who has made the move from Miami Northwestern to Chaminade for his final season.

The 6-3, 225-pounder has proven to be one of the elite prospects in the state, earning the No. 2 position in the Miami Herald's Pre-Spring List.

Kinsey is one of many elite players who are competing for the defending national champion 7-on-7 South Florida Express team. He has been one of the top players so far this spring.

NATIONAL CHAMPS
For the past three years, Goetz has assembled some of the top football players in the region, giving them the opportunity to play against some of the top players in the country as well as exposing them to prestigious colleges and universities around the southeast.

The South Florida Express may have finished second in the state tournament last year, but this team regrouped to capture the national title last summer in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama.

With this weekend's Badger State Tournament being held at the University of South Florida in Tampa, Goetz and his 2011 edition of the South Florida Express come in as one of the favorites in this quality event.

FLORIDA DEACONS
With over 30 players on the current roster from the Sunshine State, Grobe knows this region of the country as well as any coach in America.

Entering his 11th season at the helm of Demon Deacon football in 2011, Grobe has built a football program that has been to bowl games in three of the last four years and proven itself to be an annual contender for the Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

Grobe has taken the Deacons where no previous Wake Forest football coach has gone. He has led the Deacons to more bowl games, more eight-win seasons, and more bowl victories than any coach in school history. Grobe and the Deacons put together a three-year streak of winning seasons which had not been accomplished in over 50 years.

The success of the Deacons over the last 10 seasons comes as no surprise to those who have watched Grobe build the Wake Forest program from the ground up. In his first five years on the job, Grobe was busy building respectability. In the last four years, he has been busy chasing championships.

There have been numerous notable achievements by Grobe and his staff. Among those are the 11 wins and the ACC Championship claimed by the 2006 team, along with a trip to the FedEx Orange Bowl. Linebacker Aaron Curry and punter Ryan Plackemeier have been honored with national awards signifying their supremacy as the best player in the nation at their position.

Wake Forest will open the 2011 campaign at Syracuse on Sept. 3. The Deacons will play three of their four November games at BB&T Field. Wake hosts Notre Dame on Nov. 5. Following a trip to Clemson on Nov. 12, the Deacons will entertain Maryland on Nov. 19 and Vanderbilt on Nov. 26. This will be the fourth game in an eight-game series that has the Deacons and Commodores ending the regular season with each other.

If you miss the show, you can check out all the action via South Florida's newest and most impressive websites www.sfhighschoolsports.com/sport/football.

March 07, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Ricardo Louis

Ricardo Louis Beach1
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: Ricardo Louis

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Miami Beach

CITY: Miami Beach

POSITION: Athlete

HEIGHT: 6-2

WEIGHT: 210
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Ralph Jiminez

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Since the start of his 10th grade season, this is an athlete we have watched as he progressed from a high school quarterback to a prospect that everyone has talked about.

No matter who you ask about the future of this talented athlete, you get a number of answers. From receiver to linebacker to safety, this gifted young man has set himself up for the next level by hitting the weights and training with the future in mind.

Most started to find out how good he was when the University of Miami discovered Delmar Taylor at Miami Beach. While the Hurricanes were on campus, they also noticed Ricardo and it his name spread across the nation.

Reminds many of former Miami High athlete Andre Johnson, who was built similar when he played quarterback and receiver for the Stingarees before going on to be one of the best ever to play at UM.

This is a huge spring and summer for Louis as the offers continue to pour in.

HERALD STATEWIDE INFORMATION
Statewide Information

Rick Tucci to High School HOF

GAINESVILLE - Rick Tucci, a wrestling contest official from Pembroke Pines, will be inducted into the National High School Hall of Fame in July.

Tucci has been an accomplished wrestling official at the state, national and international levels for 30 years. He has officiated 23 FHSAA Wrestling Finals events and has been the FHSAA wrestling rules interpreter since 1976. Nationally, he has been president of the USA Wrestling Officials Association since 1986. Across the globe, Tucci has officiated seven Olympic Games and more than 60 World Championships. He has worked more Olympic matches than any other American official. Tucci was inducted into the Florida High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

Joining Tucci in the Class of 2011 are former Arizona student-athlete Randall McDaniel; former Arkansas student-athlete Kevin McReynolds; former Oklahoma student-athlete Kenny Monday; former Pennsylvania student-athlete Billy Owens; former Michigan student-athlete, the late Brad Van Pelt; Texas basketball coach Leta Andrews; Iowa football coach Curt Bladt; West Virginia wrestling coach Larry Shaw; New Mexico basketball and track coach Pete Shock; Missouri contest official Emry Dilday; and Alabama administrator Dan Washburn.

The ceremony will be held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown in Philadelphia, Pa. The 29th Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be the closing event of the 92nd annual NFHS Summer Meeting.

The National High School Hall of Fame was started in 1982 by the NFHS to honor high school athletes, coaches, contest officials, administrators, fine arts coaches/directors and others for their extraordinary achievements and accomplishments in high school sports and activity programs. This year's class increases the number in the Hall of Fame to 386.

The 12 individuals were chosen after a two-level selection process involving a screening committee composed of active high school state association administrators, coaches and officials, and a final selection committee composed of coaches, former athletes, state association officials, media representatives and educational leaders. Nominations were made through NFHS member associations.

About the FHSAA
The Florida High School Athletic Association is the governing body for interscholastic athletic competition in Florida. It has a membership of more than 750 middle and senior high schools.

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Max Lescano

Lescano23
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: Max Lescano

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: St. Thomas Aquinas

CITY: Fort Lauderdale

POSITION: QB

HEIGHT: 5-10

WEIGHT: 190

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Rocco Casullo

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: If Wesley Carroll, Ryan Becker and Jake Rudock have been learning tools for Max, 2011 is going to be some special ride!

Having paid his dues and putting in overtime on the football field - and in the classroom - this student/athlete is ready to continue the success the Raiders have enjoyed on the offensive side of the ball.

A very athletic quarterback, who is a leader by example. His overall knowledge of the game has come from years of having a father (Pepe) who has played the game at a high level and knows exactly what needs to be accomplished.

The Raiders have yet another quarterback who has the intangibles to succeed. His mechanics have greatly improved over the past year, which makes him a true dual threat player.

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