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33 posts from May 2011

May 31, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Darrien Allen

Darrien Allen1
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: Darrien Allen

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Blanche Ely

CITY: Pompano Beach

POSITION: WR

HEIGHT: 5-7

WEIGHT: 170

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Rodney Gray

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: From as far back as last summer, this was a prospect people talked about for his productivity on the football field.

One of the leaders on a team in search of senior experience, this gifted football talent can play on either side of the ball as well as on special teams.

As a receiver, he is a slot player who has plenty of speed, is dangerous in open space and is surprisingly strong. He has tremendous hands, knowledge of reading defensive backs and is someone who moves the chains.

To add to his already impressive football resume, this January 2012 graduate also excels as a kick returner where he routinely gives his offensive unit exceptional field position. This is a prospect to keep your eye on - all summer - and into the fall.

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May 30, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Kevon Caffey

Caffey BTW1
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: Kevon Caffey
YEAR: 2012
SCHOOL: Booker T. Washington
CITY: Miami
POSITION: SS
HEIGHT: 5-10
WEIGHT: 185
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Tim “Ice” Harris

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: This three year varsity standout has the instincts of a defensive back, who can cover and mix it up with receivers.

He is also someone who hits like a linebacker, showcasing his physical skills and ability to make plays all over the field.

Yet another of the prospect who gets very little press, this is a talented football player who opposing coaches pointed out a number of times last year.

Has a chance, because of the impressive pass rush this team has, for him to continue to make plays get noticed for always being around the ball and making life tough on offensive players.

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May 27, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Nep Joseph

Nep Joseph1
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: Nep Joseph

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Braddock

CITY: Miami

POSITION: S

HEIGHT: 5-11

WEIGHT: 190

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Frank Rojas

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Having watched this talented football player over the past few years, he has finally settled in at a position (strong safety) where colleges are now watching with a great deal of interest.

This young man is a play maker who reads exceptionally well, and being a former linebacker, his explosion when he makes hits is something that several college coaches applauded this spring.

Here is a quick prospect who plays the game at a very high level. He is often the first one around the ball, which shows his ability read and react.

With a more challenging schedule in 2011, there is no doubt that we will see a player who will continue to get better and turn heads - over the next six months.

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May 26, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: John Buchanan

Buchanan1
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: John Buchanan

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Cardinal Gibbons

CITY: Fort Lauderdale

POSITION: OL

HEIGHT: 6-4

WEIGHT: 265
HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Mike Morrill

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: One of the more athletic offensive line prospects in the class, here is a quality talent who can play anywhere on the line and do a tremendous job.

A unique "big man" who is a standout on the volleyball court as well as making a major impact on the football team.

Has tremendous feet, very good size and strength and is a physical talent who continues to get better and improve because of his athleticism and passion for the game. Coaches love the way he gets on the field and takes control.

As a run blocker, he is considered one of the best. His strength and footwork play a huge part in the way he drives his feet and pushes his large frame into the defender, making it difficult to be controlled.

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Field set for Heath Evans 7-on-7

7 on 7 we1
ROYAL PALM BEACH – Perennial powerhouses Atlantic and Boyd Anderson have accepted invitations to round out the field in the sixth annual Heath Evans Foundation 7-on-7 Championships.

The invitation-only tournament features many of the top programs in the state, including Class 6A champion Miami Central along with four finalists – Orlando Dr. Phillips (6A), Tampa Plant (5A), Miami Norland (3A) and Warner Christian (1B).

The tournament, which benefits the Heath Evans Foundation, is scheduled for Saturday, June 18 at 9 a.m. at The King’s Academy in West Palm Beach. Teams will be split into divisions and play a round-robin format in the morning. There will be single-elimination competition in the afternoon with the championship game scheduled for 4 p.m.

Acknowledged as one of the premier summer 7-on-7 tournaments in the country, the event provides a glimpse at almost 100 major college prospects.

Other top teams who previously accepted invitations include defending champion Miramar, Dwyer, Booker T. Washington of Miami and Broward County powerhouse Ely. Host King’s Academy, Cypress Bay, McArthur, Vero Beach and Chaminade-Madonna round out the field.

Usually several NFL players attend the event as well, according to Evans, the starting fullback for the New Orleans Saints who graduated from King’s Academy. They are often on the sidelines watching and providing tips to the high school players. New England Patriots defensive lineman Vince Wilfork, who graduated from Santaluces High School and the University of Miami, is expected to attend.  

“This is a great opportunity for some of the best high school players in the country to showcase their skills but all of the players to become better leaders, to become men of leadership, integrity and character,” said Evans.

In addition to the skill players, high school linemen will have their own competition.

The Lineman Challenge features a series of events, including a 185-pound bench press rep combine-style and flipping a large tire flip over a 30-yard course for time. An individual champion will be crowned as well as an overall team champion. 

The Heath Evans Foundation 7-on-7 Championships, presented by Hulett Environmental, is open to the public. Tickets are $5 person and available at the gate. The King’s Academy is located at 8401 Belvedere Road, approximately one mile east of 441.

Proceeds from this tournament will benefit the 501(c)(3) not-for-profit Heath Evans Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering hope and healing in the lives of children and families affected by sexual abuse. It is committed to breaking the cycle of abuse through healing the psychological, physical, and spiritual wounds inflicted on innocent children; to bring hope and healing to the young victims of sexual abuse. 
 
For information on sponsorship opportunities, please contact Glenn Martin, President of the Heath Evans Foundation at (561) 282-6345 or by email at glenn.martin@heathevans.org.
 
Past Champions:
2010 -- Miramar
2009 – Booker T. Washington
2008 – Jupiter Christian
2007 – Pahokee
2006 – Glades Central

May 25, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Gabriel Labrador

Gabriel Labrador1
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: Gabriel Labrador

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Braddock

CITY: Miami

POSITION: OG

HEIGHT: 6-2

WEIGHT: 270

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Frank Rojas

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: While so many linemen these days are quickly judged by their size, there are dozens who have the same ability and for some reason, simply get overlooked.

Here is a football talent who certainly plays larger than his frame. He is quick off the ball, versatile enough play center and even lineup on defense. As an added bonus, his ability to long snap has been a huge selling point to schools as well.

There is little doubt, after watching him play, that he is indeed a quality football talent who has a motor that simply never stops. A high energy player who opens holes, gets to that blocking level and creates positives with his work ethic alone.

If you happen to get a chance to see this quality young man play some time this coming season, you owe it to yourself. This is a throwback lineman who may be undersized in the eyes of some, but never complains and grades out as well as any prospect in Miami-Dade County at the position.

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Sands, Morrill and Held on radio

Maroonefronters1
The final week of spring football practice across the state, and the Maroone High School Gridiron Report gets into the trenches on "Broward County Night" this Thursday.

Larry Blustein will welcome in former St. Thomas Aquinas, University of Kansas and pro running back Tony Sands, Cardinal Gibbons head coach Mike Morrill and South Broward head coach Allen Held to the show between 8-9 p.m. on WQAM (560 AM).

In addition, we urge your phone calls to report any scores you may have on a very busy Thursday night across the state.

STILL CHURNING
"Tuxedo Tony" Sands always wore a tuxedo during his days as a student.

Sands played bigger than the 5-foot-6, 175 pound frame he put into that tux.

Today, he is still active in the game. As a professional trainer, he helps to teach proper nutrition, maximizes workouts and stays close to the sport.

On Friday, June 3, at Mullens Park in Coral Springs, Sands will be a huge part of the "Friday Night Youth Football Camp & Combine", which is open to youth football players 11-14. He and Ken Mastrole (Passing Academy) along with 12 high school coaches will introduce them to a true high school camp/combine experience.

Sands set or tied 17 Kansas rushing or scoring records during his career, including most yards in a game (396), in a season (1,479) and in a career (3,788). Sands was named the 1991 Big Eight Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

During his four years at KU, Sands had 17 games where he rushed for 100 or more yards.

He was selected for the All Big Eight first team and earned a place on the Associated Press's All American third team his senior year.

Sands had what was considered his greatest game during in his final home game against Missouri. That's when he had 58 carries for 396 yards, establishing an NCAA single-game record (which has since been broken).

BUILDING FOR THE PRESENT, FUTURE
At Cardinal Gibbons, the tradition of top football players and teams goes back several decades. While winning is always important, developing quality student athletes has always been a priority.

This was a spring where Morrill and his staff had to fill holes and create depth. A productive spring saw his Chiefs find some new playmakers for the upcoming season.

COMPLAINING NEVER HELPS
When it comes to football, many have learned that beating St. Thomas Aquinas, when it does happen, will not be very often. All Held and his South Broward coaches and players want is just one win over the Raiders. One simple win will do for a team that has spent the last decade under the thumb of one of the nation's elite teams.

While he has learned to deal with it, Held has also found a way to develop talent and get them to colleges and universities across the nation. With Kevin Grooms headed off to the University of Miami, he has accomplished that along with posting 19 wins the past two years while finishing second the Raiders.

You can listen to the show live - streaming - at www.wqam.com or archived at sfhighschoolsports.com.

Tyler Drake to take part in US football trials

Drake1
TYLER DRAKE, a 6-foot, 187-pound junior linebacker from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, will be among nearly 200 high school football players from 32 states taking part in USA Football’s 2012 U.S. Under-19 National Team Trials on May 28-30 at Lassiter High School in Marietta, Ga.

Players will compete for roster spots on Team USA, which will face a World Team comprised of high school-aged players spanning four continents next February.

Drake, with a 4.1 GPA, is gaining the attention of several Ivy League universities. He registered 21 tackles for loss last season, including eight sacks.

The three-day National Trials in suburban Atlanta will include individual position drills, one-on-one and seven-on-seven situations. In addition to the opportunity to be selected for Team USA, USA Football will provide parents and athletes a variety of off-the-field developmental sessions. Speakers will address leadership and character-development topics as well as a seminar to help families manage the college recruiting process.

USA Football employs skill development, evaluation and competition to assess National Trials athletes. Each player receives a written evaluation by USA Football’s U-19 National Team scouts, all of whom have playing or scouting experience on the NFL or college level.

Among the 2012 U.S. U-19 National Team Trials instructors are:
• Heisman Trophy winner and Super Bowl XXXI MVP DESMOND HOWARD, who will work with receivers;
DON MAJKOWSKI, former NFL quarterback with the Green Bay Packers, Indianapolis Colts and Detroit Lions;
• Former NFL linebacker CHRIS SLADE, who spent eight of his nine seasons with the New England Patriots;
• Former Detroit Lions safety RON RICE, who will serve as an overall defensive instructor.

USA Football is the sport’s national governing body in the United States. The Indianapolis-based nonprofit builds and manages U.S. national teams in football. Fifty-nine (59) countries spanning five continents possess a national federation of sport dedicated solely to football.

USA Football is a member of the International Federation of American Football (IFAF). U.S. national teams compete in IFAF-sanctioned events, including the upcoming IFAF Under-19 World Championship in 2012, an eight-nation tournament for players age 19 and younger to take place next summer. Team USA won the gold medal in the most recent IFAF U-19 World Championship, which was held in Canton, Ohio, in 2009. The 2012 U.S. Under-19 team also will compete in the 2012 Team USA vs. The World Game next February.

“We seek players who possess the skills and qualities befitting of a national team athlete, but whether one earns a Team USA roster spot is only part of what makes our National Trials in Marietta extraordinary,” USA Football Executive Director SCOTT HALLENBECK said. “These three days are rooted in preparing young men to be better people as well as better football players when they return to high school in the fall.”

May 24, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Garrett Goins

GOINS(1)
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: Garrett Goins

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Western

CITY: Davie

POSITION: LB

HEIGHT: 6-1

WEIGHT: 200

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Rashad West

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: As you head across the region during spring, there are a number of prospects that continue to pop and grab the attention of colleges around the country.

Here is yet another prospect who has worked hard to put himself in a positive position as heads into his final season. From early spring exposure camps to combines and team events, here is someone who has gone a long to throw his name into the talent mix.

A very quick run stopper who has a motor that last an entire game. His objective is to get the offensive player with the ball, and he usually accomplishes that. A vocal leader on a team that has a mix between youth and veteran players.

Has been around the game all of his life, following in the footsteps of his uncles, cousins and grandfather who have made this sport part of their impressive lives. Will have a huge year in 2011!

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May 23, 2011

HERALD SPOTLIGHT: Imani Davis

Imani Davis12
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: Imani Davis

YEAR: 2012

SCHOOL: Belen Jesuit
CITY: Miami

POSITION: RB/DB

HEIGHT: 5-9

WEIGHT: 175

HEAD FOOTBALL COACH: Richard Stuart

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Yet another of the players that many have passed over, this is a tremendous talnt who has worked harder to get bigger and stronger over the past two years.

His state championship appearance ion a loss to Pensacola two years ago was a chance to put himself on the map. Since that efforts, he has put on 20 pounds and has started to establish himself as a true two-way threat.

With injuries behind him, this is one of those players who has the ability to help carry the Wolverines back into the playoffs. Coaches who have watched him play in the spring believe he would be an exceptional cornerback.

There are still others who believe that he has the chance to be a very good back at the next level. He does have speed, outstanding vision and a knack of breaking off big plays.

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