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3 posts from June 3, 2013

June 03, 2013

Miami-Dade Class of 2014 - Pre-Summer Top 50

As we have for the past 40 years, our objective to evaluate and rate players takes us year round.

With south Florida being in the spotlight when it comes to football - and recruiting - these lists have become so important when giving colleges an idea of what prospects continue to rise in this very competitive region. It is also a place where those who recruit national check out the top prospects as well.

While rankings are subjective, many who do them are not aware that when they put out their list of prospects, it is something that is taken very serious - as alumni start to put pressure of their colleges and universities to recruit certain players because they are rated high.

Viewing and rating prospects on just film can come with many pitfalls. Listening to fans, parents and high school coaches, who boast about their athletes, is also very dangerous when it comes to listing prospects.

Our formula has been simple. For over 40 years, we see the prospects live and in person and have a better basis in which to rate and compare. In addition, we have tracked and followed many from the time they began playing at the very competitive youth leagues.

While we will never take anyone’s opinion away, the success rate that we have when putting these lists together is simply unmatched, and for that reason, we continue to produce them at the local, regional and state level with the accuracy that fans, college coaches and others who follow recruiting are comfortable with.

We will re-rank these players right before the season begins - as we watch camps, 7-on-7 events and several workout sessions.

If you see a player you want us to continue to watch, just drop Larry Blustein a note at Floridakids1@aol.com.

MIAMI-DADE TOP 50 - CLASS OF 2014
1. Ermon Lane, WR, 6-2, 200, Homestead:
Has been at the head of the class since the end of his sophomore year. Not only a quality receiver, but a major weapon on special teams. Will emerge as the No. 1 pass catcher nationally.

2. Dalvin Cook, RB/S, 5-11, 195, Miami Central: If there is a football player who his faster and can make an impact on both sides of the ball like this University of Florida-bound athlete, we have not watched him play. Not only is he one of the best runners in the country, but is a quality safety as well.

3. Joseph Yearby, RB, 5-9, 190, Miami Central: Pure offense every time he puts his hands on the ball. This University of Miami commit has been dazzling opponents with his skills since his youth football days. A very unique football talent who always elevates those around him. Can return kicks with the best of them.

4. Travonte Valentine, DL, 6-4, 295, Hialeah Champagnat: Welcome to south Florida to one of the nation's premier defense linemen. This is going to be one of those prospects who will do some amazing things this coming year for the Lions. Central Florida's No. 1 prospect heads south - and is expected to make a difference.

5. Michael Smith, OLB, 6-2, 205, Miami Northwestern: One of the most complete defensive football players you will see. A cat-quick athlete who has the speed and athletic ability to be a dominating player. Will leave no doubt after watching him play.

6. Treon Harris, QB, 6-0, 200, Miami Booker T. Washington: One of the most athletic football players you will find anywhere in this country. Here is a very disciplined athlete who creates with his physical abilities as well as his experience of being around the game all of his life.

7. Quinton Flowers, QB, 5-11, 195, Miami Jackson: Has shown over and over again that he is as good as you get at any level. While national analysts are consumed with his lack of height, he is still the best run/pass prospect that you will find anywhere. College coaches have already backed that up.

8. Steve Ishmael, WR, 6-2, 170, North Miami Beach: If you ask high school coaches who one of the most versatile football prospects is this coming season, this is the answer you get over and over again. He makes catches and gets in the end zone on offense. Defensively, he will pick your pocket - in a hurry!

9. Chad Thomas, DE, 6-5, 240, Miami Booker T. Washington: Has grown into quite a prospect with speed, strength and the ability to read offenses among his positive calling cards. While he has come a long way in two years, the best is yet to come from this gifted student/athlete.

10. JoJo Robinson, WR/DB, 6-1, 165, Miami Northwestern: There is no current football player in this class who has been on the radar screen longer than this one-time youth football standout who has been a huge part of the Bulls the past two years. This is a big season for this FSU commit.

11. Nigel Patten, DB, 5-9, 175, Miami Booker T. Washington: Having watched some of the top defensive backs in the state perform, this is one who has elevated himself to a position where everyone has taken notice of his tremendous cover skills and athletic ability.

12. Deatrick Nichols, DB, 5-10, 180, Miami Central: Headed to the University of South Florida next year, this is easily one of the most physical and dependable cornerbacks as you will find. Drew every tough opponent last year - and without question - answered all the challenges.

13. Tyre Brady, WR, 6-4, 205, Homestead South Dade: The question everyone wants to know is when is this one-time youth standout going to put it ALL together? If he does, this is someone who has the chance to be very special, and will end up leaving no doubt how dominating he can be.

14. Trevor Darling, OL, 6-5, 315, Miami Central: Committing to the University of Miami nearly two years ago, this steady and quality line prospect continues to get better and work harder as the Rockets look for yet another state championship. A very impressive athlete.

15. Michael Johnson, S, 6-3, 190, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic: Heading to Louisville next year, this is yet another of those gifted prospect who has proven that he can play this game at a very high level. Has the chance to dominate for years to come as he puts on more weight.

16. Lamar Parker, WR, 5-8, 160, Miami Booker T. Washington: One of the fastest and sure-handed of all receivers, nobody creates more of a mismatch than he does. His speed, ability to run routes and put the ball in the end zone makes him very special and attractive to all colleges.

17. Jacob McCrary, WR, 6-0, 175, Miami Coral Reef: One of the more dependable athletes who originally committed to FSU, this is indeed one of those gifted talents who can lineup as a receiver or a defensive back and make a huge impact for the Barracudas.

18. Henderson Gray, WR, 5-10, 175, Miami Monsignor Pace: Yet another of those gifted youth football players who has found his way to that next level, this is a tremendous talent who is a solid receiver and superb athlete. Comes from a very athletic family who has played this game for a long time.

19. Kendrick Edwards, WR, 6-6, 185, Miami Norland: This is certainly the year when this quality football talent begins to pull away from the pack. His ability to make catches against any defensive back is one of the reasons why he was a favorite of colleges this past spring. His best his yet to come.

20. Franklyn Labady, RB, 5-7, 170, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic: Making his move over from Edison this year will be huge for one of the area's most dynamic athletes who has lifted programs on his back before - in high school and at the youth level. A big time athlete who could have a huge season for the Lions.

21. Trumaine Washington, DB, 5-11, 170, Miami Killian: Still remains as one of the most dependable and athletic football prospects in an area that annually produces such tremendous talent. His quickness and athletic ability combined with his knowledge of the game has made him the total prospect.

22. Trayon Gray, QB/Athlete, 5-11, 190, Miami Carol City: It's a simple task for this tremendous talent. If you stay healthy and on the football field, you will be a big time prospect and have every college looking in your direction. The next few months will be major in his development.

23. Chris Worton, WR, 6-0, 170, Homestead South Dade: An early FSU commit, the only thing that stands in the way of this tremendous athlete being that player everyone believes he should is staying healthy and on the field. He creates mismatches because of his skill level, toughness and quickness.

24. Stanley Clerveaux, WR, 6-3, 185, North Miami: Has emerged into one of the top prospects the Pioneers have produced in years. A quick and dependable pass catcher who can get the ball in the end zone. If he remains on the field, his team has a better chance to improve.

25. Nicodem Pierre, QB, 6-2, 185, Miami Coral Reef: After two solid seasons, this is still one of the prize quarterbacks in the region. A very strong throwing arm, coupled with his ability to run the ball and read defenses has made him special.

26. Greg Howell, RB, 6-0, 205, Coral Gables: One of the big backs in the region who has attracted plenty of attention in the off season with his work ethic, speed and ability to play this game at a high level. Coaching has been huge in his development as well.

27. Odis Grimes, WR, 6-4, 210, Miami Northwestern: Will finally get his chance - after making the move over from Edison - to show how impressive he can be. Is expected to be one of the Bulls' main options this year, using his size, athletic ability and off season experience as a springboard.

28. Cornelius Floyd, WR/DB, 6-1, 175, Miami Gulliver Prep: This is one of those quality football players we have been on since his youth football days. A very gifted football talent who dominates as a receiver as well as in the defensive secondary. A quality young man as well.

29. Alin Edouard, QB, 6-2, 180, Hialeah: This current University of Miami commit has had quite a year, showcasing his skills all over the southeast, and now as his final season is here, he has the chance to get better and lead his team to that elusive district title.

30. Marcus Leslie, DB, 5-10, 180, Miami Coral Reef: This is one of those football talents who has worked hard to put himself in a position where colleges came through and were impressed at what they watched. His play as a junior also drew him an Under Armour Combine invite.

31. Krondis Larry, RB, 5-8, 160, Miami Booker T. Washington: Talk about a banner year for an athlete, this is one of the fastest football players in south Florida, who helped his team capture a 4A title, win a state track crown in the 4x100 and have numerous colleges checking him out.

32. Antwan Cordy, Athlete, 5-9, 175, Homestead South Dade: There are very few high school football players who have the impact on the field that this young man does. His ability to be shut down top receivers from his cornerback position as well as a special teams standout has turned games around.

33. Frank Newman, LB, 5-11, 200, Homestead: This one-time young Palmetto High standout has reached his senior season, and now, schools have finally noticed what everyone has been raving about. This is a physical football player who has the athletic ability to be very special. Keep an eye on his progress.

34. Michael Smith, OL, 6-3, 295, Miami Central: One of the most athletic football players on a line that has more than its share of quality talent. Speed, strength and athletic ability have pushed this young man into the spotlight. Will emerge as one of the elite big men.

35. A’lique Terry, OL, 6-2, 280, Hialeah: Talk about a well-rounded and complete football prospect. Not only does he get it done in the classroom, but has been around the game long enough to call plays from the line of scrimmage. A very valuable prospect to have on any team.

36. Andrew Soroh, S, 6-2, 190, Hialeah American: After a solid junior season, and an off season that has helped to thrust him into the spotlight, this is a talent who is ready to make that senior year very special. A rangy safety who can cover as well as be very physical.

37. Henry Bussey, RB, 5-9, 180, Hialeah: Here may be one of the most productive running backs this coming season for a number of reasons. Not only is he quick and elusive, but has worked hard - at Plantation American Heritage and Hialeah - to be among the best.

38. Lashone Garnett, RB, 5-8, 185, Miami Southridge: Another of those football players who has worked hard to get better, his many off season MVP awards, coupled with his ability to run the ball from the line of scrimmage and catch out of the backfield, has made him someone to keep an eye on.

39. Anthony Wint, LB, 6-0, 215, Homestead: One of the most physical and athletic of all linebackers has the chance to to become one of the best around. After last year's learning experience, this is someone who has that ability to lift the program up. he is up for the challenge.

40. Albert Smalls, DB, 5-10, 180, Miami Monsignor Pace: After spending the past two years at Miramar Everglades, this is a defensive back prospect that really gives the Spartans a major lift. He is a tremendous football talent who has been around this game for a long time.

41. Hunter Boyett, QB, 6-0, 200, Miami Westminster Christian: Injured early last season, here is a player who really has the chance to make the most impact of anyone in south Florida. Has everything you are looking for in a prospect, and if everything goes as planned for the Warriors, this could be a lights out season!

42. Taron James, QB, 5-11, 185, Miami Norland: One of the under the radar players in the county, but after watching him play, this is indeed someone that every opponent has to pay full attention to. A very athletic and gifted prospect who is getting better all the time.

43. Matthew Colominas, DE, 6-2, 223, Miami Killian: Having had the pleasure of watching this quality football talent the past two years, this is definitely the year that he starts to turn the corner. A very gifted football talent who has elevated his game with a strong off season.

44. Reginald Bain, OL, 6-4, 265, Miami Central: Yet another piece of the talented and impressive front for the Rockets. This is one of the players we watched over the past two seasons and came away sold on what he does to block for one of the best running games in the country.

45. Jakhari Bolton, OL, 6-5, 275, Miami Killian: Here is one of those quality athletes who didn't get the publicity he deserves the past year, but that will all change as he has the opportunity to gain plenty of exposure during the season ahead. Very strong and superb footwork.

46. Nathaniel Terry, WR, 6-5, 190, Homestead South Dade: This is just another in the many tall and versatile receivers this program has in it's offensive attack. Stretches defenses with his knack of making catches up field and in traffic. Is a very valuable cog on the offense.

47. Jamal Adjamah, RB, 5-8, 180, Miami Southridge: Like his running mate, Garnett, here is a solid football player who has made a solid impact on the football field - as well as getting it done in the classroom. A fast, elusive back who continues to make major strides.

48. Ryan Mayes, S, 6-0, 185, Miami Northwestern: After a solid junior season at Dr. Krop, he makes his way to play for the Bulls - and in the process - brings a lot of athleticism with him. A very rangy safety who makes plays, improving with a solid off season and spring.

49. Raul Diaz, OL, 6-2, 275, Miami Central: This completes one of the most impressive offensive lines in the state of Florida. This very athletic and strong center gives the Rockets a force in the middle on offense. One of the most technically sound of all linemen in Miami-Dade County.

50. Nick McBeath, OLB, 6-1, 195, Miami Christopher Columbus: Talk to anyone who played the Explorers last year and all will tell you that this the prospect who made the most impact. A hard working outside linebacker who will once again be among the elite tacklers on the team.

Broward Class of 2014 - Pre-Summer Top 50

Broward Class of 2015 - Pre-Summer Top 50

Miami-Dade Class of 2015 - Pre-Summer Top 50

Broward Class of 2014 - Pre-Summer Top 50

As we have for the past 40 years, our objective to evaluate and rate players takes us year round.

With south Florida being in the spotlight when it comes to football - and recruiting - these lists have become so important when giving colleges an idea of what prospects continue to rise in this very competitive region. It is also a place where those who recruit national check out the top prospects as well.

While rankings are subjective, many who do them are not aware that when they put out their list of prospects, it is something that is taken very serious - as alumni start to put pressure of their colleges and universities to recruit certain players because they are rated high.

Viewing and rating prospects on just film can come with many pitfalls. Listening to fans, parents and high school coaches, who boast about their athletes, is also very dangerous when it comes to listing prospects.

Our formula has been simple. For over 40 years, we see the prospects live and in person and have a better basis in which to rate and compare. In addition, we have tracked and followed many from the time they began playing at the very competitive youth leagues.

While we will never take anyone’s opinion away, the success rate that we have when putting these lists together is simply unmatched, and for that reason, we continue to produce them at the local, regional and state level with the accuracy that fans, college coaches and others who follow recruiting are comfortable with.

We will re-rank these players right before the season begins - as we watch camps, 7-on-7 events and several workout sessions.

If you see a player you want us to continue to watch, just drop Larry Blustein a note at Floridakids1@aol.com.

BROWARD TOP 50 - CLASS OF 2014
1. Sony Michel, RB, 5-11, 210, Plantation American Heritage:
Has the been Florida’s most promising prospect for 5 years now, and this Georgia commit is still among the best. Should have a huge season.

2. Anthony Moten, DL, 6-3, 280, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: Headed to the University of Florida next year, this three year varsity starter continues to make a huge impact. One of the toughest players on a very impressive unit.

3. Brandon Powell, RB, 5-8, 175, Deerfield Beach: Was there a better all-around running back last year in Broward County? Here is the total package of athleticism and grades in the classroom. One of the most recruited athletes in Florida.

4. Khairi Clark, DL, 6-2, 325, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: After beginning his career as a freshman at Hialeah American, this quality line prospect begins his third year as a force for the Lions. He can be dominating.

5. Corey Holmes, WR, 6-2, 180, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: From the first time he played at the varsity level, there was little doubt that this was going to be a very special player. He has the chance to be very good!

6. Chris Lammons, Athlete, 5-9, 185, Plantation: Easily one of Florida's top athletes who plays quarterback for the Colonels, but projects as a defensive cornerback who could emerge as one of the best in the country.

7. Quincy Wilson, DB, 6-2, 200, Fort Lauderdale University School: This big and physical cornerback has been getting the job done since his freshman year. Has emerged into one of the best in Florida.

8. Trevon Lee, WR, 6-1, 175, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons: No receiver had a better all-around spring. This is a difference maker who combines speed and outstanding route-running abilities. Will name his school.

9. Richard Yeargin, III, OLB, 6-4, 225, Fort Lauderdale University School: Heading to his third school in four years, this is a gifted athlete who has emerged as one of the most promising prospects around.

10. Mardre London, RB, 6-1, 200, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: This one-time Arkansas youth standout has now found a place as workhorse and power back for one of the nation's best teams.

11. Al Harris, DB, 5-11, 176, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: Easily one of the most technically sound defensive back prospects who has learned a lot of from watching and doing. Big time potential.

12. Jaboree Williams, LB, 6-1, 215, Fort Lauderdale: Not since Dimitri Stewart (Northeast) took the country by storm has a prospect come out of nowhere. Headed to Wake Forest, this will be a huge season ahead!

13. Marquese Dudley-Gordon, S/RB, 5-11, 180, Weston Cypress Bay: No matter if it's at the safety position - or as a running back, where he filled in last year, this will be the heartbeat for the rebuilding Lightning this season.

14. Sean White, QB, 6-2, 200, Fort Lauderdale University: After a tremendous three years at Chaminade-Madonna, setting records, this gifted prospects ties his talents to control the offense for last year's 3A state champs.

15. Peyton Bender, QB, 6-2, 185, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons: By the end of the season, this could be the top rated quarterback in Florida. Headed to Washington State next year, nobody made more of an off season impact!

16. Nick Linder, OL, 6-3, 280, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: Following in the talented footsteps of his brother, this University of Miami commit has big time potential and leadership. Has emerged as one of the elite big men.

17. Isaiah McKenzie, Athlete, 5-8, 165, Plantation American Heritage: If you have watched him play, nobody has to remind you how gifted he is. This is instant offense and special teams. Big time play-maker who will make a difference.

18. Ravian Pierce, TE, 6-4, 215, Plantation: While he still has plenty to work on for the future, this is a prospect who has the size, speed, strength and athletic ability to compete against anyone. This is huge year.

20. John Battle IV, S, 6-1, 180, Hallandale: Nobody has done more to state his case as a top prospect than this gifted student/athlete who has combed his football skills with his track speed and work ethic.

21. Terry McCray, OLB, 6-2, 220, Pompano Beach Blanche Ely: Easily one of the top players that has flown under the radar. When all is said and done, this is one of those prospects who will be an elite player.

22. George Rushing, WR, 6-1, 180, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons: Proving that off season work and conditioning can get you better, this Louisville commit has emerged into a player to keep an eye on.

23. Derrick Tindal, DB, 5-11, 170, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson: If you are looking for a player who will make an impact - and rise toward the top 10, this is him. A very athletic and gifted prospect who makes a difference.

24. Jon Jackson, DB, 5-10, 180, Hallandale: One of the most talented and athletic players on a very impressive team, watch for this gifted athlete to lend a hand as a receiver this year as well for the Chargers.

25. Sifo Pierre, OL, 6-4, 330, Coral Springs Taravella: Linemen never get the recognition they deserve, but if you watch a player like this for any length of time, you have to be sold on what he brings to the table. A very athletic player.

26. Chris Taylor, WR, 6-1, 180, Coconut Creek N. Broward Prep: Another of the many prospects who used the off season as a springboard to his success. Headed to Duke University next year, his speed and football skill level have been very impressive.

27. Emmanuel Soto, WR, 6-2, 175, Fort Lauderdale University School: After a tremendous junior season in which he led the Suns to a 3A state title, this quality football talent is back and will be a major force this coming season.

28. Ryan Crozier, OL, 6-2, 275, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: Another of those under the radar linemen who is big, strong, athletic and has been taught as well as any high school athlete to play a key role for the defending 7A state champs.

29. Harry Dumervil, OL, 6-8, 370, Oakland Park Northeast: We continue to say it over and over again, but when this "big man" puts it all together, it will be fun to watch. He just needs to get more playing experience and continue to work on being more technically sound.

30. LaJuan Hunt, RB, 5-8, 190, Fort Lauderdale University School: Having played at a high level since his youth football days, this is indeed one of those top players who can bust out at any time. Has everything you look for in a total back.

31. Alex Thomas, WR, 6-1, 185, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna: When people say that a school like Bowling Green "stole" this prospect, they were not kidding. This is a big time player who gets it done as a receiver and on special teams.

32. Juwan Dowels, DB, 5-8, 175, Davie Western: A very athletic and technically sound defensive back prospect who continues to get better, going against some of the top competition around. Can really make an impact this year.

33. Wade Freebeck, QB, 6-4, 200, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: After making the move over from Western this year, the main objective for this talented quarterback is to stay healthy and in the lineup.

34. Randy Ramsey, S, 6-3, 210, Fort Lauderdale Dillard: Now that he has made the move away from cornerback, this tremendous talent remains as the elite hitter on defense in Broward County. Has one of the most physical games anywhere.

35. Justin Morgan, Athlete, 5-10, 170, Deerfield: Never heard of this impressive talent? That's okay. By the end of the 2013 season, he may be the prospect to make the highest jump in Broward County. Big time potential.

36. Carter Jacobs, S, 6-1, 200, Plantation American Heritage: If you push this impressive talent off to the side and treat him like just any other player, you will lose the battle. He is fast, strong and knows how to play football. Will be among the leading tacklers for the Patriots.

37. Andre Godfrey Jr., DB, 6-1, 180, Miramar: Another of those physical, but very skilled football talents that Broward County produces. This is truly a superb athlete who can cover as well as help play the run.

38. Dennis Turner, WR, 5-11, 175, Fort Lauderdale Dillard: Looking for an under the radar kind of receiver who will make THAT catch? Here he is - and very few people understand that he could emerges as one of the best by the end of the season.

39. Edgar Cerenord, DL, 6-1, 285, Plantation American Heritage: They have been watching this quality nose tackle for the past five months - after he has blown up at various testing events. Colleges love his work ethic and strength.

40. Kenneth Rawls, 6-1, 185, WR, Blanche Ely: Yet another one of those receivers who you want on 4th down and 10 to make that one catch. He is skilled, athletic and has a great desire to play this game at a high level - for a long time.

41. Kendon Davis, WR, 6-3, 190, Oakland Park Northeast: We have said all along that while Stacy Coley was getting all the ink, this is the Hurricane who proved that he could stand up against defensive back. It's simple: stay healthy and you will emerge.

42. Tyler Sayles, OL/DL, 6-3, 235, Deerfield Beach: Every college who came through talked about a number of quality athletes in south Florida, but when it came to this two-way prospect, everyone wanted to boast about his future. One that has plenty of promise.

43. Deion Hallmon, DB, 5-10, 180, Weston Cypress Bay: Has been on the radar for almost two years now, and for that reason, much is expected from this gifted football player. Has a very solid off season.

44. Nigel Kemp, OL, 6-1, 303, Miramar Everglades: Another of those young men who has been on the radar screen for several years now, a very athletic big man who has strength and very good footwork. New coaches have helped his development as well.

45. Erik Lenzen, OL, 6-6, 270, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons: One of those big line prospects who has the chance to do some positive things in 2013. Will be asked to do plenty for a program that is on the verge of busting out.

46. Joseph Laguna, OL, 6-6, 320, South Plantation: With no Alex Collins or John Franklin, this is the player - on offense - that has to take the lead role. Had a very solid off season, which was needed in his progression.

47. Nicholas Richardson, S, 6-2, 185, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas: All you have to do is watch this quality young man play four a few possessions to understand that he is a big time talent who loves to be around the ball. RICHARDSON HAS TRANSFERRED TO MIAMI CAROL CITY.

48. Tyson Burch, S, 5-10, 190, Cooper City: There are a few factors that have kept this tremendous football talent out of the spotlight. One is the injury that put him out for his junior year. Seeing him in the spring, he has indeed regained his form. Watch out!

49. David Senior, WR, 6-0, 160, Boyd Anderson: After making his move over from Cardinal Gibbons, this is someone who will truly benefit as he becomes one of the main options on a team that is still looking for that identity.

50. Bud Martin, QB, 6-2, 215, Fort Lauderdale Dillard: Here is yet another prospect who has put more than anyone into getting better and gaining exposure. He is a pure passer who has worked hard and deserves the shot to play D1 football. He is a huge asset to have!

Miami-Dade Class of 2014 - Pre-Summer Top 50

Broward Class of 2015 - Pre-Summer Top 50

Miami-Dade Class of 2015 - Pre-Summer Top 50

Central, Booker T., Aquinas, University nationally ranked by MaxPreps

South Florida's four defending state champions will each open the season ranked nationally by CBS Max Preps, which released its preseason Top 25 poll Monday morning.

Central, last year's Class 6A champs and winners of two of the past three state crowns in that classification, will debut at No. 2 behind top-ranked De La Salle (Ca.).

Booker T. Washington, the defending Class 4A champs, are ranked No. 9.

St. Thomas Aquinas, which won its seventh state title last year winning Class 7A, is ranked No. 16.

University School, a first-time state champ in Class 3A last year, is ranked No. 24.

The only other Florida team ranked was defending Class 8A champ Apopka, which beat Cypress Bay in a memorable 53-50 thriller last year.

-Central will be under the tutelage of new coach and former Northwestern coach Roland Smith, who was hired last month to replace Telly Lockette following his departure to coach running backs at the University of South Florida.

Central's schedule includes an opening date with Plantation American Heritage, a Week 2 showdown with Booker T. Washington, a Sept. 21 road date at Don Bosco Prep (NJ), and a regular-season finale against University School in addition to a tough district slate that includes Northwestern, Norland, Carol City and Homestead.

-Booker T. already showed last weekend how strong it still is by walloping St. Pete Lakewood 62-14. The Tornadoes face a brutal opening stretch that begins with an Aug. 24 road game at Norcross High, Georgia's defending large school state champ, which is ranked No. 3 by MaxPreps. Booker T. then faces Central, Carol City, and later on Northwestern and a road date at MaxPreps No. 25 Bishop Gorman in Las Vegas (Oct. 4). Adding to the tough task of repeating is the fact that University moved up to Class 4A creating a potential huge second-round playoff clash between the two defending state champs.

-St. Thomas has reloaded despite losing a few key players on the offensive side of the ball and should still have one of the strongest defenses and offensive lines in the nation. The Raiders open with a highly-anticipated showdown with Northwestern Aug. 31 at Sun Life Stadium and will take on perennial Louisiana state champion and defending consensus national champion John Curtis Christian, ranked No. 8 by MaxPreps, on Sept. 13 at the Superdome.

-University School returns numerous key players on both sides of the ball and faces its most daunting schedule to date. The Suns take on Homestead (preseason), Miami Central, Norland, Belle Glade Glades Central, Bradenton Manatee, Cypress Bay and Boyd Anderson, and could potentially square off with Booker T. in the regional final round of Class 4A.