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By Larry Blustein

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There are now just two weeks left before high schools and colleges get back to work for real.

What this summer has represented for so many is the opportunity to showcase their talents at camps, combines and 7-on-7 events.

This window of opportunity may appear to be large, but with the many athletes we have in just the South Florida area alone, missing out on an important exposure event could put you behind.

Never did the word “grind” mean more than it does in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. There are nearly 200 Division 1-type of athletes who are after that elusive scholarship – with more on the way in the upcoming classes.

In South Florida when you perform well at anything, there are media members, fan websites and scouts who come out and can make you in instant star. That same exposure can work against the athlete as well.

During the past two plus months, athletes have had the chance to actually get in front of those decision makers – which is not always the case.

College head coaches, who do not have the luxury of going out in the spring to see athletes, which is a crazy rule by the NCAA, have that opportunity to see, talk with and understand the athletes more when they are on campus and taking part in their own event.

For many years, the University of Miami has stood by and watched Friday Night Lights unfold in Gainesville. They saw as FSU, UCF and USF had evenings that were devoted to the their potential recruits and their families. But that was something the “U” never worried about.

Last year  everything changed – as Coach Mark Richt and his staff brought with them the “Paradise Camp” concept. The events was so successful – and those in attendance had so much fun – it has been talked about often over and over again the past year. It is indeed something that the Hurricanes have used to get recruits and other colleges talking.

This Saturday evening (6-10), Paradise Camp II will be hosted in Coral Gables – and an overflow crowd is expected, as those who came last year, are back for more – while the newcomers who heard so much about everything that went on, are anxious to experience it for themselves.

Former UM players, like last year, will be on hand for this special night that keeps the ‘Canes in the spotlight.

As the University of Miami gets ready for its end of the summer showcase, there are prospects still out there and trying to grab the attention of college coaches across the country.

As we do each and every week, we give you a look at six prospects from the Miami-Dade and Broward Counties out. Check these gifted young men:

2020 – Marc Christie, LB, 5-10, 205, Pembroke Pines West Broward. Here is one of those “next wave of talent” kinds of players. Following in the footsteps of his father, who was an All-Miami-Dade performer at North Miami Beach, this quality prospects, who started at Mater Academy, is going to be special. A very instinctive player who is always around the ball – and even as a sophomore – look for him to do some big things for a very talented program.


2019 – Kamryn Giles, S, 5-11, 191, Plantation American Heritage. After watching this quality talent at Monsignor Pace the past few years, here is one of those “offseason moves” that really went unnoticed. College coaches who came down during the spring were blown away by what this young man brings to the table. He is a solid football player who is going to make the Patriots already impressive secondary, even better. This is a talented prospect who has been singled out for years by coaches and opposing players as being a playmaker.


2018 – Jorge Martinez, OL, 6-1, 296, Miami Southridge. As the Spartans look to return to Orlando to defend their 8A crown, adding prospects like this will certainly help. After making the move from Killian, here is a football player that will have a chance to gain plenty of recognition this coming season. He is yet another piece in rebuilding the front and giving that offense a chance to move the ball. While the offensive line may have been a concern in the past, things are looking up down south.


2020 – Elijah Roberts, DE/OLB, 6-4, 245, Miami Coral Park. What has happened with this football program, is there is now a commitment to getting better – and there is no athlete on that roster to illustrate the direction this program is headed than this young man. A quality, young football player who has the size and is learning every day. Building a program will take time, but when you do it will gifted athletes who care about the program, the process and what it takes to get to each level. Keep your eye on this young man – as well as some of the other rising prospects on this team.


2019 – Jimmy Vargas, OL/DL, 6-1, 265, Miami LaSalle. If you live in South Florida, you already know that school size does not mean a thing. There are 2A schools in this area that would easily beat larger programs. So when you have a player like this – who has the size, athletic ability and passion to play the game – you watch and appreciate what he does on the field. He does move his frame around very well. He holds his blocks and has learned a great deal. Schools will keep their eyes peeled football players like this.


2019 – JuZion Wade, QB, 5-11, 170, Hialeah. From the time he first started for the T-Breds, there was no doubt that this was going to be a football talent that many needed to see. One who was a difference maker. His accuracy and ability to read defenses has thrust him into a spotlight with first year head coach Pierre Senatus, who knows how to use versatile prospects like Wade. An athletic talent who gives this program a huge chance in a competitive district. Keep an eye on his progress. You will be impressed.


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!


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