UPDATED - Playoff scenarios for Miami-Dade/Broward football districts


Piper (4-0, 8-0): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Deerfield Beach.

Deerfield Beach (4-0, 6-1): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Piper.

ELIMINATED: Douglas (2-2, 4-4), Monarch (2-2, 2-5), Coral Springs (0-4, 3-4), Taravella (0-4, 2-6).



Flanagan (6-0, 7-1): District champions.

Miramar (4-1, 7-2): Can clinch a playoff berth with win over Western.

Western (4-1, 5-2): Can clinch a playoff berth with win over Miramar.

ELIMINATED: Everglades (2-3, 2-6), Cypress Bay (1-4, 3-5), Plantation (1-4, 1-7), South Plantation (0-5, 0-8).



American (4-0, 4-3): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over NMB.

North Miami Beach (4-0, 5-2): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over American.

ELIMINATED: North Miami (2-2, 4-3), Krop (2-2, 4-4), Hialeah (0-4, 2-5), Hialeah Gardens (0-4, 1-6).


Coral Gables (3-0, 7-0): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Columbus.

Columbus (3-0, 5-3): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Coral Gables.

ELIMINATED: Miami Beach (1-2, 2-5), Miami High (1-2, 2-5), Coral Park (0-4, 3-6).


Belen Jesuit (4-0, 5-3): District champions.

Southwest (3-1, 6-1): Can clinch playoff berth with win over Braddock.

Braddock (2-2, 2-6): Can clinch playoff berth with win over Southwest.

ELIMINATED: Coral Reef (2-2, 2-6), Ferguson (1-3, 2-5), Varela (0-4, 1-6).


Southridge (4-0, 6-2): District champions.

Palmetto (2-1, 6-1): Can clinch playoff berth with win over Killian; IF they lose, they need a South Dade win to force a tiebreaker for playoff berth.

Killian (1-2, 3-5): Can clinch playoff berth with win over Palmetto AND South Dade loss to Homestead; can force tiebreaker for playoff berth with win AND South Dade win.

South Dade (1-2, 2-5): Needs win over Homestead AND Palmetto loss to Killian to force tiebreaker for playoff berth.

ELIMINATED: Homestead (0-3, 1-6).


St. Thomas Aquinas (1-0, 5-2): Can clinch district championship with win over Ely.

Fort Lauderdale (1-1, 3-4): Can clinch playoff berth with Ely loss to Aquinas.

Blanche Ely (0-1, 2-5): Needs win over Aquinas to force three-way tiebreaker for district title and runner-up.


McArthur (4-0, 8-0): District champions.

Cooper City (3-1, 4-3): District runner-up.

ELIMINATED: South Broward (2-2, 5-2), Nova (2-2, 3-5), West Broward (1-3, 2-6), Hollywood Hills (0-4, 2-5).



Mater Academy (7-0, 7-1): District champions.

Doral Academy (6-1, 7-1): District runner-up.

ELIMINATED: Reagan (5-2, 5-3), Goleman (5-3, 5-4), Sunset (3-4, 3-5), Miami Springs (2-5, 2-6), South Miami (2-5, 2-6), Mourning (2-5, 2-6), Westland Hialeah (0-7, 0-8).


Boynton Beach (2-0, 5-2): Can clinch district title with win over Dillard; Can clinch at least a playoff berth with Boyd Anderson loss.

Dillard (1-1, 5-2): Can clinch district title with win over Boynton Beach AND Boyd Anderson loss, OR at least a tiebreaker for district title with win.

Boyd Anderson (1-1, 5-3): Can clinch playoff berth with win over Northeast AND Dillard loss, OR a tiebreaker for district title with win AND Boynton Beach loss to Dillard.

Northeast (0-2, 0-8): Needs win over Boyd Anderson AND Dillard loss to force three-way tiebreaker for runner-up playoff berth.


Northwestern (2-0, 7-1): Has clinched playoff berth; Can clinch district championship with win over Carol City.

Carol City (2-0, 4-2): Has clinched playoff berth; Can clinch district championship with win over Northwestern.

ELIMINATED: Central (1-2, 6-2), Norland (0-3, 3-4).


American Heritage (4-0, 8-0): Can clinch district championship with win over Hallandale; can clinch a playoff berth with Cardinal Gibbons loss to Stranahan; A loss AND Gibbons win forces tiebreaker for district title with Gibbons and Hallandale.

Cardinal Gibbons (3-1, 6-1): Can clinch playoff berth with win AND Hallandale loss to American Heritage; A win AND Hallandale win forces tiebreaker for district championship and runner-up; IF they lose to Stranahan, they would need a Hallandale loss to clinch a playoff berth.

Hallandale (3-1, 3-5): Can clinch district championship with win over American Heritage and Cardinal Gibbons loss to Stranahan; can force a tiebreaker with win over Heritage AND Gibbons win; needs win to avoid elimination.

ELIMINATED: Jackson (1-3, 2-6), Stranahan (1-3, 3-4), Coconut Creek (0-4, 0-8).


Glades Central (2-0, 6-2): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Clewiston.

Clewiston (2-0, 4-3): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Glades Central.

ELIMINATED: University School (1-2, 6-2), Somerset Academy (0-3, 1-7).


Edison (3-0, 6-0): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Booker T. Washington.

Booker T. Washington (3-0, 6-3): Has clinched playoff berth; can clinch district championship with win over Edison.

ELIMINATED: Monsignor Pace (1-2, 3-3), Keys Gate (1-2, 3-5), Hialeah-Miami Lakes (0-4, 1-5).


Chaminade-Madonna (3-0, 6-1): District champions.

Westminster Christian (2-1, 4-4): District runner-up.

ELIMINATED: Everglades Prep (1-2, 3-3), Somerset Charter (0-3, 3-4).


Champagnat Catholic (2-0, 8-0): District champions.

Village Academy (0-1, 2-6): Can clinch playoff berth with win over ISB.

International School of Broward (0-1, 1-7): Can clinch playoff berth with win over Village Academy.

April 05, 2016

Samuels promoted to head coach at Flanagan

The successor to Devin Bush at Flanagan has been made official, and the Falcons are staying within the family.

Stanford Samuels Jr., who served as Bush's defensive coordinator for the past three seasons, was promoted to head coach on Tuesday after Bush took a position on the football staff with the University of Michigan.

"Everybody's excited," Flanagan athletic director Al Guzzo said. "[Samuels] is excited and Coach Bush is ecstatic... this is the first branch of the Coach Bush coaching tree.

"They have a lot of similar qualities in terms of coaching style and Coach Samuels is going to bring in his own little dimension of coaching."

Bush, in a message to the Herald, said Samuels "deserves it."

Samuels will be looking to pick up right where the Falcons left off under Bush, winning the Class 8A state title.

"The goal hasn't changed. Since Day One the goal has been to win a state championship," Samuels said. 

Bush and Samuels both played their college ball at Florida State, and the similarities don't end there.

Samuels takes over in a similar situation that Bush was in last season with his son, Stanford Samuels III, a highly-touted four-star senior recruit. Bush went along with son and linebacker Devin Bush Jr. to Michigan, and Samuels isn't ruling out any possibilities in the future.

"The one thing I know for sure is that I'll be coaching," Samuels said. "Outside of that, as to where, I love Flanagan, we built a foundation there, a different atmosphere. We renamed it -- Dirty Bird Nation. With that being said, there's no place like home.

"Being honest, it is a possibility that a college job would come up, but you never can tell with those things. For me, it's just about taking care of this season."

Samuels is going on his seventh consecutive season coaching Samuels III. He coached his son at Flanagan his first three years of high school and the previous three years in optimist play.

While many dubbed Samuels the favorite for the job, Guzzo says that was not the case and he had to beat out other candidates that interviewed.

"We left it wide open. Going in, there was no clear-cut favorite," Guzzo said. "Everybody was on a level plain."

Bush put in a good word for Samuels.

"Coach Bush did a great job of making it evident that I am capable of doing it with the responsibilities he had given me the past three years," Samuels said. "I feel like the work was already put out there. You could already see the type of things I would do as the head guy."

On top of serving as defensive coordinator the past three seasons, Samuels has also dabbled with the offense and special teams at Flanagan, making it clear he was an all-around top candidate being involved in coaching all three phases of the game.

Samuels, who attended Miami Carol City, was quite the defensive back in his playing days. He may be most famous for this hit on Roscoe Parrish in a big rivalry game against the Miami Hurricanes while at FSU.


March 22, 2016

Drew White: Notre Dame commitment 'a no-brainer'

There will be no drama next season as to where St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Drew White is going.

White, who will be a senior in the fall, announced on Monday night on Twitter that he will take his football talents in the next level to Notre Dame. He spoke with the Miami Herald on Tuesday afternoon about the decision at a gathering at the Aquinas gym to announce the football team will travel to Las Vegas to play against defending national champion Bishop Gorman in September.

โ€œWhen I visited there, it really felt like home,โ€ said White, a 6-1, 225-pound three-star prospect. โ€œThe campus was beautiful and I toured all of the facilities. I got to meet with every coach and I just really felt like I would fit in well in every aspect. It was the total package between football and academics it really was a no-brainer.โ€

White, who will be looking to help the Raiders win a third consecutive state title next fall, said that committing early wasnโ€™t something he felt he necessarily had to do but just felt like he didnโ€™t need to wait any longer because his mind was made up -- as was Notre Dameโ€™s.

โ€œIt wasnโ€™t necessarily a thing where I wanted to get it out of the way early but Notre Dame has always been the school Iโ€™ve loved since I was a kid,โ€ said White. โ€œIโ€ˆgrew up watching them on TV every week so I really didnโ€™t see any reason for me to wait any longer because I knew that was the school I wanted to go to. Now I can start getting to know all the coaches and building relationships early.โ€

**Make sure to check the Herald's high school sports page later for the full story on Aquinas' announcement on the big game.


March 11, 2016

Family - figuratively and literally - a factor in James Cook's commitment to FSU

James Cook
James Cook after 2015 Class 6A state championship game. Photo: Manny Navarro.

One thing star 2019 Miami Central running back James Cook always points to when talking about Florida State is that the Seminoles feel like family to him.

The figurative notion is accurate in a quite literal sense considering his older brother, Dalvin Cook, is at FSU and one of the elite running backs in the nation.

Although he still has three more high school years between now and any kind of enrollment, James decided to announce he would be following Dalvin's footsteps to FSU with a tweet Friday morning that had -- guess who -- Dalvin's picture in it.

"When I went up, they showed me love. That gives them an edge," James Cook (5-11, 182 pounds) told the Miami Herald on Sunday before announcing any commitment. "They treat me like I'm their family. They show everybody the same amount of love."

Cook first started receiving college scholarship offers before he played a down of high school football in the spring of his eighth grade year.

"It feels great, but you can't just let that go to your head because it'll all be gone in a matter of time if you don't keep working," Cook says. "I approach it like keep working hard and I'm going to keep grinding."

On the gridiron, Cook proved his worth with the early scholarship offers. He spearheaded the Rockets rushing attack in the Class 6A state championship victory with 178 yards and three touchdowns.


Cook would become the third Central Rocket in recent memory to head to Florida State with Devonta Freeman, now with the Atlanta Falcons, preceding the Cook brothers in this pipeline that has developed.

At The Opening Miami Regionals on Sunday, where Cook won running back MVP, he said he had UM, Ohio State and Alabama alongside the Seminoles in his top.

Cook says he runs a 4.7-second 40-yard dash and hopes to get it down to a 4.4.

His freshman highlights:

Twitter: @DavidFurones90

March 10, 2016

Dunning high on LSU, wants Alabama offer


Tyler Dunning
Photo: David Furones.

Since decommitting from Miami, St. Thomas Aquinas four-star linebacker Tyler Dunning has had a new list of suitors he's surveying.

LSU, Pittsburgh, Tennessee, Kentucky and Syracuse comprise his top five of schools he currently has offers from.

"I'm looking at LSU a lot," Dunning says. "I've always liked LSU. LSU has always been that school to me, that type of school that I like."

Alabama has also begun to show interest since Dunning decomitted and coaches have told him they will swing by to check him out in the spring. Dunning says an offer from Alabama could catapult the Crimson Tide to the top of his list.

On the field, Dunning hopes to improve on his pass coverage. The 7-on-7 season will present him with the right opportunity to do that.

He likes what the Aquinas defense will be able to do next season.

"Our defense is going to be crazy," he says. "We might have cheat codes over there."

He's especially thankful for the transfer of defensive end Lashawn Paulino from Coconut Creek.

"That's my boy. He's going to make sure the O-line stays off my knees," he says.

Last season Dunning was effective on the defensive line (as seen in his highlights) from the time five-star Ohio State-bound defensive end Joey Bosa went down. He will return to his natural linebacker position for his senior season.

Twitter: @DavidFurones90

March 09, 2016

'Big chance' LB Miller commits to UM, Canes also top WR Harley's list

Miami recently lost commitments from a local linebacker and local pass catcher in Tyler Dunning and Kemore Gamble, but in-state replacements in the 2017 recruiting class could come imminently. 

Lakeland Kathleen three-star linebacker Ventrell Miller told the Miami Herald there's a "big chance" he commits to the Hurricanes, and three-star St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Mike Harley has called the Canes his clear No. 1.

Miller (6-0, 227 pounds) says he likes the new coaching staff at UM and the fact that it's a private school.

"It's a place where I can grow and develop as a linebacker," Miller says. "It feels like home, it's not far from home and they have a tendency to send linebackers to the NFL."

A notable one would be Ray Lewis, who went to his same high school. You think he's heard of him?


Miller adds he needs to take another visit to the Coral Gables campus before making any kind of decision and that UNC is the only other school in contention for his services at this time.

Harley (5-10, 170) says the Canes have topped his list for about a month now.

"Good coaching staff and it's home where my family can see me play," he says.

He doesn't know when he'll knock out a final decision, adding he's "still letting the recruiting flow through."

Harley's 21 other offers, according to 247 Sports, include South Carolina, Mississippi State, Utah, Wisconsin and West Virginia.

Harley won wide receiver MVP honors at Sunday's The Opening Miami Regionals and also impressed at the Rivals Camp the previous week.

Twitter: @DavidFurones90


March 07, 2016

Al Blades Jr. debuts his recruit diary

It's not often fans get to see high-end recruits truly open up to the world. They are mostly restricted to their responses to the basic recruiting questions -- who's in your top right now? What schools are recruiting you the hardest? Got any visits planned? When do you think you'll make a final decision?

Al Blades Jr., one of the top 2018 prospects who is already set to play in that year's Under Armour All-America game, is changing that, debuting his recruiting diaries with a comprehensive video introducing himself to the world.

Even those who are already familiar with the St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back's work will learn a lot about him by watching his in-depth video, which covers a wide range of topics.

Blades isn't sure how often he will continue putting videos out, but by the looks of the debut, it will be a series to follow throughout his recruitment.


For the link to the page, click here.

And while we're on the topic of Blades Jr., you may want to check out his sophomore highlights at University School.

Twitter: @DavidFurones90

Ohio State, Florida steady at the top for Grimes

Trevon Grimes
Trevon Grimes at The Opening Regionals at Plantation American Heritage on Sunday, March 6, 2016. Photo: David Furones.

Ohio State and Florida remain the two schools in the lead for five-star St. Thomas Aquinas wide receiver Trevon Grimes -- with OSU at the top.

The Buckeyes have been known to be the top choice for the Midwesterner from Indiana who grew up an Ohio State fan for some time.

"Since I was a freshman, they just treated me like a son," said Grimes at Nike's The Opening Regionals on Sunday at Plantation American Heritage -- where he earned a spot at The Opening in Oregon. "They didn't look at me as a recruit. They looked at me as more of a family member."

Grimes added that having Hall of Fame wide receiver and former Buckeye Cris Carter as his position coach as a freshman only added to his feelings toward the program. 

Despite everything that has pointed toward Ohio State for Grimes' services, he's still taking a good look elsewhere to assure he makes the best decision.

"Now that I have the opportunity to go there [OSU], it's like, 'Why not?' But as time has gone on, I've had a chance to look at other colleges -- Florida, Miami," Grimes says. "I know that it's a tough decision, but there are other schools in the running too."

You'll notice Grimes included UM on his own. He wasn't asked specifically about the Hurricanes. He clarified, though, that the Gators are No. 2 for him and the Canes are just one of the schools in the mix after the top two.

He first moved UF into that second spot when he took a Junior Day visit to Gainesville. The UF momentum remains since the trip in late January, which allowed him to see first-hand what his quarterback teammate, UF commit Jake Allen, means when he talks up the Gators.

"All he does is, 'Florida this, Florida that.' Now that I get a chance to actually know what he's talking about, I understand why he says the things that he does," Grimes notes. "He just says Florida has an amazing atmosphere, has amazing coaches, great facilities. Once I got up there, I walked through the doors to get there and right once I stepped in I felt love... I just felt welcome."

Of the Hurricanes, Grimes says he likes wide receivers coach Ron Dugans.

"He's a great man," Grimes says. "We sat down in his office and he didn't talk to me like a recruit, he talked to me like life lessons."

How hard will it ultimately be for any other school to beat out Ohio State?

"Pretty hard," Grimes says. "They have the lead, but nothing is impossible."

Grimes is uncertain of when he will make a final decision.

**Grimes and Allen say he will be the newly-minted No. 1 overall player in the nation in the Rivals rankings next time they are updated. As of now, he's ranked third and the nation's top receiver. He was alerted of the news on Saturday.

"I woke up, saw it and I was just amazed," Grimes says. "Hard work has paid off. I'm still speechless. It's a dream come true."

**A 6-4 receiver, Grimes models his game after someone similar in stature -- Calvin Johnson.

"Why not him? Growing up, I loved everything about his game. He's a big, tall receiver, stretches the field, deep threat guy -- huge and he's fast," Grimes says.

**While receivers like Miami-bound Sam Bruce and Michael Irvin and Illinois-bound Dominic Thieman are moving on from Aquinas, the Raiders will be reloaded once again with returning producers like Michael Harley and up-and-coming talent, including a transfer from Western in 2018 receiver Elijah Moore, a close friend to Grimes.

"I'm just looking at bringing him in, embracing him, getting him acclimated, showing him the little things," Grimes says. "I just feel me and Jake Allen's connection -- we all have an amazing bond.

"We look at each other like brothers, not teammates."

In addition, the Aquinas offense received a big transfer at running back from four-star senior Kyshaun Bryan.

Here are Grimes' junior year highlights:

Twitter: @DavidFurones90



February 23, 2016

Frierson 'blessed' to join hometown Hurricanes

Gilbert Frierson
Gilbert Frierson (Twitter)

Since putting his skills on display at the South Florida Express tryouts in January, Coral Gables 2018 defensive back Gilbert Frierson has seen his recruitment erupt with major programs from across the country offering him scholarships.

On Saturday at UM's Junior Day, Frierson got the one he was apparently looking for the whole time as it turned out to be the offer he would commit to on Tuesday -- the Miami Hurricanes.

"I was truly blessed to receive an offer from my hometown team," said Frierson, who is the cousin of another Coral Gables Cavalier turned Miami Hurricane in Frank Gore. "It felt like home.

"On Junior Day when I was out there, [defensive coordinator] Manny Diaz told me [I had an offer]. It was a great feeling."

Although early for the sophomore that measures up at 6-1 and 170 pounds, Frierson adds that "so far" he is certain UM is the school he'll sign with in nearly two years.

"Real long limbs, long arms, very rangy at that safety position or at corner. Just very instinctive," say Coral Gables coach Roger Pollard. "He's working on his speed right now running track."

In the past month, Frierson has received other offers from Alabama, Georgia, USC, LSU and Oklahoma among his 10 in total.

"The attention and all of the offers from all over the country I think is a tribute to the caliber of player he's going to be and really that he is right now" Pollard says. "I'm excited that I've got him for two more seasons."

Mark Richt has been able to recruit Coral Gables in the past with wide receiver Shaquery Wilson currently a Georgia Bulldog.

On top of being Gore's cousin, Frierson's brother is senior Gables linebacker Shakur Cooper, who signed with FIU.

"He's the youngest of a lot of talented guys to play football," Pollard said. "His football knowledge is through the ceiling."

Frierson is now one of five prospects committed in UM's 2018 recruiting class -- four of which are fellow defensive backs.

Frierson's sophomore highlights:

February 21, 2016

'The next Tyrann Mathieu,' Trajan Bandy, commits to Oklahoma

Trajan Bandy
Trajan Bandy at All-Dade interviews. Photo: Justin Azpiazu//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Four-star Columbus cornerback Trajan Bandy announced on Sunday that he committed to Oklahoma.

Coach Bob Stoops and secondary coach Kerry Cooks had their messages to Bandy appeal to him. Their persistence in his recruitment paid off.

"Coach Stoops has been in contact with me since they offered -- and also Kerry Cooks," Bandy said. "They're genuine and they are real."

The commitment comes after Bandy (5-10, 180 pounds) named the Sooners his favorite on Wednesday, according to 247 Sports. He had noted Clemson was a school he liked during his junior season.

The highly-sought prospect had offers from major programs all over the country, except -- oddly enough -- the big three schools in the state of Florida (UM, UF and FSU).

"They didn't [offer] and they will regret it -- I promise. I will never stop going in," Bandy said. "Just know this -- I will be the next Tyrann Mathieu wherever I go.

"[Cooks] said from day one they know a lot of schools overlook me, but he said he loves my style of play and he likes me a lot." 

Some of the other offers aside from Oklahoma and Clemson included Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Michigan and USC.

As for the "Honey Badger" comparison, Bandy says when he plays in tournaments teammates tell him he plays just like Mathieu. Check out his highlights and see if you think the comparison is legitimate.

February 20, 2016

Outpour of positive reaction on social media from recruits at UM Junior Day

Despite the decommitment of St. Thomas Aquinas linebacker Tyler Dunning -- one that was a foregone conclusion anyway -- new UM football coach Mark Richt's first Junior Day with the Hurricanes received rave reviews on social media from recruits.

We begin with committed four-star defensive lineman out of Fort Lauderdale Dillard, a former teammate of Dunning's in Jon Ford.

Ford wasn't the only one posing with new defensive line coach Craig Kuligowski on Saturday as he endured quite the photo shoot in front of the big U on campus based on the frequency of tweets from other recruits that took pictures with him.

Below we see Mobile (Alabama) St. Paul's Episcopal defensive lineman Ryan Johnson and Miami Carol City defensive tackle Rashad Colson with the man they call Coach Kool.

A top priority in four-star outside linebacker/defensive end out of Carol City, De'Andre Wilder, who currently lists UM as his leader, is seen here in this post by Hialeah Champagnat Catholic linebacker Donovan Georges, a 2018 prospect.

Here we see UF-committed offensive tackle Kadeem Telfort out of Miami Norland (a former UM commit) with Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson quarterback Shabazz Telfort.

One recruit who is considered a Gator lean in four-star Cocoa athlete Bruce Judson appears to have enjoyed "Miami life" with the family.

Committed linebacker out of Miami Central, Waynmon Steed, called it "home sweet home."

A trio of Brunswick (Georgia) recruits in wide receiver Shawn Smith and offensive linemen D'antne Demery and Jabori Williams had fun throwing up the U.

More reaction from Mobile (Alabama) Murphy running back Nicholas Sims, 6-6 Neptune Beach Fletcher offensive lineman Cordavien Suggs and Palm Beach Gardens athlete Amari Carter.

Under-recruited Champagnat Catholic running back Javier Zuniga, Dade County's leading rusher last season at Miami Sunset, got a chance to check out the U.

Junior Day isn't only for juniors, of course -- you already saw the high-profile Georges. Another key development on Saturday was that 2018 Coral Gables defensive back Gilbert Frierson, who lists numerous other offers from major programs got his hometown scholarship offer.

Below we see reaction from one prospect who's certain to be a top 2019 recruit in Loganville (Georgia) Grayson outside linebacker Owen Pappoe, who is throwing up the U with co-offensive coordinator and running backs coach Thomas Brown. 

Apopka 2018 athlete Steven Billings-Larson Jr., someone with incredible credentials on the field and in the classroom, said he "got to know the entire staff and received encouraging feedback from the coaches." Because he's so ahead academically, he may be able to reclassify to 2017 and would look into it if he gets a UM offer.