Through the years, high school football has gotten to the point where many of the big brand labels have taken over and have moved the team concept of the game to the side of the road.
With so much individual attention being paid to athletes and not so much to the teams that they are a part of, this entire game has changed – and not necessarily in a good way.
That is why it is so refreshing when you find two well-rounded football prospects like junior Camron Davis and sophomore Nayquan Wright of defending Class 6A state champion Carol City.
Both standout football players are nationally rated and are always going to be among the best on any field they happen to stand on. But what makes these two budding “superstars” so unique is that they have fun, embrace what was provided to them and are among the best teammates on one of Florida’s top teams.
On Saturday, both were back at a place that they know very well, lining up with nearly 200 other South Florida football prospects at the Team Strong Arm 7-on-7 tryout at Betty T. Ferguson Park in Miami Gardens.
And, like they have since playing the game at the varsity level for the first time, Davis and Wright were certainly the center of attention – in the midst of some very impressive athletes.
“I love to come out here and compete,” said Davis, who not only serves as a running back, but has played linebacker and kick return specialist. “This sport is so great and we all have fun doing it.”
On this day, Davis and Wright both had the chance to play defense and made plays all day, calling out some of the premier receivers in Florida.
“You aren’t getting anything on me,” Wright said to Delray Beach Atlantic standout Corey Gammage. “Not today.”
Wright backed it up all day long – like he has since he started playing youth football.
But as talented as both are on the football field, and everyone who was on hand for the tryout will back it up, they are more applauded for being gentleman and respectful to everyone and doing well in the classroom. They are what others try and follow and want to be like.
“Camron and Nayquan do not come along often at all,” said Strong Arm Coach and Administrator Martin Maultsby. “They are very unique. The kind of young men who everyone has a positive thing to say about. A true cut above – and it starts at home.”
As Wright and Davis were dazzling all day long, there were others who also continue to turn heads as the 7-on-7 season is fully under way.
Some true head-turners who are picking up offers every day:
2019 – Jordan Battle, S, St. Thomas Aquinas: While all the fan websites follow who the coaches and other media outlets tell them to, finding athletes on your own is always great to do as well – and that’s where you find a prospect like this who has been impressive so far in the offseason.
2018 – Craig Cooper, RB, Hollywood McArthur: From Norland to Hialeah American and last year with McArthur, Cooper had a chance to show what he can do in Broward County. He is a football player that has flown beneath the radar. Cooper is fast, strong and instinctive. Could emerge into one of the elite backs for this class.
2018 – Michael DiLiello, QB, Cooper City: If you really watch and evaluate talent on the football field – instead of getting caught up in big name – this is the prospect who should be on the top of every list and every event. DiLiello was a top-7 quarterback at the Mastrole event and is as accurate and talented as any signal caller for the Class of 2018.
2018 – Lamont Finnie, Athlete, Miami Edison: Emerged this past season as one of the top football prospects around. Finnie has speed, athleticism and the will to be the best he can be for the improving Red Raiders.
2018 – Corey Gammage, WR, Delray Atlantic: One of the many head-turning players throughout the entire day, this is a prospect that we have been talking about for the past year. Gammage is a big-time receiver who has it all.
2018 – Caldarius Gaskin, WR, Delray Atlantic: Another big-time football prospect who came down for the tryout and stole the show. Gaskin is a quality pass catcher who has a wide body a solid future.
2019 – Deon Jones, QB, Miramar: The Patriots’ newest addition leaves McArthur after leading the Mustangs to a perfect 10-0 regular season, a playoff won and a district title.
2018 – Nadab Joseph, S, Miami Edison: This LSU commit burst onto the scene this past year and has not disappointed. Joseph is a big-time talent who will continue to get better.
2018 – Jermaine McMillan, DB, Miami Edison: After coming over from Miami Central in the offseason, here is a big time football talent who will only make the Red Raiders a much better program in 2017.
2018 – Derrick Nicholson, LB, Miami Northwestern: This is yet another football talent that we had out there this past year – as he starts to make a push toward jumping into the spotlight.
2018 – Kayode Oladele, DE, Miami Edison: One of the top players who is still learning about the sport, but has made major strides the past few months. Oladele is a big-time prospect.
2018 – Kewan Parker, LB, Carol City: One of the top prospects coming back at this position in South Florida. Parker is a physical playmaker who can turn a game around – like he did this past season.
2018 – Marlon Smith, QB, Miami Carol City: What a year it has been for a prospect who wasn’t even part of the Chiefs’ plans at this time a year. Smith could emerge into one of the top prospects in South Florida. He has the size, arm strength and skill level.
2018 – Dominic Watt, WR, Hollywood McArthur: Just at a different level. Watt is easily one of the premier pass-catcher around, and he continues to get bigger and better.
2018 – Steve Williams, QB, Miramar: Another of the standouts who has really picked up steam in the offseason – with outstanding performances at 7-on-7 tryouts. Williams is ready for his final season.
TALENT EVERYWHERE – AGAIN
Everyone knows by now that this part of Florida never stops – and on the last weekend of January, some of the elite football prospects anywhere took the spotlight. Here are a few of them:
2018 – Bran Alvarado, DB, West Broward
2018 – Hunter Baron, WR, St. Thomas Aquinas
2019 – Marcus Barthell, RB, Miami Edison
2019 – Brooks Brennan, DB, St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Jarvis Brownlee, DB, Hallandale
2020 – Henry Bryant, DL, Delray American Heritage
2020 – Marc Christie, LB, West Broward
2018 – Tahje Bryant, WR, Hallandale
2018 – Alec Carr, QB, Miami Norland
2018 – Nicholas Days, DB, Mourning
2018 – Henok Germain, RB, St. Thomas Aquinas
2019 – Michael Harris, RB, Miami Norland
2018 – Jamarie Harrison, WR, Miami Norland
2018 – Damon Johnson, WR, Miami Central
2019 – Jaylen Johnson, DB, North Miami
2018 – Xavier Lopez, DB, American
2019 – Estmane Lucdor, WR, Miami Booker T. Washington
2018 – Rashod Matthews, DB, Miami Norland
2018 – Davante McCrae, DL, Miami Northwestern
2018 – Seth McGill, Athlete, Miami Central
2018 – Kyle McGregor, WR, Fort Lauderdale Stranahan
2018 – Jason Mercier, DE, Delray Atlantic
2018 – Jamaree Miller, DB, Hollywood McArthur
2018 – Brian Mondesir, LB, Miami Edison
2018 – Daeqaun Nelson, S, Miami Carol City
2018 – Montrell Newton, Jr., OL, Miami Carol City
2018 – Edwin Reed, WR, Dr. Krop
2018 – Ronald Scriven, DB, Hollywood Hills
2019 – Willie Tindal, DB, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2018 – Nate Webster, S, Miami Edison
2018 – Phenol Williams, WR, Miami Carol City