November 05, 2015

Vosean Joseph, Emmett Rice prep for West Virginia visit

West Virginia will host a pair of Norland linebackers this weekend.

Vosean Joseph and Emmett Rice, currently committed to rival in-state schools in UF and FSU respectively, are traveling to Morgantown together as the Mountaineers get set to square off against Texas Tech.

Joseph says he and Rice will visit Syracuse together and likely catch the Gators play the Seminoles in Gainesville on Nov. 28 on an unofficial visit. 

South Carolina and USF are also in the hunt currently to get official visits from Joseph, the 6-2, 210-pound three-star outside linebacker.

Neither Joseph nor Rice (6-3, 195) played in Norland's season finale against Killian -- a 35-26 win at North Miami Stadium on Thursday. Joseph because of a strained left MCL, and Rice, who was not even on the sideline, for conduct detrimental to the team.

*Quarterback Rodrick Robinson, who threw for 362 yards against a tough Killian defense and had five total touchdowns (four passing), has held an offer to Florida A&M since before the season. He's also receiving interest from Southern University, Eastern Kentucky and Tennessee State.

November 03, 2015

AP Florida High School Football rankings - week 11

   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. Atlantic Community (10)                   9-0     123 T2

 2. Vero Beach (2)                            8-0     120 T2

 3. Charles Flanagan (1)                      7-1     91  4

 4. West Orange                               8-1     83  5

 5. Mandarin                                  9-0     74  6

 6. Christopher Columbus Catholic (1)         9-1     66  1

 7. Apopka                                    9-1     53  7

 8. Coral Gables                              8-0     46  NR

 9. Kissimmee Osceola                         9-1     44  8

10. Lake Brantley                             9-0     33  9

   Others receiving votes: Deerfield Beach 22, South Dade 12, Manatee 3. 

Class 7A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Dwyer (10)                                9-0     136 1

 2. Braden River (1)                          9-0     124 2

 3. St. Thomas Aquinas (3)                    7-1     118 3

 4. Columbia                                  8-1     94  5

 5. Venice                                    8-1     77  6

 6. Buchholz                                  8-1     65  7

 7. Plant                                     8-2     50  9

 8. Lakeland                                  7-2     42  NR

 9. Kathleen                                  9-1     39  4

10. Sickles                                   8-1     22  NR

 Others receiving votes: Bartram Trail 2, Plant City 1.

Class 6A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Armwood (14)                              9-0     149 1

 2. Mainland (1)                              9-1     128 2

 3. Navarre                                   9-0     114 3

 4. Charlotte                                 9-0     99  5

 5. Naples                                    8-1     97  4

 6. Miami Central                             7-2     62  6

 6. Niceville                              8-1     62  7

 8. Heritage                                  8-1     38  9

 9. St. Augustine                             8-1     37  8

10. Boyd Anderson                             8-1     13  NR

Others receiving votes: Miami Carol City 10, Mitchell 10, Pine Forest 3, Sebring 1, Ocala Vanguard 1, Lake Gibson 1.

Class 5A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Plantation American Heritage (11)         8-1     135 1

 2. Bishop Moore (3)                          9-0     129 2

 3. Jesuit                                    9-0     105 5

 4. Wakulla                                   8-1     69  6

 5. North Marion                              8-1     65  4

 6. Suwannee                                  7-1     64  7

 7. Nature Coast Tech                         9-0     57  8

 8. Hallandale                                7-2     53  3

 9. River Ridge                               9-0     50  9

10. Bay                                       8-1     22  10

   Others receiving votes: Merritt Island 11, Palm Bay 4, Ponte Vedra 3, Lemon Bay 3.

Class 4A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Raines (14)                               9-0     149 1

 2. Dunnellon                                 9-0     131 3

 3. Cocoa (1)                                 7-2     103 4

 4. Walton                                    9-0     87  5

 5. Bolles School                             8-2     84  2

   Others receiving votes: Glades Central 24, Avon Park 22.

Class 3A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Trinity Christian-Jacksonville (14)       9-0     140 1

 2. Clearwater Central Catholic               10-0    126 3

 3. Tampa Catholic                            8-1     106 5

 4. Westminster Christian                     8-1     90  4

 5. Lakeland Christian                        8-1     67  2

  Others receiving votes: Oxbridge Academy 25, Delray American Heritage 6.

Class 2A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Cambridge Christian (8)                   9-0     131 2

 2. Admiral Farragut (3)                      8-1     126 3

 3. Dade Christian (2)                        7-1     112 4

 4. Northside Christian                       8-1     78  1

 5. First Baptist                             7-1     54  NR

  Others receiving votes: Community School of Naples 46, North Florida Christian 7, University Christian 6.

Class 1A

                                              Record  Pts                                               Prv

 1. Trenton (14)                              9-0     149 1

 2. Pahokee (1)                               8-1     136 2

 3. Fort Meade                                7-1     115 3

 4. Port St. Joe                              7-1     100 4

 5. Fort White                                7-2     62  5

 Others receiving votes: Union County 20, Blountstown 12, Dixie County 6.

October 31, 2015

UM commit James Wiggins to visit Temple, more from South Dade, Homestead, Beach and Miami High

James Wiggins
James Wiggins, South Dade

Three-star South Dade defensive back James Wiggins says he's "very committed" to playing at UM, but he is planning a visit to Temple with South Dade teammate Jawon Hamilton on January 23.

Wiggins (6-0, 190 pounds) currently has Temple and Cincinnati in his top 3, and has previously listed himself as a soft commit to the Miami Herald.

*The two-star running back Hamilton is currently committed to FIU, but Hamilton (5-10, 185) insists "he is still open to recruiting." Currently Temple and Kansas are making strong plays for his services. He plans to visit the Jayhawks very soon and expects to receive an official offer.

Hamilton says, "FIU is always contacting me to show me love and that they care a lot."

Jawon Hamilton_Ivan Smith
Smith (left), Hamilton (right), South Dade

*Two-star South Dade running back Ivan Smith is planning a visit to Bowling Green in January. Smith (5-11, 175) has Bowling Green as his top choice, followed by Cincinnati and Purdue.

*South Dade offensive lineman Boman Swanson has received five offers so far. Swanson's top two are Charlotte and Southern Illinois. Swanson (6-4, 280) has already visited Southern Illinois early in the year and plans to have a final choice by January.

*Two-star 2017 South Dade offensive lineman Kyron Taylor has been reviving interest from Notre Dame and Purdue.

A Marshall commit, Taylor (6-3, 265) said, "Marshall has a great O-line and I really like coach Alex Maribel."

*Two-star Homestead linebacker Rashad Smith is still committed to playing for FAU but is being heavily recruited by Temple and Bowling Green. Smith (6-2, 190) is planning to visit Temple in December.

Smith said on why he likes FAU: "They really have a nice campus."

Jones Beach
Randle Jones, Miami Beach

*Miami Beach wide receiver Randle Jones is being sought out by Massachusetts and FAMU. Jones (6-0, 180) plans to makes his decision after a trip to UMass in December.

*Miami High linebacker Harrison "Burger" Riggins has received two more additional offers since last week, Virginia Union and Shorter University. Riggins (5-9, 175) plans to make his decision as soon as possibly mid-November.

*Miami High defensive back Desmond Fairell is being targeted by Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois is trying to get Fairell (6-1, 195) on an official visit as early as December.

Fairell said, "They have told me that I'm their number one target on their defensive back chart."

*Three-star Miami High wide receiver Keyshawn "Pie" Young will be announcing his decision much earlier than expected. Young (6-0, 190) said, "I'm going to be announcing my decision in December instead of waiting."

*Miami High running back Watraie Jones is getting interest from multiple schools -- in particular West Florida. Jones (5-9, 165) plans to visit West Florida in December after the conclusion of the season.


*All photos by Russell Quinoa//FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Ridley shines in front of Cristobal, Pierre talks UNC flip

Four-star 2016 Deerfield Beach wide receiver Cavin Ridley was happy he was able to make a few big plays down the field in a game that Alabama offensive line coach and South Florida recruiting specialist Mario Cristobal, formerly the FIU head coach, was able to catch.

Cristobal wasn't the only member of the Crimson Tide present. Ridley's older brother Calvin, already standing out with Bama as a freshman, was also there. Cavin currently has Alabama in his top three with Tennessee and Auburn.

He officially caught two balls for 48 yards and a touchdown but would've been near 150 had other catches down the field, including another touchdown, not been called back for holding.

Here's most of what he was talking about postgame in this interview where we were getting kicked off the field as the band began to play.


Off camera, Ridley added that what he likes about the Volunteers is that three receivers are leaving that could create an opportunity for an impact freshman.

"The key for me is play time, just to make a big impact right away," Ridley said.

On potentially playing together with brother Calvin, Ridley says, "It's just the best fit for me. I just have to get that feeling and feel comfortable."

He adds that Calvin can get in his ear about going to Alabama at times, but that he mostly wants him to make his own decision. 

*James Pierre got us caught up on what led him to flip his UM commitment to UNC two weeks ago.


Among the reasons Pierre switched he says are the facilities, academics and family atmosphere.

It also helps that UNC runs plenty of nickel, and that's a position Pierre could thrive in and find the field early as a nickel corner.

On the Al Golden firing, Pierre said, "I was like, 'Naw.' He's a good man, he takes care of his players, he always hangs around and makes sure that they're good. I don't know why he got fired. It's just a business, basically."

*Pierre isn't the only Buck liking the Tar Heels. Four-star 2017 wide receiver Jerry Jeudy postgame was seen wearing UNC attire under his uniform when he removed his jersey and shoulder pads.

Asked if that was a school he's interested in, Jeudy said, "That's a good school. That'll be one of the schools I'm looking to."

A junior, Jeudy says he has "no top" right now, but lists some of his top offers as Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Ole Miss, Texas and Notre Dame.

October 29, 2015

Bentavious Thompson, Daquris Wiggins true to the U no matter the coach

I caught up with a pair of UM commits from Killian after the Cougars' 25-12 win over Palmetto on Thursday.

Both 2017 running back Bentavious Thompson and 2018 wide receiver Daquris Wiggins confirmed they are sticking to their commitment to the Canes after the Al Golden firing and will stay no matter who the next coach may be.

Here's a look at everything they had to say in this postgame video interview, including talk on their big rivalry game win and clinching at least a three-team tiebreaker for District 16-8A.


Roy Baker talks Buffalo commitment, more recruiting news from American

Jamal Smith Dawun Hylton
Jamal Smith (left) and Dawun Hylton (right).

Two-star American defensive back Roy Baker has committed to Buffalo.

"Buffalo has a great defense, and I can't wait to start," Baker said.

Baker (6-2, 180 pounds) is planning to visit the campus some time in November. Baker's second option was N.C. State and he has also received interest from Temple and Wisconsin.

*Two-star ranked defensive back Dawun Hylton has received 14 total offers. Hylton (6-0, 175) currently has Cincinnati No. 1, followed by Indiana and Illinois.

Hylton says, "I really like Cincinnati coach Steve Clinkscale a lot."

Hylton wants to decide on where to commit after the season.

*Three-star defensive end Jamal Smith is being heavily recruited by multiple schools, including Pitt and Oregon State, as well as state schools USF, FIU and FAU.

Smith said, "Pitt has really great defense and Oregon State is a really good school overall."

Smith (6-2, 225) wants to start narrowing his choices after the season and believes he will commit in late December.

*Three-star 2017 wide receiver Anthony White Jr. has 10 offers. His top 4 include Illinois, Syracuse, N.C. State and Kentucky. White (6-0, 170) is planning to go to a Syracuse game this season.


Recruiting picture taking shape for Booker T. Washington standouts

*Senior receiver Darrius Scott is committed to FIU and also has an offer from Temple. His commitment to FIU is “pretty hard.” Scott had five catches for 94 yards and one touchdown in the first half of Booker T. Washington’s 50-12 win over Edison Thursday night.

*Fellow senior receiver Raymond Flanders has an offer from Cincinnati but he is not committed anywhere yet. Flanders is also receiving interest from UF, Marshall and Appalachian State.

*Quarterback Daniel Richardson is just a freshman, but he’s already received offers from FIU and FAU. Richardson threw for four touchdowns and 270 yards on 15-of-21 passing in the first half against Edison.

*Sophomore defensive end Jaquan Beaver has offers from UM, Cincinnati, FIU, FAU and Ohio. He is also receiving interest from Notre Dame. Beaver’s top three in order right now are UM, FAU and FIU. Beaver dominated Edison’s offensive line Thursday night, recording two sacks and a forced fumble for the Tornadoes.

*Junior defensive back Dedrick Mackey has offers from USF and FAU. The Owls are his favorite at this point. Mackey doesn’t plan to commit any time soon.


Plantation rich with under-the-radar prospects

The Plantation Colonels aren't 7-2 by accident.

While they may not have a slew of highly-touted college football recruits like most of the schools that can hang with the competition in South Florida, a stacked group of under-the-radar prospects mixed with the stellar tutelage of coach Steve Davis has Plantation rolling. The two losses thus far -- to St. Thomas Aquinas and Flanagan, two legitimate state title contenders in Class 7A and 8A respectively.

The Colonels are coming off a big 23-14 victory against Dillard that saw UM defensive line coach Randy Melvin present -- probably to look at Dillard defensive tackle Aaron Thompson, but hopefully he came away with some of Plantation's prospects, as well. FIU was also represented on the sidelines.

Let's take a look at the talent this team possesses, mostly on defense, but I'll first spotlight a few key offensive playmakers in Davis' Wing-T attack.

With the Wing-T being a run-first system, players that may project as receivers don't get many chances to show what they can do when the ball's in the air, but that didn't prevent sophomore tight end Robzel Sylvester from scoring two touchdowns of 50-plus yards in last Friday's victory against a tough Dillard team.

Sylvester says the offense runs the waggle off play action looking for him over the top of the defense once or twice a game, and he made the most of his two chances against the Panthers. He similarly caught a pair of scores against Everglades earlier in the year.


Sylvester is mostly known for his run-blocking abilities in Plantation's scheme, but the big-bodied tight end (6-3, 220 pounds) can also extend the field and get open deep as he's proven. A 2018 prospect, he is yet to draw interest from college programs but has UM as his dream school.

*At running back, sophomore Jordan Johnson (5-10, 190) will be one to watch in the future. He leads the way in the Colonels' rushing attack with senior Maurice Lawrence not far behind. Quarterback Archie Banton orchestrates the Wing-T for Plantation.

Banton has received interest from Florida A&M and Delaware State while Johnson, a 2018 recruit, is rumored to already have UM looking at him.

Now to the defense where Plantation has a number of players that could make an impact at the next level.

*Senior linebacker Malik Jones (6-0, 210) had an interception, sack and another tackle for loss in the 23-14 victory against Dillard, leading the way for a defense that recorded nine sacks.


Jones is currently hearing from Illinois, Purdue and Cincinnati but is yet to receive his first offer, which is a travesty for such a talented linebacker with good size who can run well.

*His brother, Tyrik Jones, a 6-3, 230-pound defensive end/linebacker had a pair of sacks in that game and currently has an impressive list of schools looking at him like UF, FSU, Kentucky, Missouri, Oregon State, Louisville, South Carolina, Pittsburgh and Delaware State.

*Deland Rock-Johnson recorded a late safety that clinched Friday's win. At 6-1, 210, he has heard from Missouri, Purdue and FAU.

*Senior cornerback Justin Lyle already lists a Toledo offer and has also received interest from Cincinnati and Indiana.

*Another talented 2016 defensive back, Jacques Tanelus, has UF, Illinois and Delaware State recruiting him.

*Big 6-5, 265-pound defensive tackle Robert Hawkins, who doubles as an offensive lineman, has been contacted by UM, Purdue and Penn State.

You can catch the Colonels at home in a neighborhood rivalry game against South Plantation at 7 p.m. on Friday.


Inside The Huddle - Northwestern Bulls

Wednesday, I got a chance to catch up with the Northwestern Bulls, who have a big game with playoff implications Friday night at Traz Powell with the Carol City Chiefs.

I spoke with coach Max Edwards and sophomore cornerback Thomas Burns, whose mother tragically passed away earlier this week. It figures to be an emotional week for the Bulls.