July 12, 2015

Coral Reef reveals new 'black cloud' uniforms

It's the final piece to a fresh start for Coral Reef football this offseason.

With a new coaching staff coming in that's trying to change the culture, the Barracudas revealed their new "black cloud" uniforms to players, cheerleaders and parents at a team picnic at Larry and Penny Thompson Park on Sunday.

The coaches couldn't do it without a little fun, though.

First, they set up a draped upper-body male mannequin on a table as coach Javi Valdes gave a speech. When it was time to lift the drape, underneath it was a plain, bland black jersey with silver numbers -- much to the dismay of the players expecting a bit more.

With parents slow clapping and mixed reactions from the players, a pair of Coral Reef alumni in Myles Campbell and Vanycksha Toussaint busted in wearing the actual uniforms. The jersey on the manikin turned out to be the practice jersey.

The players went nuts.


"I knew I had them," Valdes said. "We needed to put a stamp on what Coral Reef Football was going to look like. That's the look we're going to have for the next few years, and that's the look we want to continue having throughout my tenure here."

The Nike anthracite -- or smoke grey -- uniforms (pictured above) will have white numbers, "Cudas" in white over the number on the front, a teal stripe down the pant leg that reads "Reef" in white, and teal and white fading stripes on the sleeves. The helmets are the same color with a teal and silver stripe through the middle and the CR logo on the sides.

Coral Reef, which will alternate with a set of white uniforms depending on if the team is home or away, now joins Booker T. Washington and Miami Central as teams to sport the anthracite jerseys.

Players were relieved to learn that all the buildup for the uniform unveiling wasn't to culminate in the team wearing practice jerseys for their games.


Photos and video by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

July 11, 2015

Recruiting Roundup: Henry-Cole commits to Utah, Harrison to Southern Illinois

St. Thomas Aquinas running back Devonta'e Henry-Cole announced on Saturday that he is orally committing to Utah.

"I got along with coach [Dennis] Erickson and the coaching staff," the 5-9, 190-pound three-star prospect with 4.4 speed says. "It'a a great school academically and sports, and it's going to be a great feeling playing with my old St. Thomas teammates."

Henry-Cole chose Utah over a list of 11 other offers that included Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Cincinnati, FIU and FAU. 

He joins former Raider teammates Tyson Cisrow and Chris Hart on the Utes roster.

"[They tell me] that it was nice over there, it's different from Florida and the football program is amazing," Henry-Cole says.

Utah is getting a good one on and off the field.

"As a player, Devonta'e is an explosive, electrifying athlete with exceptional balance, vision and speed," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott says. "Off the field, he's a positive role model for his peers -- an extraordinary person in general. He's the epitome of a character athlete who is loved by all."


A day earlier, Coconut Creek senior quarterback Jhakari Harrison announced a commitment to Southern Illinois.

The 6-1, 180-pound dual-threat quarterback that also had offers from Florida A&M and Bethune-Cookman has been impressive throughout the spring and in 7-on-7 play, including a victory in the South Florida Shootout that UM hosted.

Once he joins the Salukis, he'll eventually compete with another Florida quarterback Southern Illinois took last recruiting cycle in Orlando's Tanner Hearn.


On Thursday, South Dade 2017 offensive guard Kryon Taylor committed to Marshall.

The 6-3, 285-pound junior was impressive in a spring game against Harrison and Coconut Creek in May, drawing the eyes of many coaches on hand.

He's also an elite wrestler as a state runner-up in the 285-pound division.


July 07, 2015

Kadeem Telfort flips commitment from UM to UF

Miami Norland junior offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort announced on Tuesday that he has decommitted from the Miami Hurricanes and is now committed to the Florida Gators.

The 6-6, 310-pound three-star prospect in the class of 2017 made the two announcements within minutes of each other on Twitter.


The flip was foreshadowed earlier Tuesday morning by St. Thomas Aquinas quarterback Jake Allen, a 2017 prospect who committed to Florida last Wednesday


The Gators now have three commitments in their 2017 class -- all from Miami-Dade or Broward County -- in Telfort, Allen and Deerfield Beach wide receiver Lavarus Tigner.

Their 2016 class includes commitments Joshua Hammond of Hallandale, Vosean Joseph of Norland, Miami Central's Eric Mitchell, Deerfield Beach's Aaron Robinson and Southwest Miami's Christopher McWilliams -- a testament to co-defensive coordinator and linebackers coach Randy Shannon's recruiting work in South Florida.

UM's 2017 class bodes well despite the loss of Telfort as its seven commitments still have the Canes second only to Ohio State in the 247 Sports team rankings.

Telfort's highlights:

July 06, 2015

All in the family: Michael Irvin II commits to Miami Hurricanes

Like father, like son.

St. Thomas Aquinas senior wide receiver/tight end Michael Irvin II announced on Monday that he was committing to the Miami Hurricanes, the alma mater of his father, Hall of Fame wide receiver Michael Irvin, who played at UM from 1985-1987.

The 6-3, 220-pound Irvin II took to Twitter to make the big announcement.

"Although Michael is blazing his own trail, he's excited about attending his father's high school and college alma mater," St. Thomas Aquinas coach Roger Harriott told the Miami Herald. "Miami was his first offer and he's considered himself a Cane for as long as he could remember.

"STA Raider Nation loves the Irvin family and we're elated that Michael II has an opportunity to pursue his childhood dreams."

In 2012, Irvin was quoted in an article by Brian Perroni of 247Sports, jokingly saying his son could not play for any other school.

โ€œMy exact words to Mike were this โ€“ โ€˜There are some choices God gives us and some He doesnโ€™t.โ€™ He canโ€™t choose his mom, his dad, his brothers or sisters or what school he goes to. Everything else, he can choose. He WILL go to the University of Miami,โ€ the article notes Irvin Sr. said laughing.

The dream scenario for the UM legend finally came to fruition as Irvin II, a three-star prospect in the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, chose the Canes over other notable offers from Georgia, Michigan and N.C. State.

It won't be the first time Irvin II follows in his father's footsteps as this April he decided to transfer from Plano (Texas) Prestonwood High to join Irvin's high school alma mater of St. Thomas Aquinas.

Irvin Sr. collected 2,423 yards and 26 touchdowns on 143 receptions in his three years with the Canes before a stellar professional career with the Dallas Cowboys.

Here are Irvin II's highlights from last season in Texas.


June 27, 2015

Sights from The Opening Team Games

The Nike Football Opening Team Games were held at West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy on Saturday.

They had 16 South Florida 7-on-7 teams in total and four different fields running at a time.

In the end, Carol City cruised to a 44-23 victory in the championship game against Flanagan. This picture below was taken during the celebration over one of the Chiefs' interceptions in the contest.

Carol City INT

Quarterback Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert was phenomenal in finding his receivers consistently. Here's his one-on-one interview with the Miami Herald.


While Carol City won the 7-on-7 team tournament, Flanagan's runner-up finish plus victories in the individual skills competition at quarterback, wide receiver and 40-yard challenges were enough to put the Falcons over the top in overall points.

Dirty Birds

One of the players on the host team is four-star running back and UM commit Travis Homer, who took a second to show his allegiance to the cameras.

Travis Homer

A UM decommit not too long ago who has since jumped on board with the Michigan Wolverines in what's appearing to develop into a little bit of a pipeline between Flanagan and Michigan, Devin Gil was held out due to an arm injury but took a second to show love to Michigan throwing up the M.

Devin Gil

You'll want to stay tuned to the blog as interviews with both Homer and Gil are coming, as well as updates on Darnell Salomon, Joseph Jackson and Clevan Thomas.

June 26, 2015

Nike Football Opening team games on Saturday

The Nike Football Opening team games in South Florida are slated for Saturday morning at West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy.

Each school's 7-on-7 team team will play four games and then have individuals participate in a series of skill challenges that will aggregate points toward a collective team score.

Miami-Dade and Broward schools participating include:


Carol City

Coconut Creek


Coral Reef



Deerfield Beach


North Miami


Boyd Anderson 

Miami Northwestern

Miami Central

Booker T. Washington

Skill challenges: quarterback challenge, place kicker, linemen, wide receiver, speed agility, 40-yard dash.

The action begins at 9 a.m. with individual challenges beginning at 1 p.m. Teddy Bridgewater (Miami Northwestern alum) and Antonio Brown (Miami Norland) are among those attending as special guests. 


June 25, 2015

Miami Central ranked second nationally in preseason poll

The Miami Central football team turned out a No. 2 national ranking in the MaxPreps 2015 Early Contenders poll.

It comes as no surprise for the Rockets, which have won three consecutive Class 6A state titles and have appeared in five straight championship games.

Central boasts an elite defense coming into the fall with senior defensive ends Keir Thomas (FSU commit) and Eric Mitchell (UF commit), uncommitted three-star middle linebacker Donavan Thompson is a leader on the defense as a four-year starter and is joined by junior UM commit Waynmon Steed in that unit. FSU commit Jamel Cook spearheads a talented secondary.

"Some teams will be lucky to cross midfield against Miami Central in 2015," MaxPreps wrote in its announcement.

The Rockets offense reeled in Champagnat transfer Darnell Salomon, an uncommitted five-star wide receiver, in the offseason and also got a key transfer from Coral Gables in running back Kenio Mike. The offensive line is led by 6-6, 335-pound junior tackle Navaughn Donaldson.

Below is the video MaxPreps created on the Rockets.

June 23, 2015

Calvin Jackson commits to Toledo

Calvin Jackson, a three-star wide receiver out of Coral Springs Charter, decided on Tuesday to commit to Toledo.

Jackson joins Miami Jackson's Desmond Phillips and Miami Carol City's David Hood as South Florida prospects committed to the Rockets, a program trying to create an imprint in the area.

June 22, 2015

June 19, 2015

Flanagan ranked No. 9 in preseason poll, Gil commits to Michigan

Devin BushMaxPreps released rankings 10-6 in a national preseason 2015 Early Contenders poll on Friday and Flanagan ranked ninth.

The stellar national ranking follows a 2014 season where the Falcons won their first district title in program history and advanced the furthest they have in the postseason, reaching state semifinals.

"Look what hard work can do when you put it together and it pays off," says coach Devin Bush, entering his third season at the helm for Flanagan. "Personally, we weren't trying be ranked in the country. Our goal was to try to win a national title, try to win the district and try to get to states.

"It's good for a pat on the back because we worked so hard. We'll enjoy it today, but tomorrow, that's over with."

The ranking even put Flanagan ahead of perennial power St. Thomas Aquinas, which placed 16th on the list. The top five will be released in the coming days.

Here's the video MaxPreps created on Flanagan.

More big news (or B1G news) came from Flanagan Friday as linebacker/safety Devin Gil, a former Miami Hurricanes commit, committed to the Wolverines. This comes two days after teammate Josh Metellus committed to Michigan and within the week of the commitment of Cooper City's Rashad Weaver.

Bush believes defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin had a lot to do with the commitments of his Falcons.

"They like his style of play," he says. "They like what he's trying to do and what he's trying to do and what kind of attitude they're trying to personify on that field."

The commitments come less than a week after Bush, his son in four-star linebacker Devin Bush Jr., Gil and Metellus were all in Ann Arbor. Coach Jim Harbaugh also came down to South Florida the previous weekend to assist Bush in hosting a camp.


In other recruiting news, junior college defensive tackle Walvenski Aime decommitted from the Miami Hurricanes just nine days after his original commitment.

The loss in the 2016 class continues a trend of missing out on interior defensive linemen in recruiting for Miami in recent years.