In our ongoing series about the football prospects in South Florida, we have explored positions such as the offensive line, running backs and the impressive receivers.
We have also touched on the defensive linemen, linebackers and outstanding group of secondary standouts as well.
So, other than special teams’ prospects, the one position that we have not gotten to is often the one that comes under the largest microscope possible. Welcome to the world of the quarterback.
Without hesitation, this is a position where you can get five different coaches and analysts who will have five different opinions on any given South Florida-bred athlete.
The quarterback position is the one area where the best region for football talent in the nation, has fallen behind other part of the country. In fact, you can really talk about the greats to play the position over the years, and be done very quickly.
There are many reasons why this area doesn’t produce the staggering numbers of pro-style signal callers they churn out in other areas of the country.
My take, and the opinion of many, is several of the football prospects who are the quarterbacks on their teams, are actually tremendous athletes, playing multiple positions and never had that time for the formal training and experiences that the pure quarterback go through.
Another reason is that this is NOT a national spotlight for the position. Very rarely do you have a national competition in Florida (outside of Orlando and ,most kids are not from Florida). So, if a generation doesn’t grow up watching elite quarterbacks, they won’t have the interest in playing the position after high school. There are exceptions to the rule – but there are exceptions to every rule.
But this all may be changing. Unlike a few years ago – where you had a few well-known instructors who were teaching and attempting to elevate the position – today, everyone who played the position somewhere down the line, is coaching and teaching. That appears to be the way we will have more quarterbacks who want to play the position – instead of those doing it because they are the best athletes.
What the 2017 season will produce is a group of youngsters who are getting better, paying more year-round attention to the position and actually taking their talents on the road to compete in hotbeds around the country.
With the summer approaching, many quarterbacks will have the opportunity to showcase their skill level.
Here are a few who we have watched and believe they are indeed in a group that is starting to turn things around:
2018 – Chatarius Atwell, Miami Northwestern. If coaches were to judge a football prospect – only on size and not throw everything into the evaluation – they would be missing out on perhaps Florida’s most effective high school quarterback. Nobody had more first downs or competed in more plays than this gifted young man this past year. Strong and accurate arm, great vision and quick feet. Also is as rugged as you will find at just “155 pounds”!
2018 – Roshard Branch, Plantation. The theme this spring was “who is that, Coach (Steve) Davis?” – and it happened often. Branch comes back to Plantation after a year at Dillard, and this gifted athlete is ready to take everyone by storm – like he did in the spring. Has size, athletic ability and strength – and while he is a tremendous quarterback, he should be an absolute beast at safety in college.
2018 – George Bubrick, Fort Lauderdale University School. We have all heard the story about this impressive football talent. After one school wanted him to play receiver, he moved on and stepped in last year to set records and give this program a feeling of getting back in the playoffs in 2017. Accurate arm and makes tremendous decisions. Also has outstanding size and physical skills. Will continue to blow up.
2018 – Alec Carr, Miami Norland. From Miami-Dade Christian two years ago as a quarterback/linebacker to playing in the most prospect rich football district in the nation, he showed what he was capable of last season as the Vikings started to make a major move in the “SEC” of high school conferences. Very accurate and is not easy to bring down. He is exactly what this program needed.
2019 – Curt Casteel, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. One of the best quarterback prospects in the country in his class, very few had the offseason that this young man had – winning MVP and setting standards ant combines and 7-on-7 events. This is a talent who has two full seasons left to help this quality program realize goals.
2018 – Michael Cox, Jr., Miami Southridge. After winning two district titles, one with Sunset, and an 8A crown last season, this is indeed one of those winners who does not get the credit he deserves. As spring came and went, this is still a player that will begin to pick up interest. Very athletic prospect who still has plenty left in the tank.
2018 – Michael DiLiello, Cooper City. Was there any quarterback, locally, who shot up the charts like this tremendous talent did? We would think that the answer to that would be NO! A very accurate passer who will have the chance to really put himself out there with a solid senior season. Does a lot of things very well – and colleges always like that. Can’t wait to see what he brings to the table in 2017.
2018 – Beau Fillichio, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. Here is a football player who has been there from the beginning, working hard and do what has been needed to get his chance to participate. Took part in several major events in the offseason, keeping his name in the spotlight. Had a solid spring as well – with plenty of coaches looking on.
2019 – Kamran Kadivar, Fort Lauderdale Pine Crest. With the news coming down right before the Memorial Day holiday that this way under-the-radar football player would be leaving Westminster Academy and attending Pine Crest over the next two years. This is a rising quarterback who throws the ball well and does what is needed to give his team a chance to win. Will be huge for the Panthers as his strong arm will help to open the offense up.
2018 – Kyle Kaplan, Deerfield Beach. Made his move this year from Coral Springs – and fit in very well with a talented football team during the offseason and into the spring. We all watched him the past season and he is physical, has a very accurate arm and happens to pick things up quickly. Has a chance, with a solid season, to watch his stock rise. Has all the tools.
2020 – Derohn King, Sunrise Piper. There were very few freshmen in South Florida who were given the opportunity this young man did – and he responded in a major way as a freshman, leading the Bengals into the playoffs. Even though his team lost a number of key players, his maturity and overall athletic ability can carry the offense – until the less experienced players – start to catch on. Like this young man a lot!
2021 – Torey Morrison, Homestead South Dade. After ONE full season at the varsity level, this rising freshman has already proven what he can do – as he makes a move from Keys Gate Charter. What he is – from a looks and productivity standpoint – is Miami Northwestern’s quality soon-to-be four year starter, Tutu Atwell. Same body type. Same knowledge of how to move the chains and a knack of not letting the defense get good hits on him – too often. He will be a big time quarterback for years to come.
2018 – Wendell Morrison, North Miami Beach. Another of veteran head coach Jeff Bertani’s versatile quarterbacks who comes back and has a chance to be vital in a district that is very competitive. Runner, passer, field general, and one of the most productive the Chargers have had. He could be the difference in a district that only one other school returns its starting quarterback.
2019 – Daniel Richardson, Miami Booker T. Washington. Like Michael Cox of Southridge, this is the only other quarterback in the state of Florida that has two district titles and a state title – returning this season. Has turned out to be one of those elite passers who is the heart and soul of the Tornadoes’ passing game. Solid football player who heads into his third season as a varsity starter and he is already closing in some lofty records.
2019 – Jesse Rivera, Southwest Ranches Archbishop McCarthy. There are some very impressive quarterback prospects coming up that many have not had the chance to watch. This is indeed someone who is ready to take his game to that next level. After splitting time last season, he now gets the position from the beginning – and he will showcase what many have watched and known about over the past year.
2018 – Yanez Rogers, Jr., Pompano Beach Blanche Ely. While one long TD run does not define how good a player is, it certainly shows how impressive he can be – and Rogers is indeed one of those unique football players, who can use his speed with his skill as an athlete, to take this quarterback thing pretty far. He is also a quality receiver and defensive back as well. Keep an eye him, there is a chance that over the next two to three years, he could explode nationally!
2019 – Nik Scalzo, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons. If the first year of what this young man did for this program was a preview of things to come – you may have to start making more room in the trophy case. This is easily be one of the best overall quarterbacks in South Florida. Runs, passes and moves the chains. Very smart football prospect who loves the game and is as competitive as anyone we have watched.
2018 – Marlon Serbin, Weston Cypress Bay. After a solid junior season for the Lightning – coming in from Mater Academy the year before – this is a prospect who really had the chance to turn his talent level up a few notches. Had a solid offseason – and was watched plenty during the spring by several colleges. Is also an excellent student in the classroom, attracting Ivy League attention as well.
2018 – Cam Smith, Plantation American Heritage. The Patriots are hoping that this impressive athlete can fit in and lead this program back to defend its 5A state title. Coming from its sister school in Delray Beach, Smith is very athletic, has a very good arm and is mobile – which this program has counted on over the past five seasons. Another quarterback who will be matched against some impressive talent in 2017.
2018 – Marlon Smith, Miami Carol City. When several college coaches came through in the spring to watch, it was yet another group that had the chance to see a quarterback who burst onto the scene this past season – for the first time. In helping lead the Chiefs to the 6A state championship, Smith passed and ran his team to a title. Has everything you are looking for in a quarterback prospect. Everyone who comes down to see, loves him.
2018 – Harrison Story, Davie Western. After a huge junior season, and total concentration on football, this is one of those rising seniors who will really be fun to watch. Strong arm, quick on his feet and rarely gets sacked. Is a leader. One that the Wildcats needed. Saw plenty of attention from college coaches who came through in the spring. Has additional receivers to throw to now.
2019 – JuZion Wade, Hialeah. For those who have watched him over the past year, this is one of those fast-rising talents who is accurate and has a strong arm. One of the prospects who drew plenty of praise at camps, combines and 7-on-7 events. The T-Breds like what they have in this outstanding prospect. Enjoyed a productive spring.
2018 – Steve Romelo Williams, Mater Academy. After two seasons at Everglades and Miramar, this accurate passer now takes his talents to Hialeah Gardens – where there is plenty of talent for the defending district champions. With a number of quality talent around him, he has the chance to be very special in 2017. Showed plenty of arm strength last season for the Patriots.
2018 – Antoine Wright, Jr., 6-4, 195, South Miami. One of the prospects who hasn’t received the attention in the past, but that should change with a productive offseason and with some new faces who are playing for the Cobras. Was very good the times we had the opportunity to watch.
HERE ARE SOME MORE STANDOUTS
In what is looking like a promising season ahead, here are some others that are expected to be in the mix in 2017:
2018 – Bailey Aleman, 6-2, 215, Miami Ferguson
2018 – Reginald Anthony, 6-2, 175, Miramar Everglades
2018 – Anthony Arguelles, 5-11, 175, Miami Christopher Columbus
2019 – Ian Azamar, 5-11, 165, Miami Beach
2018 – Michael Baiter, 6-5, 194, Miami Westminster Christian
2018 – Malik Beckford, 6-0, 160, Coral Springs Taravella
2020 – Isaac Bernard, 5-9, 175, Miami Killian
2018 – P.J. Brennan, 5-10, 165, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
2018 – Cameron Brooks, 6-0, 180, Coral Springs Coral Glades
2019 – Demetrius Burns, 6-0, 190, Homestead Everglades Prep
2020 – Vamir Cadet, 5-11, 161, Miramar Everglades
2018 – Michael Cano, 6-0, 175, Plantation
2018 – Antonio Caraballo, 5-11, 180, Hialeah Miami Lakes
2019 – Nicholas Casares, 5-9, 155, Miami Palmer Trinity
2018 – Isaias Castellon, 6-0, 160, Miami High
2021 – Gabe Contento, 5-8, 140, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian
2020 – Anthony Cordovi, 6-0, 160, Miami Braddock
2018 – Terrence Craig, 6-0, 195, Miami Jackson
2020 – Zachary D’Amico, 6-0, 175, Coconut Creek Monarch
2018 – Cory Del Prado, 6-2, 205, Coral Gables
2018 – Quinn Dempsey, 6-0, 175, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna
2019 – Kevin Dessources, 5-11, 175, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic
2019 – David Dolcine, 6-2, 175, South Plantation
2019 – Jakari Dozie, 6-3, 170, North Miami Beach
2018 – Harrison Easton, 6-1, 180, Miami Westminster Christian
2019 – Kevaris Edgecomb, 5-11, 180, Hollywood Hills
2020 – Elliot Erickson, 5-11, 155, Miami Christopher Columbus
2019 – Jonathan Cotto, 5-11, 180, Hallandale
2019 – William Ferreira, 6-0, 160, Miami Monsignor Pace
2019 – Michael Fewquay, 5-10, 145, Davie Nova
2019 – Zackary Fifelski, 6-2, 170, Coconut Creek
2019 – Lorenzo Floyd, 5-10, 170, Miami Monsignor Pace
2020 – Massimo Foerch, 5-8, 170, Fort Lauderdale
2018 – Moses Francois, 6-1, 190, Fort Lauderdale Dillard
2018 – Ryan Gainer, 5-10, 175, Davie Nova
2018 – Tyler Goodman, 6-0, 185, Parkland Douglas
2018 – John Grossman, 6-2, 200, Homestead South Dade
2018 – Arnold Gurdian II, 5-9, 170, Doral Regan
2019 – Darian Hernandez, 6-0, 180, Hialeah Gardens
2019 – Tyron Herring, 6-1, 175, Deerfield Beach
2019 – Karon Johnson, 5-11, 175, North Miami
2019 – Deon Jones, 6-0, 170, Miramar
2020 – Jaheem Joseph, 5-8, 155, Miami Monsignor Pace
2018 – Desjuan Kearse, 5-11, 170, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic
2020 – Alex Kuzmin, 6-3, 145, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian
2019 – Sedrick Lawrence, Jr., 5-11, 160, Miami Jackson
2019 – Danny Pierre Louis, 5-10, 175, Miami Dr. Krop
2019 – William Manuel, 6-0, 175, Pembroke Pines Charter
2020 – Jaedin McCray, 5-6, 130, Miami Dr. Krop
2019 – Kevin Medina, 5-9, 170, Miami Varela
2019 – Daelen Menard, 6-0, 180, Hollywood Chaminade-Madonna
2018 – Tijuane Morten, 5-10, 171, Miami Central
2018 – Shamar Munroe, 6-2, 200, Miami Palmetto
2019 – Jaramaya Olivares, 6-2, 160, Davie Western
2019 – Christian Paillet, 6-1, 170, Coconut Creek North Broward Prep
2019 – Armando Parra, Jr., 6-0, 175, Miami Christopher Columbus
2018 – Trelvin Payne, 6-0, 180, Miami Southridge
2019 – Skylar Pearcy, 5-9, 155, Fort Lauderdale Calvary Christian
2019 – Tyler Pena, 6-0, 165, Southwest Miami
2019 – Will Poses, 5-11, 185, Miami Gulliver Prep
2019 – Cairiq Rackley, 6-1, 170, Miami Palmetto
2020 – Edwin Rhodes, 6-1, 180, Plantation American Heritage
2019 – Marquice Robinson, 5-8, 160, Miami Booker T. Washington
2019 – Matthew Ruiz, 6-2, 176, Pembroke Pines W. Broward
2018 – Ronald Scriven, Jr., 5-8, 155, Hollywood Hills
2018 – Jordan Sepulveda, 6-0, 180, Coral Springs Charter
2019 – Logan Shooster, 5-10, 180, Coconut Creek N. Broward Prep
2019 – T.J. Smith, 6-1, 175, Hollywood South Broward
2019 – Dimon Stewart, 5-11, 150, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
2019 – Xander Stokes, 6-0, 165, Cooper City
2019 – Harry Tamis, 5-10, 175, Miami Beach
2020 – Brandon Thomas, 5-8, 140, Plantation
2018 – Adonis Triana, 6-0, 170, Miami Dr. Krop
2019 – Maurice Underwood, 6-3, 175, Miami Central
2019 – Kane VanDemark, 5-11, 165, Homestead South Dade
2018 – Hector Vargas, 6-0, 185, Miami Killian
2019 – Isaiah Velez, 6-2, 165, North Miami
2018 – Santiago Venegas, 5-10, 170, Miami Belen Jesuit
2018 – Fralon Warren, 6-1, 175, Homestead South Dade
2019 – Jordan Worley, 6-0, 165, Southwest Miami
2019 – Nathaniel Williams, 6-1, 200, Hallandale
2018 – Wayna Williams, 6-0, 180, Hialeah American
2020 – Lavonshae Wright, 5-9, 175, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson