This is the time of year where those who follow high school football – and recruiting in South Florida – start to make their predictions on the schools who have a chance to reach Orlando in December.
With 8A a big focus by coaches, players and fans, there are a number of programs that have a realistic shot – at getting to that state title game. One of those teams happens to be South Dade. This is indeed a team that knows its way north, having won a state crown in 2013, stunning Apopka.
As many are looking at Deerfield Beach, defending state champion Miami Southridge, emerging Miami Palmetto, much improved Davie Western, Miramar, Miami Columbus, Coral Gables and a surprising Miami Dr. Krop as the teams to watch, many are paying little attention to what head coach Nathaniel Hudson and his team has been doing. Mistake!
As this program left the spring and headed to the off-season, they still remain a program that can be dangerous – and with a few additions, here and there, could be a huge thorn in someone’s side.
Offensively, they are stacked with playmakers such as receivers Frank Ladsen (University of Florida commit), Kevin Felder, Jr., Najeh Baker, versatile Darius Brown, and standout tight end Chris Carter as well.
The quarterback position will be competitive and loaded with athletes who can make plays. Kane VanDemark, Fralon Warren and John Grossman have looked solid.
Running back Tyler Zimermo will have additional athletes with him during the summer.
The place where many believe this program will need to rebuild is up front. Three starters from last year are no longer around, but this is a program that has always had some athletic big men. Leading the way this year will be John Lockee, Wilbeni Jean-Baptiste and William Perez with others being added to the mix.
The Bucs are always stacked on defense, and this year you will see big time football prospects all over the field, starting in the secondary with University of Miami early commit D.J. Ivey, Tyrique Stevenson, Jamal Anderson and safety Dervon Marius.
There are also Devin Hardy, K’Toney Hills, Fred Climson and Darien Frazier.
Outside linebacker Patrick Joyner is a standout who has been turning heads for years. He is joined by Jeremiah Jean and Michael Gardner.
Defensive ends Jason Geffrard, nose guards Alejandro Vega and Myles McCray are emerging.
While we are still a long way from the start of the 2017 season, and the Bucs still have a lot of new faces to bring in, you have to like what you see.
Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) on WQAM (560AM). For the past 10 years, the players and coaches who are making the headlines, join the program. You will learn a lot!