As he stepped up to do a drill, D’Sean Perry remembered what the coach had told his group 10 minutes prior.
The Gulliver Prep sophomore then proceeded to showcase his skills.
While Perry was certainly one of the big-time prospects at the U.S. National Team Regional Development Camp, he was not the only major football player that learned and impressed.
Held at the Miami Dolphins Training Facility in Davie, the event featured two days of skill development and competition, including individual drills, 1-on-1 training and 7-on-7 situations.
Hundreds of football players came from all over the state and even a few from other parts of the country to get that edge and have the opportunity to play for the USA high school all-star teams that battle against other football hotbeds around the world.
Perry is a Class of 2019 standout. Rated by many as an emerging star at defensive end – where he is nearly impossible to stop or slow down coming off the edge.
“This is a great opportunity for me to learn from these great coaches and have a chance to play for the USA,” Perry said. “The players out here are all very good and want to play at the next level, so yes; this is a great event for me to be a part of.”
Because he was just a sophomore this year, his name began to trickle out for those who didn’t have the chance to watch the Raiders play. But as we are now heading toward April, this is a prospect that everyone is finding out about, and this spring will be fun around the Gulliver Prep campus.
Perry is one of those football prospects who has the spotlight shining in his direction. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, the next year will be interesting.
The U.S. National Team event is one of 30 Regional Development Camps, spanning 21 states operated by USA Football.
One of the local coaches who has been with team USA for much of the past decade is Chris Merritt of Christopher Columbus. Merritt, who has helped in many aspects of helping to grow Team USA, was one of several local faces who were teaching the athletes during the camp.
“We had some very good local players show up and do well,” Merritt said. “The events are always well run and serve such a great teaching purpose. We have had a few players compete in the games over the years as well.”
As many youngsters and their parents are always name-conscious these days, looking for top prospects who benefitted from the U.S. National Team alumni experience.
The list, which begins with Todd Gurley, also includes Jamies Winston, Bryce Petty as well as Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis and Oklahoma running back Samaje Perrine.
Also instructing at the event was former Dolphin standout Troy Drayton, who worked with the tight ends, and was impressed by the talent.
Drayton had the chance to teach a number of youngsters plenty of technique that was part of the two days.
“These young men came here to work and that’s exactly what they did,” Drayton said. “If they come here and work for two days, they will leave with something they didn’t know when they arrived. That is a great thing.”
LOCAL ATHLETES TURNED HEADS
It always great to see how coaches from other parts of the country, come into this area, and embrace just about every player who attends.
The talent level is always going to be unreal, no matter what event you attend, and this one was certainly no exception.
Check out some of the stars who were on display:
2018 – Justin Chandler, LB, Miami Beach: One of the prospects that everyone will have to watch out for. As linebackers go, Chandler is one of the best in South Florida.
2019 – Lance Hollis, OL, Nova: Yet another former youth all-star who has found a home with the Titans as a two-year starter already. Hollis is starting to get some well-deserved recognition.
2019 – Frank Melgarejo, TE/LS, Mater Academy: One of the hardest workers you will find. Melgarejo attends everything looking for that edge. Keep your eye on his progress over the next two years.
2020 – Westley Neal, DT/OG, Gulliver Prep: Neal is big, strong, agile and very athletic. He is also going to be one of the best you will find. A former youth all-star, Neal has proven that he is going to be a star in high school.
2018 – D’andre Romero, LB/S, Miramar Everglades: Solid two-year starter for the Gators who still has the body type to play safety, but is also ready if he needs to play the linebacker position. Romero is a solid football player.
2021 – Laurence Seymour, OL/DL, Lawton Chiles Middle School: The next big time line prospect was dominating everyone he went against. With his projected path taking him to Miami Central, this is someone they will talk about for years.
2019 – Jalen Sloan, RB, Miami Palmer Trinity: Remember this name because this is truly someone on their way up. Continues to make huge strides. This is going to be a bust out season for Sloan.
2018 – Fralon Warren, QB, South Dade: Here is a player who stole the show with his athletic ability and skill level as a passer. Warren has the chance to really emerge into something special. He played at Marathon last year.
CATCHING THE EYE
There were some very impressive football players, showcasing plenty of talent over the two days. While we spotlighted a few, here are some others that will be heard from soon:
2018 – Julio Abate, WR, Miami Varela
2018 – Ismael Adam, DE/OLB, Naples Gulf Coast
2018 – Regino Alexis, DL, W. Palm Beach Cardinal Newman
2019 – Alejandro Andino, RB, Cypress Bay
2019 – Robert Boyd, OL, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2019 – Damian Deleston, FB, Jacksonville Ed White
2018 – Kaden Frost, QB, Naples Gulf Coast
2019 – Quashon Fuller, DE, South Fort Myers
2020 – Cheyenne Lecour III, DL, Mater Academy
2018 – Kenyatis Lewis, Jr., WR, Miami Sunset
2018 – Roger Lewis, WR, Davie Nova
2019 – Drew Luchey, DB, West Palm Beach King’s Academy
2021 – Kellen Madison, WR, Middle School
2019 – Dominic Mammarelli, DL, Naples Gulf Coast
2019 – Kenneth Marton, DE, Naples Gulf Coast
2019 – Shomari Mason, RB, Cape Coral Ida Baker
2018 – Louis Miele, OL, Brooksville Nature Coast
2018 – Doug Pratt, OL, Naples Gulf Coast
2018 – Jordan Presley, WR/FS, Clearwater Central Catholic
2019 – Mauricio Santamarina, LB, Naples St. John Neumann
2018 – Logan Shooster, QB, North Broward Prep
2019 – Ricky Tamis, OL, Miami Beach
2018 – Randall Taylor, OL, Naples Gulf Coast
2018 – Gregory Wilson, WR, Hialeah American
2018 – Abrian Wynn, DE/LB, Key West