It didn't take long for word to spread across St. Thomas University last Saturday during the Airo/IMG 7-on-7 football tournament. The name Ermon Lane was on just about everyone's tongue.
In what turned out to be one of the most prospect-rich events held on any 7-on-7 field, the 6-1, 180-pound Lane, who has been the talk of south Florida the past two years at Homestead, was on display for all to see. As a member of the tournament champion South Florida Express, this gifted prospect confirmed what many had felt all along, Lane is indeed one of the best - not only here - but has to be considered one of the country's best.
This is the same Lane who played tight end for a Richmond Giants' youth program that was so rich in talent, seeing the ball was certainly an adventure at best. But once Lane had the chance to showcase his skills in high school, his star has certainly been on a meteoric rise.
"I look back at those youth football days and they were fun," Lane says of the Giants' Pop Warner national championship team. "It's no wonder a Jacquan Johnson, Tim Irvin or any of those other tremendous players we had on the team are getting national recognition. That's where it all began for all of us."
Lane's impact at the high school level has come as dominating receiver. He is fast, deceptively strong and as athletic as you will find. His kick return skills will open doors at any level, and his ability to take the best defensive backs apart is what has made him one of those "must get" prospects.
Those who have played with and against him continue to marvel at how easy he makes things look. In games, he is usually the one that other teams spend the week scheming for, in 7-on-7, he pretty much does what he wants.
University School quarterback Sean White has thrown for over 5.000 yards in his first three seasons. In that time, he played with - and against some of the best receivers in the region. This year, working with Lane, as part of the South Florida Express, White and Lane have been on the same page - often.
"I have never been around a receiver who is that talented and makes things look so easy," White said. "He is certainly one of those receivers who makes a quarterback look so much better. He is the real deal. Great guy to around as well."
While this region of the country has always been home to Dwayne Bowe and Andre Johnson type of receivers, there was perhaps never as many quality as this rising senior class has - with Lane leading the way.
Among those receivers who have already being receiving attention include Steve Ishmael (North Miami Beach), Tyre Brady (Homestead South Dade), JoJo Robinson (Miami Northwestern), Jacob McCrary (Miami Coral Reef), Henderson “Prince” Gray (Miami Monsignor Pace), Corey Holmes (Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas), Isaiah McKenzie (Plantation American Heritage), Cornelius Floyd (Miami Gulliver), FSU-bound C.J. Worton (Homestead South Dade) and Miami Norland’s 6-6 standout Kendrick Edwards.
"The receiving talent in this class is as gifted as we've watched down here," said Dana Wiley of Prep Films. "It's almost a certain that several colleges will walk away with some very impressive athletes."
In addition, the Class of 2014 also features players such as Stanley Clerveaux (North Miami), George Rushing (Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons), David France (Hialeah), Kendon Davis (Oakland Park Northeast), Chris Taylor (Coconut Creek N. Broward Prep), Trevon Lee (Ft. Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons), Odis Grimes (Miami Northwestern), Nathaniel Terry (Homestead South Dade), Derrick Tindal (Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson), Dennis Turner (Fort Lauderdale Dillard), Christian Blake (Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons), Jimmy Gonzalez (Davie Western), Nickolas Gonzalez (Hialeah), Kadeem Goulborne, 6-4, 180, Weston Cypress Bay), Antiwone Johnson (Coral Gables), Lamar Parker (Miami Washington), Kenneth Rawls (Pompano Beach Blanche Ely), Tanares Robinson (Miami Northwestern), Zaquon Tyson (Miami Norland), Malcolm Vandergraff (Miami Killian) and Miramar's Kwasim West to name a few.
EXPRESS HEAD TO BRADENTON
The South Florida Express (Miami-Dade and Broward) will be joined at the IMG event in Bradenton by other local teams South Florida Blur (Broward and Palm Beach), Belle Glade (Palm Beach) and Team Strong Arm, which is led by talented Carol City quarterback Trayon Gray and others from Miami-Dade and Broward. The four teams will play in April's Southeast qualifier and battle for a spot in the national tournament in July.
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current Class of 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. All you have to do is send a video link and information about the athlete to Floridakids1@aol.com. Follow Larry on Twitter at twitter.com/larryblustein.