As the state playoffs get started this coming week across Florida, it is not only a chance for many of the south Florida teams to realize that dream of reaching Orlando, but it is also an opportunity for a number of prospects to jump on that radar screen.
With a number of players in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties still without scholarship offers, the post season is yet another avenue to showcase the talent that many of these prospect have. Additional opportunities to get film and for colleges to see what these tremendous athletes have.
"Any time you can get into the playoffs, it's a plus for any athlete," Champagnat Catholic head coach Mike Tunsil pointed out. "The playoffs also give many of these colleges a chance to see these football players against a high level of competition."
No program in this area will welcome the post season more than North Miami. The Pioneers (9-1) will head into the first round of the playoffs against Coral Gables, and one of the highest scoring large school programs in Miami-Dade features senior quarterback Hilton Joseph, who leads all of Miami-Dade County with 2,550 yards and 29 touchdowns. The 5-11, 165-pounder has been phenomenal, but yet no offers.
Joseph is not alone, teammates Victor Sam and defensive back Wesley Charles are also prospects who have flown way under the college radar, and head coach Ed Williams believes that it's time that schools step up an watch some of the more productive players in Florida this year.
"We have been saying that very few schools have the receivers and quarterback we have," Williams said. "Hilton came in last year and threw for over 2,000 yards and has repeated it again this year. Victor is baseball prospect who has also gotten it done for us with 38 catches for 680 yards."
While North Miami will attempt to give their prospects additional exposure, they are not alone. Here are 10 seniors who figure to gain more exposure by appearing in the opening round of the state playoffs:
Xavier Bailey, DB, 5-11, 175, Northwestern: Whether he plays cornerback or safety, this is really a football talent who flew way beneath the radar. A tremendous addition to the Bulls this year, there is no doubt that his play on special teams will also enhance his overall package as a recruit. Will open at Hallandale in the first round of the playoffs.
Tucker Beirne, QB, 6-2, 224, Christopher Columbus: This three-year starter truly came into his own this season and had over 100 completions and 15 touchdowns. His maturity and leadership came up big all year. Will play North Miami Beach in the opening round.
Jake Bofshever, QB, 6-2, 200, Coral Springs. One of those very impressive football players who enjoyed a huge season this year for the Colts. After working hard in the off season, he came back to throw for over 1,500 yards and direct this program to a quality season. They will face state-rated and unbeaten Flanagan in the first round of the playoffs.
Richie Cooper, WR, 5-10, 170, Hallandale: This one-time Booker T. Washington prospect has had two solid years for the Chargers as a big play receiver who has blazing speed and great hands. Figures to open some eyes in the playoffs. This is a very impressive football player who gets the job done. Hallandale hosts Northwestern in the first round.
Ellex "Pooh" Davis, WR, 5-10, 170, Monarch: This gifted athlete who really took over this year had one game where he caught 12 balls for 350 yards. He has really been a spark all season. The Knights will face Miramar in the first round.
Josmar Diaz-Martinez, DB, 5-10, 175, Miramar. Easily one of the better prospects who doesn't have any solid offers, but a good showing in the playoffs will certainly change all that. Has the chance to really make a solid impact for the "Dark Side Defense". The Patriots square off with Monarch in the first round.
Anthony Olivencia, WR/P, 6-2, 195, Killian. (PICTURED) One of the most versatile football players around. Not only did he lift the Cougars with outstanding catches, but was the leading punter in south Florida with a 45 yard average. Killian takes on Southwest Miami in the opening round.
Tovias Parker, WR, 5-11, 165, Jackson: Another very gifted football player who helped the Generals into the playoffs this season in Earl Little's first year as head coach. Has plenty of athletic ability, and while he has been offered by Appalachian State, many believe others could be on the way. Jackson opens at Naples Lely in the first round.
Deltron Sands, RB, 5-9, 180, St. Thomas Aquinas. This is a talented runner who has been in the mix for the past three years and has been a player that many have overlooked. While he hasn't been the marquee runner for the Raiders, this is a quality football talent with a chance to really show all those schools that he is indeed for real. The Raiders host Mater Academy in the first round.
Cedric Wiggins, Athlete, 6-0, 190, North Miami Beach: After playing quarterback for his 4 seasons with the Chargers, this impressive athlete has shown that he can lineup at a number of positions at the next level. The younger brother of former standout Doug Wiggins, he will have a chance to open up at Christopher Columbus.
We are always looking to help promote our area recruits for the current Class of 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. All you have to do is send a You Tube or Hudl link and information about the athlete to: Larry Blustein at Floridakids1@aol.com.
Follow Larry on Twitter at twitter.com/larryblustein.