Plantation American Heritage 2017 cornerback Marco Wilson has already made one incredible catch this spring that went viral -- a one-hander while doing a backflip on the run in the end zone.
On Thursday he was right back at it with a 540 behind-the-back catch in response to another video that began circulating around the Internet of a player catching two balls one-handed while performing a backflip.
Here's a Vine of the catch that Wilson was responding to. The player in the video is North Carolina A&T running back Tarik Cohen.
While impressive, Cohen is standing still and not on the move like Wilson is in both of his catches. It also appears like the balls coming at Cohen came off a Juggs machine, so he knows exactly where they're going to end up.
Wilson already lists several major Division I offers and is the brother of current Florida Gator Quincy Wilson.
What catch do you think takes this battle: Wilson's 540? Cohen's double one-handed backflip? Or Wilson's original backflip catch?
Miami Jackson athlete Desmond Phillips announced on Monday that he has committed to Toledo.
The Generals left-handed quarterback in the Class of 2016 is listed as an athlete on recruiting services at 5-10 and 170 pounds and had a total of 14 offers including others from Cincinnati, FIU, Marshall, Pitt, USF, Syracuse and Temple.
The announcement came a day after he had decided on a top three of Cincinnati, USF and Syracuse. The latter two have started showing interest recently.
"My commitment is solid with Cincinnati," says the 6-4 Parchment. "If other schools come in, I'll cross that bridge at a later time. As of right now, I'm all Cincy."
Teammate and rising senior cornerback Darrell Malone, who is good friends with Parchment, was close to committing to Cincy along with Parchment Wednesday, but added interest from Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Indiana after Cypress Bay's spring scrimmage Tuesday had him hold off on a decision.
Coconut Creek hosted its spring game against South Dade and anyone who’s anyone in college football had a coach at the game.
More than 20 college football programs were represented. A full list of schools I saw watching the action is listed at the bottom of the post.
When a team has a pair of highly-sought-after four-star rising seniors like cornerback Trayvon Mullen and wide receiver Binjimen Victor, you can understand why there were so many followers.
With Victor scoring twice and Mullen scoring another touchdown, the Cougars’ stars shined as Coconut Creek took the exhibition against South Dade 21-14.
Victor was phenomenal in one-on-one situations. It was clear it was going to be difficult for South Dade to cover him from the start, especially with top Bucs recruit James Wiggins, a UM commit, held out of the game.
Victor went to fade routes again and again and it was simply too easy for the 6-4 receiver to go up and get the ball over smaller defenders. Both his touchdowns came in the second half.
Mullen (pictured to the left) was in shutdown corner mode. Whatever receiver he was matched up against didn’t stand a chance of getting open. He’s too quick, long and turns his hips like the elite cover corner he is.
Mullen made a spectacular touchdown catch on the final play of the first half after quarterback Jhakari Harrison threw a backward pass to Malek Young, who then launched it more than 50 yards to a diving Mullen in the end zone.
Young, a Georgia three-star DB commit in the Class of 2016, also had a fumble recovery and was active on defense.
2017 defensive end Lashawn Paulino has a very impressive frame to grow into at 6-4 and 220 pounds and certainly looks the part of the prototype end in college. He lists a Temple offer and is sure to add more very soon.
Here’s everything Mullen and Victor were talking about after the game. Both are wide open in their recruitment with offers from essentially every program in the nation.
While most of the college coaches showed up to see Creek’s stars and Wiggins out for South Dade, they still had to come away impressed with several South Dade prospects, especially when the Bucs built a 14-0 lead in the first half.
Wiggins, who is committed to UM, was held out as a precaution after he clashed knees with a teammate at a recent practice.
Coach Nate Hudson says UM loves “his athleticism – similar to things we want to do – attacking the ball, his IQ of the game. He’s a sponge. He’s an athlete.”
Running back Jawon Hamilton excelled early on when South Dade was building its lead. He scored a touchdown and had a few other long runs, showing a quick burst and ability to accelerate and create separation from a chasing defender.
There’s no question Hamilton was aided by a strong, fundamentally sound offensive line, specifically the right side of it with 2016 tackle Boman Swanson (6-4, 245) and 2017 guard Kyron Taylor (6-1, 275).
Hudson says Swanson’s patience in essentially redshirting two seasons ago has paid major dividends for him in his development. Colleges are noticing, and reports state that Taylor is receiving UM interest.
Darnell Durham, a 2017 wide receiver who only stands at 5-8, made an impressive leaping catching against a Creek defender in the end zone for a South Dade touchdown.
Another pair of rising juniors at DB for the Bucs had interceptions in the end zone in Marquise Parnell and Woobendy Guerrier.
COLLEGES IN ATTENDANCE:
Miami, FSU, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Clemson, Texas, Michigan, Louisville, Maryland, West Virginia, Minnesota, Cincinnati, FAU, Temple, Ohio, Florida A&M, West Florida, Liberty and Prairie View A&M
I got a chance to pass by Fort Lauderdale High on Tuesday to watch the Flying L’s Blue and White Game and was impressed by several of their athletes.
First, 6-4, 225-pound Class of 2016 defensive end Jaquwan Nelson was absolutely dominant in his pass rush and has a solid frame to build upon at the next level.
The three-star UM commit with active hands off the edge demands a double team. One blocker isn’t enough to contain him as a quick and forceful rip move swiftly gets him past linemen. I counted at least three times that he busted through for a “sack” (no contact on the quarterback).
Nelson spoke with me about what it meant to him to get that offer from the Hurricanes at UM’s Junior Day and how he reacted.
“It was a dream come true. I always wanted to play for UM as a little kid,” Nelson said. “My heart was pumping. My reaction was outrageous. I didn’t know what to do.”
Nelson lists himself as a “very solid” commit but is keeping his options open. He put his commitment status at 90 percent.
Nelson (pictured in three-point stance below) says the other schools that make up the remaining 10 percent would be Florida State, Notre Dame and Oregon State. Of those, Oregon State has offered while he says he’s heard from the other two but they are not showing too much interest.
Dallas Jeanty, a three-star 6-1, 220-pound linebacker is urging to get a Hurricanes offer and join Nelson in the Canes’ 2016 class, as well as several other close friends in the class.
“I’m the biggest Miami fan on the planet. I’ve wanted a Miami offer forever,” says Jeanty, who currently lists 34 other offers.
He says if he got the UM offer, he would “definitely commit on the spot.”
As for now, Jeanty (pictured behind Nelson to the left) says Oregon State is his leader followed by Cincinnati and Army.
With a 3.9 GPA and a 1260 on the SAT (reading and math), he has been offered by all eight Ivy League schools. He wants a competitive school both in academics and in football, so that’s another reason why the Miami offer is so important to him. He’s also hopeful for a Notre Dame and USC offer.
Another solid-looking linebacker for Fort Lauderdale who is not getting the recruiting attention is 5-11, 210-pound 2017 prospect Darryl Weaver.
Weaver showed tremendous instincts getting to the ball and hits hard with good form when he tackles. He also had a fumble recovery in the scrimmage.
Kevin Thomas, a defensive back who was playing some outside linebacker on Tuesday, scooped up a fumble recovery for a touchdown on a backward pass.
Cornerback Duwan Smith is very good in coverage and reacts well with quick hips.
USF, Minnesota, Akron and Navy all had coaches at Fort Lauderdale's spring scrimmage.
There's a lot of recruiting activity brewing out of Cypress Bay as spring comes to its conclusion for the Lightning.
All you had to do was look at how many colleges were represented at Cypress Bay’s spring game on Tuesday to identify how much interest there is in the Lightning’s prospects.
Georgia Tech, Duke, USF, Illinois, Indiana, Cincinnati, Syracuse and Bowling Green all had coaches in Weston on Tuesday.
Jake Lichtenstein (6-5, 235 pounds), a Class of 2017 defensive end, is a hot prospect due to his obvious size, motor and long arms.
Lichtenstein lists a recent offer from Louisville as his first but has also drawn significant interest from the hometown Miami Hurricanes and he says he is a big fan of the U.
How would he react if UM offered him?
“I’d probably commit,” says Lichtenstein, who is also being recruited by Auburn, Virginia and UCF. “I’ve always liked UM – hometown team, family can show up to watch. That’s a dream.”
Cypress Bay coach Mark Guandolo has been impressed with Lichtenstein – and not just for his play on the gridiron.
“He’s put on a lot of weight in the offseason program, he’s got a 4.5 GPA, he’s an all-around great kid,” Guandolo says.
Andrew Parchment, a three-star 2016 wide receiver, has announced a top three of Cincinnati, USF and Syracuse – in that order. Immediately after the scrimmage, he had a different third team, but after being contacted by Syracuse later Tuesday, the Orange are gaining momentum in his recruiting picture.
“Cincinnati, right now, has to be my No. 1 offensive-wise and because they have a bunch of South Florida guys,” says Parchment, whose name on Twitter is OchoCinco and his cover photo is one of Chad Johnson (or Ochocinco) in a Cincinnati Bengals uniform.
For now, Parchment tentatively says he will announce a commitment on Twitter at 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
At the scrimmage, his size at 6-4 was evident and he also displayed a keen sense of route-running and sharp change of direction. He stopped on a dime in the end zone on a comeback route to catch a touchdown at the pylon.
Parchment and 2016 cornerback Darrell Malone are close friends, both have offers from Cincinnati and could see themselves playing together at the next level.
“That’s one of my best friends on the team, so me and him have been talking about it for a little bit,” Parchment says.
Malone, also a three-star at 5-11, 165, was a shutdown corner on defense and also got in offensively to show his burst and run in a touchdown on a sweep.
He had thoughts of announcing a commitment on Wednesday but interest from Georgia Tech, Syracuse and Indiana after the scrimmage has him holding off for the time being.
“They’re great players, good team guys, hard workers, very talented, very tough competitors,” Guandolo says. “They’re going to be ready to play early.”
--Middle linebacker Robert Pitter was an “animal” tackling, as Guandolo put it. Pitter, the Lightning’s leading tackler, is undersized at 5-9, but he more than makes up for it with how strong he plays and how he knifes through the line to make tackles for loss. Guandolo compared him to former Cypress Bay linebacker Nico Marley, who is now at Tulane.
--Rising junior FB/DB Danny Montoya was a workhorse back in the scrimmage and reeled off some impressive runs. He’s receiving interest from Ivy League and Patriot League schools.
James Pierre, a three-star defensive back out of Deerfield Beach, orally committed to UM Monday evening after receiving an offer earlier Monday.
The 6-1, 175-pound safety becomes the 21st commitment of the Canes’ 2016 recruiting class and sixth defensive back, joining Tyler Byrd (Naples), Devin Gil (Pembroke Pines Flanagan), Deion Jackson (Hallandale), James Wiggins (Homestead South Dade) and Cedrick Wright (Miami Gulliver).
UM will have safeties Deon Bush and Dallas Crawford go into their senior seasons in the fall while juniors Jamal Carter and Rayshawn Jenkins have two years of eligibility remaining.
The Canes had four freshman defensive backs – safety Robert Knowles and cornerbacks Sheldrick Redwine, Michael Jackson and Terrance Henley – enroll on Sunday while safety Jaquan Johnson enrolled in the spring.
Pierre, the nation’s 27th-ranked safety according to Rivals, had other notable offers from Wisconsin, West Virginia, North Carolina, Mississippi State, Kentucky, Syracuse, Cincinnati and FIU.
It’s clear that coach Javier Valdes is the right man for the job at Coral Reef.
With two years of head coaching experience building Mater Academy’s program to the point of its first playoff appearance last season, Valdes takes over at Coral Reef, a program that has seen success in recent years but then fell on tough times with a 2-8 season in 2014.
A new coach, a new district (15-8A) and solid prospects in a talent-rich neighborhood in the south has football at the Reef back on the rise.
“The guys have already taken into the culture and the mentality that we’re trying to build and are working really hard,” Valdes says. “I feel like there’s a lot of talent here that was untapped, and I think if you give them the system, they buy in and they work their tail off, they start building championship habits. Good things are going to follow.”
--Harvey Clayton Jr., a 2016 athlete who already lists offers from Louisville, Temple and Alcorn State, tops the senior class for the Barracudas.
At 6-2, 185 pounds, he already has ideal size and ball skills to translate to a cornerback that could match up with possession receivers at the next level.
Offensively, he lines up at wide receiver and can go up and get a ball over a defender in single coverage – like he did at one point in the end zone in Saturday’s scrimmage.
“We’re expecting a lot of big things from him – not only as a leader on the field – but as a playmaker,” Valdes says. “I think Harvey gives us an X-factor any time we line up on Friday nights.”
N.C. State, Miami and Cincinnati have also shown interest recently.
--2017 linebacker/safety Colvin Alford received his first offer from Temple on Tuesday and has received interest from the likes of Nebraska, Florida, Miami, USF, N.C. State, FIU and FAU.
After watching him, it’s obvious why so many schools like him as he heads into the summer between his sophomore and junior years. At 6-0 and close to 200 pounds, Alford presents Coral Reef with versatility on defense both at linebacker and safety. He had an impressive interception on a poorly thrown ball at the scrimmage.
“Dynamic playmaker, he’s got a physical presence but he’s athletic enough to cover at safety or outside backer,” Valdes says. “He makes plays in the box, he makes plays all over the field. Eventually he’ll be making plays with the ball in his hands.
Alford lists Nebraska as an early front-runner once he gets an offer from the Corn Huskers.
--Brian Castro, a 2016 leader on the offensive line at 6-2, 250 was a beast on Saturday.
“Real smart football player and student,” Valdes says. “He plays physical and is the leader of the offensive line, brings the nastiness and is going to help our power run game.”
--Randy Shannon Jr. was out on the field playing middle linebacker and wearing his father’s old No. 22 that Randy Shannon wore as a Hurricane.
With his father now the defensive coordinator with the Florida Gators, one might assume he may end up at UF – if not through scholarship, as a preferred walk-on – but Valdes says the scholar athlete who brings “a calming presence” to the defense will likely go a separate route.
“They don’t want to play for each other; they’re going to make it their own way,” he says – a notion that Shannon Jr. himself confirmed to me.
Shannon Jr., a 6-0, 215-pound 2016 prospect, has seen interest from FIU, FAU, Buffalo, Georgetown, Cornell, Colgate and Fordham.
--Coral Reef has a slew of talented 2018 prospects that its new coaching staff can surely build upon. There’s quite a few to list, but two that really stood out to me were running back Jordon Donaldson and lineman Jaylaan Williams.
Donaldson possesses the vision, burst and ability to make sharp, quick cuts. Williams is an absolute monster at 6-3 and weighs between 280 and 290 as he wraps up his freshman year; he was seen lining up at left tackle.
--2016 RB Mehki Ervan runs with a low center of gravity at 5-7 and can run a defender over if he doesn’t meet him with proper technique. He also has great footwork.
Coral Reef will hold its spring game on Wednesday against Edison at Harris Field.
Miramar held its spring classic on Friday afternoon, and by watching the kids play and the coaches conduct the scrimmage, you couldn’t tell this is the same team that had to forfeit its playoff game last season due to sanctions by the FHSAA for an academic scandal.
Former Booker T. Washington defensive line coach Pierre Senatus has taken over as head coach, cleaned up the program, brought his winning mentality to a program that has seen plenty of winning and the scandal is behind the Patriots.
I’ll have more on how Miramar has moved on from that in the coming week, but first let’s focus on some of the athletes that stood out, some of which have had to wait their turns to finally blossom because of the players they've been behind on the depth chart in past years.
--I was very impressed with 2017 safety Brian Edwards, who already looks like a college safety on the field. He showed great range in his pursuit, going from sideline to sideline.
Syracuse was impressed too. With a coach at the scrimmage, the Orange offered him Friday. Edwards added to an offer sheet that includes UM, Clemson, Cincinnati and interest from South Carolina and Alabama among others.
--A pair of 2016 Patriots were offered by Coastal Carolina on Thursday in defensive end Terrell Lucas and offensive lineman Obinna Nwankwo.
Lucas is already 6-2, 231 and has a tremendous motor off the edge. Nwankwo is 280 pounds and paves a hole with force when a runner gets behind him.
--Miramar’s projected starter at quarterback, senior University School transfer D’Angelo Fulford, looked smooth with his delivery, flashed a gifted arm, showed some escape ability and stood even taller than his impressive 6-1 frame in the pocket.
All he needs to do is continue to learn the Patriot’s tempo offense and put the right touch on his deep ball to connect with his speedy receivers.
--Fulford connected with 6-4 senior receiver Kyle Anthony for two touchdowns at the scrimmage. Anthony displayed tremendous rapport with Fulford, ability to go up and use his body to get the ball as a possession receiver, and Senatus said he also has developed chemistry with Caleb Thomas when he is at quarterback.
Anthony picked up three offers at the FIU scrimmages last weekend – Colgate, Florida A&M and Alcorn State – and is getting looked at by “all the HBCUs and all the Ivy League schools,” according to Senatus, but one would imagine his recruitment will explode in not time with his size and skill set. Anthony has a 5.0 grade-point average to go with all his tools on the field.
“His skill set, his speed, he has that tremendous ball radius, phenomenal burst, great route-running, great ball recognition,” Senatus says. “We feel we have one of the top receivers in the state of Florida right now.”
--Senatus calls 2016 cornerback Korel Smith “the honeybadger.” At the scrimmage, he presented his ball skills with an acrobatic interception in the end zone in single coverage.
--Senatus added that the cornerback combination of Smith and 2016 recruit Shemar Jean-Charles is one of the top tandems in the Southeast United States.
--Linebacker Deshondre Pitts is a beast at linebacker, shedding off blocks in the box and ripping through the line for tackles for loss. Pitts is also a captain on defense and earns the praise of both Senatus and defensive coordinator A.J. Scott.
“He has some of the highest football IQ that you’ll see in the United States. He is a coach on the field. He’s our field general,” Senatus said. “The intensity and the tenacity that you’ll see him bring on the field is some of the best that you’ll see in the country.”
*Pitts is driving the Miramar equipment crew crazy, breaking his own facemask and the facemask of a teammate running back all in the past week.