October 09, 2015

Updates on Mater's Brini, Herrington and Varela's Stringer


Three-star  Mater Academy 2017 Safety Latavious Brini, has narrowed his top three so far to Louisville, Temple and FIU. Brini (6-2, 190 pounds) said "I'm planning to visit my top 3 in the next couple of months."

Unranked athlete TJ Herrington is currently deciding between two state schools -- FAMU and FAU. The 6'2, 195-pound Herrington is not currently planning on going on any visits. Herrington was glowing about his time with FAMU, he said "I had such a great time at the FAMU camp. I really liked it there."

Unranked Varela wide receiver Jay Stringer currently has 10 offers between Division-I and Division-II schools. Stringers top 3 are Colorado State, Massachusetts and FIU. The 5-11, 165-pound Stringer is also planning to make a trip to D-II Valdosta State very soon.


Carol City 2017 WR Kevaughn Dingle has UM at the top, Montray Smith has Cincy visit in plans

De'Andre Wilder isn't the only junior out of Carol City who currently lists UM as his top choice.

Wide receiver Kevaughn Dingle, who already lists an offer from the Hurricanes, also has them as his top school. Watch the video below to hear everything else he was talking about after Carol City's 33-0 win over Southwest on Thursday.


Senior wide receiver Montray Smith is really high on Cincinnati and will visit the Bearcats. FIU has also shown interest in him recently.


Also, one to look out for in the future: freshman Carol City quarterback Lorenzo Floyd. Filling in for Stephen "Buckshot" Calvert, a Liberty commit, Floyd torched the Eagles for five touchdowns. The Chiefs are in good hands in the future with him in the shotgun.


Worth noting: Senior DB Jonas Dorvil had two interceptions defensively and had one returned for a 100-yard touchdown but was called back due to a holding penalty on the return by a blocker on a Southwest player that probably wasn't going to catch him anyway.

Keelen Roberts, who has offers from UF, Louisville, Cincinnati and Illinois had an interception of his own right before halftime, showing his closing speed on an overthrown ball that initially appeared it would be out of reach.

David Hood, the Toledo commit, was strong in stuffing the run at defensive tackle and showed pass rushing abilities as well, along with some hard hits.

Wilder was beastly once again, getting to the quarterback at will and flushing him out of the pocket often if he didn't get a hit on him.

October 06, 2015

AP Florida state high school football rankings - week 7

   Florida High School Football Poll

   By The Associated Press

   The Associated Press Top 10 Florida high school football poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records, rating points and previous rankings:

Class 8A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. Columbus (14)                            6-0     146 2

 2. Vero Beach                                5-0     120 3

 3. Atlantic Community                        5-0     116 4

 4. Flanagan                                       4-1     78  6

 5. West Orange                               5-1     73  10

 6. South Dade (1)                            5-0     65  9

 7. Mandarin                                  5-0     62  7

 8. Apopka                                    5-1     58  1

 9. Kissimmee Osceola                         5-1     44  8

10. Lake Brantley                             6-0     16  NR

Others receiving votes: Fort Pierce Central 14, Plantation 10, Sandalwood 10, Coral Gables 7, Boca Raton Community 4, Manatee 1, Treasure Coast 1.

Class 7A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. St. Thomas Aquinas (15)                   5-0     150 1

 2. Dwyer                                     5-0     132 2

 3. Venice                                    6-0     121 3

 4. Braden River                              6-0     107 4

 5. Sickles                                   6-0     89  5

 6. Kathleen                                  6-0     49  10

 7. Buchholz                                  4-1     48  T8

 7. Oakleaf                                   5-1     48  7

 9. Columbia                                  4-1     38  T8

10. Plant                                     4-2     9   NR

   Others receiving votes: St. Cloud 7, Mater Academy 7, Palmetto 5, Lennard 5, Martin County 4, Lakeland 3, Bartow 2, Plant City 1. 

Class 6A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. Mainland (16)                             6-0     160 1

 2. Armwood                                   5-0     142 2

 3. St. Augustine                             6-0     122 4

 4. Naples                                    4-1     92  5

 5. Navarre                                   6-0     79  6

 6. Miami Carol City                          5-1     76  10

 7. Charlotte                                 6-0     68  8

 8. Miami Central                             4-2     43  3

 9. Niceville                                 5-1     40  9

10. Matanzas                                  6-0     14  NR

   Others receiving votes: Heritage 13, Clearwater 12, Pine Forest 5, Boyd Anderson 4, Escambia 3, Palmetto Ridge 3, Sebring 2, Tate 2.

Class 5A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. Plantation American Heritage (12)         4-1     144 1

 2. Hallandale (1)                            4-1     127 2

 3. Bishop Moore (2)                          5-0     124 3

 4. North Marion                              6-0     111 4

 5. Jesuit                                    6-0     86  5

 6. Wakulla                                   5-1     69  6

 7. Rickards                                  4-1     47  7

 8. Bay                                       5-0     42  9

 9. Suwannee                                  3-1     35  8

10. Nature Coast Tech                         5-0     18  10

  Others receiving votes: Coconut Creek 11, Palm Bay 8, Ponte Vedra 2, River Ridge 1.

Class 4A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. Bolles School (16)                        6-0     160 1

 2. Raines                                    5-0     132 2

 3. South Sumter                              6-0     119 4

 4. Dunnellon                                 6-0     90  5

 5. Cocoa                                     4-2     88  3

   Others receiving votes: Miami Washington 18, Glades Central 13, Avon Park 7, Walton 7, Fort Lauderdale University 6.

Class 3A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. Trinity Christian-Jacksonville (15)       5-0     150 1

 2. Lakeland Christian                        6-0     124 2

 3. Clearwater Central Catholic               6-0     120 3

 4. Chaminade-Madonna College Prep            5-0     88  5

 5. Oxbridge Academy                          4-1     78  NR

  Others receiving votes: Delray American Heritage 15, Westminster Christian 13, Tampa Catholic 12. 

Class 2A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. University Christian (12)                 4-1     144 1

 2. Northside Christian (1)                   5-0     131 2

 3. Dade Christian (2)                        4-0     110 3

 4. North Florida Christian                   4-2     85  4

 5. Carrollwood Day                           5-0     84  5

   Others receiving votes: Community School of Naples 33, Admiral Farragut 13.

Class 1A

                                              Record  Pts Prv

 1. Fort Meade (11)                           6-0     155 1

 2. Trenton (4)                               5-0     147 2

 3. Union County (1)                          5-0     116 4

 4. Pahokee                                   4-1     85  3

 5. Port St. Joe                              3-1     66  5

  Others receiving votes: Blountstown 45, Newberry 19, Madison County 7.

October 04, 2015

Carol City LB De'Andre Wilder lists Canes atop his list

DeAndre Wilder

Carol City junior outside linebacker De'Andre Wilder will be one of the most highly sought-after recruits in the class of 2017.

The talented pass rusher, who was ranked as the Miami Herald's No. 3 junior prospect in Dade heading into the season, already possesses an impressive offer sheet of several top programs nationally.

Wilder (6-3, 211 pounds) says UM, Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee are the schools that currently top his list.

"But No. 1 is UM," Wilder added.

Why is Wilder so high on the hometown Hurricanes?

"The coaches. I get along with the coaches," Wilder says. 

Wilder visited all of the above in the summer and will work on more visits after his football season is over. 

The Chiefs came off an impressive 8-7 win against Miami Central. Wilder made a tremendous impact on the collective effort of holding the Rockets offense out of the end zone. He was able to record a sack, combined with Jerrod Clearsaint for another tackle for loss and had several other tackles and quarterback hurries.

Wilder said his fake inside then pass rush outside was working well to get around blockers in one-on-one situations.

*Photo by David Furones//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

October 02, 2015

James Wiggins a soft UM commit, Cincinnati among others he's interested in

Just one night after an embarrassing loss on Thursday night on national TV in Cincinnati, UM commit James Wiggins is calling himself a soft commitment to the Hurricanes.

And guess who one of of the other schools he's interested in is. The one that beat the Canes the night before.

Wiggins lists the Bearcats, Syracuse and "a little bit of" Louisville. He has a UM visit set up for January and wants to take other visits after the season because the focus at the moment is on this undefeated season South Dade is working on.

Here's everything else he had to say in this video interview where he also discusses his defense's dominant performance in recovering five fumbles and shutting out Southridge as the secondary held Freddie Pinder and Kemore Gamble without a catch.



September 29, 2015

Columbus junior DB Marlin Brooks recovering after serious neck injury

Columbus football coach Chris Merritt said Tuesday that junior defensive back Marlin Brooks has been moved out of intensive care after having surgery over the weekend to repair two broken vertebrae - an injury he suffered during the Explorers’ 21-7 win last week against Belen Jesuit.

Brooks was hurt with 7:30 remaining in the first quarter of Friday’s game at FIU Stadium and taken to by ambulance to nearby Kendall Regional Hospital.

He is expected to miss the remainder of the season.

Brooks (5-10, 157) entered the season ranked the No. 22 overall prospect of the Class of 2017 in Dade by The Miami Herald.

“He had surgery to fix the two broken vertebrae and fuse them together,” Merritt said. “He’s still having some issues below his elbows but the prognosis is good.”

September 24, 2015

'Pie' Young eyes December decision, Rodriguez one to watch in 2017

Keyshawn "Pie" Young, the Miami Herald's No. 2 senior recruit  in Miami-Dade County, is aiming for a decision on his college commitment in December.

I got to catch up with him after his three-touchdown performance in a 62-3 win against against Ferguson on Thursday.

Among the other highlights of the interview, the four-star receiver still lists Alabama and Michigan as his top two -- as he has previously -- but also indicated that Georgia is a team creeping into his mix.

Young also wants to visit Michigan in the coming weeks but doesn't have anything scheduled. The Wolverines have home games on Saturday, Oct. 10 and 17 against Northwestern and Michigan State, respectively.

The Northwestern game comes after a Thursday outing for the Stingarees, so that could give Young a travel day to get up to Ann Arbor on Friday. If he wants to go to the bigger rivalry game against the Spartans, it'll be a tighter schedule with a Friday night game on tap for him.

Check out everything he had to say in the video below.


Miami High 2017 quarterback Marcelo Rodriguez hit big plays down the field all night. He displayed excellent pocket presence and accuracy on deep throws, going 14 of 19 for 317 yards and five touchdowns -- 301 yards and four touchdowns by halftime. He also added a rushing score on a QB sneak.

Rodriguez says Purdue has shown him some interest, as well as Michigan as an extension of their recruitment of "Pie."

Here's everything Rodriguez had to say postgame.



September 23, 2015

South Dade running game and defense as strong as it gets

The South Dade football team is starting to look like it can tap the same potential it found in its 2013 state championship-winning season.

While only through three games on this young season, these Buccaneers are similar in how they dominate weaker opponents (40-24 win against Coral Reef and 42-0 win against Palmetto) and come through clutch in tough, tight games (7-6 win vs. Norland), but the 2015 squad is different in many ways too.

While the Bucs from two years had two of Dade County's finest receivers to come out that year in C.J. Worton (Florida Gators) and Tyre Brady (Miami Hurricanes), this year's team relies heavily on the running game -- and they are some of the best at it.

The combination of Jawon Hamilton and Ivan Smith -- a pair of transfers to come in from Coral Reef and Columbus, respectively -- running behind an offensive line rivaled in Dade only by that of Miami Central devastates opposing defenses.

Last Friday against previously unbeaten Palmetto, South Dade ran for five touchdowns in the first half -- three of them coming from Hamilton, the FIU commit.

Hamilton lists three other offers and is also drawing interest from Syracuse and West Virginia. Listen to everything he had to say after the Palmetto game in the video below.


Smith, the speed back out of the two with Hamilton being the balanced workhorse, later ran for a touchdown, and is if that weren't enough, Tre'ven Worthen ran in the score to put the Bucs up five touchdowns and run the clock the entire second half.

They all run behind a massive offensive line that just paves the way led by seniors Boman Swanson and Mike Davis and junior Marshall commit Kyron Taylor.

The defense swarmed the Panthers in the shutout. Junior defensive end Chei Hill, who is currently flying under the radar in recruiting, led the unit with 11 tackles, had a sack and recovered a fumble. This comes after a pair of sacks in the win against Norland. He won't be held down without an offer much longer, I would imagine.


The secondary is spearheaded by UM commit James Wiggins, who is versatile among the DBs, playing both corner and safety. Wiggins had the game-clinching interception against Norland and recorded seven tackles against Palmetto.

Senior linebacker Wyatt Swanson was in on 10 tackles, and senior DB/LB Andrew Matthews showed a nose for the ball with double-digit tackles, as well.

On special teams, South Dade has a kicker to look out for in the next two seasons with 2017 prospect Mark Sanchez.

September 18, 2015

Miami commit Uche has Alabama, Florida and Louisville coming after him, Cards standing out to Jerron Rollins

Columbus senior defensive end Josh Uche has remained firm in his commitment to UM, but other schools -- three in particular -- are telling him how great he can be with their programs.

Here's Uche in an exclusive video interview with the Miami Herald after recording 2 1/2 sacks, adding another tackle for loss and rushing the quarterback into several poor throws in a 26-0 win against Miami High.


Senior wide receiver Jerron Rollins relieved the frustration of being kept out of the end zone in recent outings by catching an 83-yard touchdown late in the blowout victory.

One school in particular is standing out to Rollins, who hasn't focused too much attention into recruiting yet. And that school would be Louisville. Here's what he had to say about the Cards.


Here are the highlights from the dominant effort by the Explorers.


September 15, 2015

Sleeper studs from four South Florida games this past weekend

I went to four high school games this weekend and got to see plenty of young playmakers at Killian-Coral Reef, Gulliver-Belen, Columbus-Southridge and Deerfield Beach-Blanche Ely.

Here are my top takeaways on some athletes that don't have the impressive offer sheets -- yet.


Darren Davis Jr.: The list for this game has to start with the freshman Columbus running back who scored the game-winning touchdown. He finished with 92 yards on 15 carries. He is a candidate to potentially reclassify and move up a year like Mark Walton did last year, so TBD if he will be a 2018 or 2019 recruit.

Cliff Smith Jr.: On the other side, the Southridge running back and Killian transfer had 51 yards and a rushing touchdown.

Coemba Jones: A shoe-in for any sleeper segment involving Southridge. He's a rover on Southridge's defense playing all over the field. At 5-8 and 165, the junior is listed as a DB on the roster but will play linebacker and more than hold his own getting through blocks from big offensive linemen and knocking ball carriers backwards. A flat-out true football player that's always around the ball. If he were 6-0, 210 pounds, he'd be a five-star recruit.

CJ Henderson: Junior Columbus running back had 51 rushing yards and a touchdown on 10 carries.

Randy Charlton: He's just a sophomore at defensive end and is 6-4 and 200 pounds. Tremendous motor on Southridge's defensive line and it showed when he earned a sack late in the first half.

Malik Spatcher: You know about Freddie Pinder, Kemore Gamble and probably Rodney Scott as well in the Ridge's receiving corps. Pinder was out, and Spatcher led the Spartans in receiving, including a touchdown right before halftime.

*Other Columbus playmakers included a lot of names you've already heard -- UM commits Josh Uche and Josh Jobe had a sack and interception respectively, Jerron Rollins had a big boy catch inside the Southridge 5 to set up the game-winning touchdown and the heavily-recruited Trajan Bandy clinched the victory with a last-second interception.


We didn't even make it through three quarters in this one because the lights went out at Ely after a lengthy delay to kickoff, but I was still able to see plenty of talent.

Teddrick Moffett: Deerfield QB threw three touchdowns and ran for another. Even with the elite group of receivers he has, they need someone to get them the ball and he gets the job done. He finished with 153 passing yards.

Alton Allen: Had an impressive touchdown catch at the end of the first half and also proved effective carrying the ball for Deerfield.

David Francis: Middle linebacker and captain for Ely. Exhibits leadership qualities on defense and had a diving interception on a ball deflected at the line of scrimmage.

Trevor Goodrum Jr.: Tall and long at 6-4. It worked to his advantage when he had the tipped ball that eventually was picked off by Francis.

Geremy Taylor: Caught a touchdown on fourth down before the lights went out, also had a long reception down the sideline with his finger tips.

Emmitt Burton/Jimmie Harper: Undersized defensive lineman that make plays. Burton forced a fumble that Harper recovered.

Brion Byrd: A 5-10, 210-pound junior linebacker for the Bucks, he really gets after a ball carrier. He had a sack for a loss of 10 on one blitz.

Kimar Martin: Had a huge interception for Deerfield in the end zone. Just has to learn when not to run it out of the end zone, but that can be taught. He a senior cornerback.


Joshua King: With UM commit Bentavious Thompson out, King was the only running back available for coach Cory Johnson. He handled the large workload well with more than 20 carries and was over 100 yards rushing in the first quarter.

Randy Shannon Jr.: The Coral Reef senior linebacker was very active defensively in on several tackles plus picking off a pass.

Romelo Brooks: Linebacker for Killian that was just as active. Brooks delivers some mean hits, and he was playing with a cast on his forearm.

Theodore Williams: Had the biggest play of the night when he forced a fumble late in the fourth quarter when Coral Reef was trying to run out the clock.

Juwan Horn: Recovered the fumble Williams forced and nearly scored on it.

Yoko Poole: He's only 5-8, 150 pounds, but he can really hit. He also had an interception on Thursday.

Jordan Dillard: The sophomore receiver has impressive size and used it to catch the game-winning touchdown.

Antwan Collier: It actually wasn't the touchdown that won it; it was the two-point conversion that Collier ran in on a read-option. Collier added four catches for 67 yards.

Mehki Ervan: As clutch as it gets with a 20-yard reception up the seam on 4th down on the final drive. It set up a chance at a long field goal to win it.

Nico Jacquemin: The Coral Reef kicker booted a 39-yarder and a 29-yarder through the uprights. Don't blame him for missing the game-winner -- it was from 59 yards out.

Robert McWilliams: Looked good coming off the edge for a sack.

Deandre Johnson: The junior defensive end looks the part with solid size for that edge pass-rushing hybrid player at the next level.

Michael Martinez: The Killian junior linebacker is a solid tackler.

Cariq Rackley: Remember this freshman quarterback. He shrugged off two early interceptions to finish with 161 passing yards.

*Worth noting: Coral Reef quarterback Gio Salazar hooked up with Jeremy Fernandez for a beautiful touchdown pass.*


Giovanni Menocal: The 6-1, 210-pound linebacker is a monster tackler, looks a lot like another Menocal to come out of Belen that ended up at Georgia Tech.

Tavish Rice: Elite kicker. Connected on all three field-goal attempts. Committed to Princeton.

Joseph Garcia: A senior who doubles at running back and linebacker, Garcia ran big in the early going and recovered a fumble late on defense. He holds a Bethune-Cookman offer, and should get more this season.

Ariel Jimenez: Hits like he's shot out of a cannon at safety, absolutely punished UM commit Joseph Jackson on a pass over the middle where Jackson was in on offense and his QB led him into Jimenez. Big mistake.

Sebastian Leiter: Forced the fumble that Garcia recovered on a sack.

Giancarlo Pinto: Led the Wolverines in rushing and had a late touchdown run.

Walker Gautier: Had five receptions for 47 yards to lead the Raiders.

*There wasn't too much else from Gulliver. The other standouts were the players that are being recruited heavily -- UM commits Cedrick Wright (was an absolute monster with 27 tackles, knew where the ball was going every play reading Belen's Wing-T), Joseph Jackson (sack and forced fumble) and Robert Burns (carrying the load and leading the Raiders in rushing) -- but this segment is supposed to be about the sleepers.