As we have done for the past six years, Elite Scouting Services and the Miami Herald watched the large school Florida state high school football championships and spotlighted several players who competed.
From Norland and Crawfordville Wakulla to Miami Central, Seffner Armwood, Bradenton Manatee, Jacksonville First Coast, Miramar and Tampa Plant, there were some very impressive players.
From the press box, sideline and through those experts who watched, jotted down notes and gave their input, here are some of the athletes who jumped out:
MVP: Randy “Duke Johnson” -21-136 Yards-4 TD’s / 1 KO-Ret-TD-69 Yards
QB-Cord Sandberg-Bradenton Manatee (13-17 180 Yards-1TD / 14 Rushes-81 Yards-1 TD): Whether on the ground or through the air, here is the athlete who had the most impressive performance of any quarterback this past weekend.
RB-Duke Johnson-Miami Norland (21-136 Yards-4 TD’s / 1 KO-Ret-TD-69 Yards): Duke was the MVP of the Norland football team all season long. He did not disappoint in the state title as his five touchdowns helped lead Norland over Wakulla High School.
RB-Wesley Bullock-Tampa Plant-(26-132, 1TD): Bullock was the main reason why Tampa Plant was able to control the football against Miramar. He was very important to setting the tone early in the game.
RB-Anthony Lauro-Manatee-(11-62 Yards, 1TD / 4-77 Yards-1 TD): We almost gave Lauro the offensive MVP after his performance in the state title game. He was impressive running and catching the football.
WR-Malcolm Lewis-Miramar-(7 Catches-94 Yards, 1TD): Lewis made one circus like catch which was one of the best of the weekend. This University of Miami commitment kept Miramar in the game when it looked like Plant was starting to take control.
WR-Matt Jones-Armwood-(3 Catches-119 Yards-1TD): Jones is a running back but it was his performance catching the football that landed him on this list. His 80 yard touchdown reception was quite impressive. Jones made his presence felt this year after coming up short in 2010.
OL-Ereck Flowers-Miami Norland: Here is one of the most impressive line prospects in the state, who was part of an offensive line that dominated Crawfordville Wakulla up front. He is committed to the University of Miami.
OL-Thor Miller-Manatee: One of the reasons why Manatee was able to dominate First Coast up front was because of players like Miller. He helped lead a ground and pound attack that took over their game against First Coast.
OL-Richy Klepal-Tampa Plant: Very explosive line prospect who opened holes and helped the Panthers move the ball on Miramar’s tough defense.
OL-Nathan Shienlee-Tampa Plant: A three years starter who truly made a huge impact in the 8A state title game, helping to provide protection and open holes for an explosive running game.
OL-Trevor Darling-Miami Central: (Joseph) Yearby and (Dalvin) Cooke put up over 200 yards rushing between the two of them, and this gifted sophomore was a big reason why they had so much success running the football. He will have every BCS school in the country calling him in two years.
MVP: Derrick Calloway-Manatee- 3 Sacks-3 Tackles-3 Tackles for Loss, 1 Forced Fumble
DL-Derrick Calloway-Manatee-(3 Sacks-3 Tackles-3 Tackles for Loss, 1 Forced Fumble): This outstanding junior was a dominate force up front for the Hurricanes defense. He constantly helped collapse the pocket up front for Manatee defense. He is just another very talented defensive tackle prospect who will receive interest from BCS schools next spring.
DL-Anari Ragin-Miami Norland-(4 Tackles / 3 Tackles for Loss): Coming over this past spring from Miami Monsignor Pace, the talented junior was very disruptive for the Vikings up front.
DL-Eric Striker-Armwood-(12 Tackles / 2 Sacks / 2 Tackles For Loss): This three years starter really gave Miami Central fits. When he blitzed off the edge, he would get constant pressure on the Central quarterback. He also was all over the field for Armwood defense.
LB-Tamrick Holmes-Wakulla-(14 Tackles / 2 Tackles for loss): If you had the opportunity to watch the 5AQ state title games, you will see that this quality talent made some huge plays for the War Eagles.
LB-Daniel McMillian-First Coast-(12 Tackles / 2 Tackles for loss): This is a junior who capped off a huge year with a blocked field goal that should have led to points. He may have had one of his best games of the season.
LB-Reggie Northrop-First Coast-(11 Tackles): One of the reasons this team got to Orlando, and in the title game, he more than showed up, recording 11 tackles against a very impressive Manatee team.
DB-Tracy Howard-Miramar-(1 INT / 1 Tackle): A he has done since his sophomore season, this tremendous football talent pretty much shut down his side of the field once again. His third interception of the playoffs was huge in keeping his team in the game. Howard will go down as one of the best cornerbacks in the past 10 years in Broward County.
DB-Leon McQuay-Armwood-(7 Tackles / 1 INT): This tremendous football talent has been on the radar for over three years now, and in the 6A title game, he was impressive. His interception for a touchdown in the first half set the tempo on defense.
DB-Da’Wan Hunte-Miami Central-(9 Tackles / 1 PBU): One of the real gifted defensive backs, who ended up leading the Rockets in tackles. He does not mind coming up and playing the run. He had a few TD-saving tackles against Armwood.
DB-Mikal Cromartie-Wakulla-(8 Tackles / 1 Tackle for Loss / 1 PBU): Another of the players who stepped up to make a solid impact along with his teammate Holmes, Cromartie showed why many consider him a prospect to keep an eye on next season.
There were some additional players that everyone talked about. Athletes who made this past weekend one to remember:
* RB Leon Allen-Manatee (13 Rushes -81 Yards, 1 TD / 6 Catches for 64 Yards).
* QB Alvin Bailey-Armwood (6-7 -139 Yards Passing -2 TD’s).
* WR Brandon Brooks-First Coast (3 Catches-123 Yards).
* DE Trevon Coley-Miramar (8 tackles).
* RB Dalvin Cooke-Miami Central (6 Rushes-84 Yards-1 TD, 99 yard KO return).
* PK Nick Feely-Armwood
* LB Jermaine Grace-Miramar (10 tackles, 1 sack).
* S David Lerom-Tampa Plant (7 tackles).
* LB Deon Mann-Miami Central (7 tackles).
* OL Kevin McCoy-Seffner Armwood
* DE Antonio McCullough-Seffner Armwood (6 tackles).
* WR Darren Owi-Miami Norland-4 Catches -69 Yards
* LB Reeves Rogers-Tampa Plant (6 tackles, 1 sack).
* LB Mark Rucker-Miramar (7 tackles, 1 sack).
* P Connor Smith-Crawfordville Wakulla (36.3 average).
* S Ahmad Thomas-Miami Central (8 tackles, 1 sack).
* OL Garrett Waiters-Bradenton Manatee.
* OL Cody Waldrop-Seffner Armwood
* LB Bryan Williams-Miramar (11 tackles).
* LB Treyvon Williams-Miami Norland (4 tackles).
* DE Mitchell Wright-Tampa Plant (7 tackles, 1.5 sacks).
* RB Joseph Yearby-Miami Central (27 Rushes-118 Yards- 2 TD’s).