As the former high school writer in Miami-Dade, I've been well aware for years now how impressive South Florida high school football players and teams are.
But sitting at home and watching Booker T. Washington take on Summerville, S.C. on ESPN this afternoon has brought a smile to my face because now I believe the rest of the country is finally finding out just how talented our local kids are.
Booker T. Washington is currently leading Summerville 22-3 with 6:50 to play in the third quarter. Canes receiver recruit Davon Johnson has looked spectacular, catching four passes for 163 yards and two scores -- in the first half. Summerville, mind you, is ranked eighth in the country according to ESPN's national rankings. Booker T. is ranked ninth.
But what I think today's game has shown is just how under-ranked South Florida athletes and teams have been over the years in team polls and recruiting rankings. This is the first time a Miami-Dade team has played on national TV. The disparity in speed in talent between BTW and Summerville is almost laughable. Booker T. is simply on another level. Cornerback Brandon Harris has completely shut down A.J. Green, considered the nation's No. 2 receiver, in their one-on-one battle.
Canes fans have to be salivating. And South Florida high school football fans have to be celebrating. South Florida area teams, which have produced more NFL talent than anywhere in the country in the last 15 to 20 years, have had very few opportunities to play in games like these. Instead, the players have had to wait until they got to the University of Miami, Florida State and Florida to shine on the big stage and deliver national championships. Then, proceed to the pros and prove it again there.
As a 305 guy, all I got to say is I'm smiling this afternoon. Way to represent BTW.