As we headed around to several schools over the past week, we are finding that college coaches are traveling throughout South Florida to see if they can find a player or two who will help their respective programs.
Spring football has become big business for the colleges and universities who make this area of the country a priority every May. The state of Florida – South Florida in particular – has the athletes that can come in and make an impact right away.
That is why schools from California to Maine believe that a trip to the 305 and 954 are essential during the spring month.
Following spring football since it began, what it has now become is an extension of the season that preceded it. Very few athletes use spring to get in shape. That is what they’ve been doing for the past five plus months since the end of the 2016 season.
What spring has become for so many under-the-radar prospects is a way to jump on the map. A chance to prove to college coaches, who come down to this area in record numbers, which you are being overlooked and deserve a scholarship offer.
As many of our athletes have been busy since the end of the season, getting in shape, competing in 7-on-7 events, camps and combines, the focus has never gone away from the sport of football.
It is no longer unusual to have football events during basketball, wrestling, track and baseball seasons. This year-round business has no end.
There’s too much at stake.
Football has become a such a financial win/win for so many, they depend on football players doing this year round – and they do.
It has become like AAU basketball and travel baseball and softball in many ways. The scholarships are what is at the end of the rainbow.
Because we have the opportunity to travel across the state of Florida, watching and evaluating talent, it makes it easier for us to know which prospects in our region have that realistic chance to get to that next level.
We will continue to bring you information about players and teams over the next four months – bringing you up close with the newsmakers in South Florida.
As we do each week – throughout the course of the season – we bring you football players to keep an eye on. This week, we give you six more athletes to check out and keep an eye on:
2018 – Jordan Chambers, OLB/S, 6-0, 212, Davie Western: Chambers is one of the most overlooked prospects on a team that is certainly expected to make a huge run at a district title. After making the playoffs a year ago, a standard has been set and Chambers is one of those prospects that head coach Adam Ratkevich and Wildcats will be counting on. He is a defensive playmaker who is versatile and very talented. Chambers is one those athletes this team will need to be successful.
2018 – Mo Francois, QB, 6-1, 185, Fort Lauderdale Dillard: Since he arrived on campus four years ago, here is a player that coaches and players were talking about. Francois is a physical football player with a tremendous arm and plenty of athleticism. If you follow the quarterbacks in South Florida, you know Francois could be the most overlooked. But that should all change this spring when college coaches have the chance to watch him. This Panther team that is still very talented and loaded with prospects. Keep an eye on Francois this coming year.
2018 – Travis Lathan, DB, 6-1, 160, Miami Palmetto: Yet another new face comes aboard for Palmetto as its goes after another state playoff appearance. Lathan is a very impressive and athletic secondary performer who has the opportunity to jump into the spotlight this spring and into the summer. He fits right in with a program that has plenty of athletes on both sides of the ball. Lathan is expected to make a huge impact this season, one that could land this program right back in the playoffs in a very competitive and talented district.
2018 – Daequan Nelson, S, 5-9, 171, Miami Carol City: No matter where he goes, this is a very impressive football player. One of the hardest working prospects in the class – and whether it’s in a practice, game, combine, camp or 7-on-7 event, Nelson is always stepping his game up to get noticed. He is another of those defending state champions that return with plenty to offer. Nelson is very physical and skilled.
2018 – Avery Thornton, CB/WR, 6-1, 180, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson: When we first began watching this impressive football prospect, he was a backup quarterback – trying to learn and get a chance to show his skills. Fast forward two years and this two-way threat is really starting to put himself on the map. When the spring rolls around, look for Thornton to be watched and evaluated by college coaches like never before. He may be the sleeper in this class and could end up being the talk of May.
2019 – Darius Williams, LB, 6-0, 210, Miami Norland: There is no disputing the fact that the Vikings have produced as many defensive standouts over the past four years as just about any team in South Florida. There were numerous big-time collegiate prospects that began their careers at the school. With Williams, they feel they have another great player who will make a huge impact this coming season. Even before spring arrived, colleges were already watching and appreciating the things he does. He is quick, strong, athletic and instinctive. Watch and see for yourself this spring and summer.