This Sunday, former University of Miami standout running back Duke Johnson will host his second Duke Johnson Foundation 7-on-7 football tournament at Ives Park.
Giving back to the community is what Johnson’s foundation is all about. The football tournament is only part of what they do to elevate the lives of so many. Johnson set up a scholarship at his alma mater, Norland, to ensure that someone will have the opportunity to attend college.
While many areas of the country have former players come back and give back to their communities, it’s Miami-Dade and Broward where the stars come out to support other stars – and the end result is that the fans and the community are the big winners.
“Last year we had a few of the guys from South Florida come out to support us – much like we do for them – when they host their own events,” Johnson explained. “That’s how it is down here – we are all family and support one another.”
The great thing about South Florida when it comes to football, and I am not knocking any other sports, but where does a Willis McGahee, Andre Johnson, Pat Surtain, Jason Taylor, Donnell Bennett, Michael Irvin, Sam Madison and tons of other elite football talent roam 7-on-7 events like it was some family gathering? The answer is NOWHERE!
The environment, competition and talent that we have at any event – or game – is unmatched and is a reason why playing football down here is such an honor for the young men and coaches.
During the course of a year, our aim is to promote. In any way possible – and no matter where it is – the objective is to evaluate and give these young men a chance to play this tremendous sport at the next level.
We bring you, the fans and coaches, more evaluations and profiles than any other source – 365 days a year – no breaks – do days off! NOBODY WILL EVER – OR CAN EVER – MAKE THAT CLAIM!
From watching parts of over 100 games and close to 6,000 football players LIVE each year – it has given us – for 6 decades – a front row seat to the best football talent in the country.
As we do each week – 52 times a year – we bring you prospects to keep an eye on. From evaluations to game film, you can see what many of these impressive football prospects are all about. Today, we add six more. Check them out:
2019 – Marcus Barthell, RB, 5-10, 170, Miami High. As he heads toward his junior season, here is a talented young man who came out of youth football with a lot of promise, but at St. Thomas Aquinas, Booker T. Washington and Edison, he really didn’t have the chance to show what he can do. We caught a glimpse in the spring – and now we will all have the chance to see this quality football player do his thing for Sedric Irvin and the Stingarees. Big time talent who runs hard and can be a difference maker.
2018 – Nicholas Days, S, 6-2, 180, North Miami. Here is a talent that many have truly overlooked along the way. A tarter the past two seasons at Mourning, his move to play for the Pioneers in 2017 was made with the idea that he could help a talented young team win and help himself with more exposure as North Miami plays another challenging schedule. A very gifted football player who has size and plenty of knowledge on the field.
2018 – Pressely Floreal, FS/WR, 6-0, 170, Coral Springs Coral Glades. If you talk to the coaching staff at this school and speak about this young man, you will have smiles all the way around. Yet another under the radar, gifted football prospect who is one of the emerging football players in South Florida. What Floreal brings to the table is plenty of athleticism and football savvy. Quick, strong and athletic, he has a passion for this sport and loves to play. One to keep an eye out for in 2017.
2018 – Chad Keirnan, OL, 6-2, 275, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas. When you think about the Raiders and the success they have had over the years, your mind is fixed on a program that is big up front and talented the rest of the way. Here is one of those line prospects who has been in the program from the beginning – and has come away with knowledge of how to make it happen in the trenches. One of those hard working football players who continues to make the most of his chances – on and off of the playing field. A true competitor, Chad attends everything to gain that edge.
2019 – Nathaniel Price, DT, 5-10, 265, Miami Springs. When it comes to the Golden Hawks, here is a football program that has had its share of talented prospects through the years – and when someone gifted performs so well at an early age – you start to make comparisons to the greats of the past. Here is one of those emerging star defensive linemen who is athletic and strong, but skilled as well. This is certainly the next talent this storied program will churn out – and will be a huge season as he establishes himself as a defensive face.
2018 – Jakari Norwood, RB, 5-10, 175, Deerfield Beach. Another of the prospects who finally started to receive the attention that he deserves, when Illinois was the school he chose to attend in 2018. The Bucks are really counting on him to add to a season that many believe will end up in Orlando. Fast, great vision and really elusive. Will not go down on that first hit because of his balance and natural running ability. Could emerge as one of the elite prospects by the end of the season. He should have a banner 2017!
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!