Even though it's off season, football is just starting to heat up in the state of Florida, and this week's Maroone High School Gridiron Report has plenty of interest for everyone on Thursday night from 8-9.
Larry Blustein is joined on WQAM (560 AM) by Miami Westminster Christian baseball/football phenom David Thompson, Miami Southridge head coach Patrick Burrows and University of Central Florida head coach George O'Leary.
Right now, Thompson is regarded as one of the best baseball players in the country, holding homerun and batting average records at a program that has been in the spotlight plenty through the years. But he is also holding an offer to attend the University of Miami to play football as well.
One of the most under-publicized football quarterbacks around, the 6-2, 190-pounder is a four-year starter at the varsity level for the Warriors, throwing for over 2,000 yards.
While he is already headed to Chicago's Wrigley Field in June to participate in the Under Armour Baseball Classic, Thompson also is never far from the football field as he will be watched and evaluated more than ever this coming season - his final one at the high school level.
SECONDARY TO NONE
As if Southridge didn't need more talent on an impressive team, Coach Burrows and his staff have assembled a program that has produced four Division 1 defensive backs with at least three more on the way over the next two years.
In his two seasons with the Spartans, Burrows has completely turned the program around and will be in the mix during the 2011 season with more players wanting to be a part of writing a new chapter in this already storied program.
MAN OF HIS WORD
When O'Leary came to UCF seven years ago, he said that he would get a stadium built, turn the program into one that many across the country would watch and appreciate, and build character along with talent. He has done all that and more!
His hard work contributed to the construction of Bright House Networks Stadium. Interest in the program has never been higher. His student-athletes are enjoying record success in the classroom, and the Knights are winning on the football field.
O'Leary guided the 2010 Knights to the school's first 11-win season, the Conference USA championship and an AutoZone Liberty Bowl win over Georgia. The Knights earned their first-ever national rankings in 2010, finishing the year at No. 20 in the coaches poll and O'Leary was rewarded with the C-USA Coach of the Year award as voted on by his peers for the third time in six years.
The 2010 season surpassed even the 2007 year when O'Leary guided the Knights to what was then arguably the finest campaign in program history. UCF won 10 contests, claimed the Conference USA Championship and participated in the AutoZone Liberty Bowl in front of a nationally-televised audience on ESPN.
His recruiting of South Florida talent got the attention of every school that heads down this way during the course of a year. UCF is now firmly one of the programs that has several area players on the roster.
You can also listen to Thursday show on www.wqam.com or archived at sfhighschoolsports.com.