Delray Beach – The next time someone asks how good high school football has become in Florida, all you have to do is look at what has happened at the youth level.
What has transpired over the decades, especially in southern Florida, is the talent level is so great that there is an overflow of student/athletes searching for scholarships.
Instead of grouping all the athletes together in the recruiting process, each is now individual – and the attention they receive is greater than ever before.
Last Sunday, recruiting was taken to another level when hundreds of juniors headed to American Heritage Delray for the True19 Elite Showcase.
As former Miami Norland standout football player Faheem Ali and his staff from Complete Athletes hosted the event for Class of 2019 prospects only, the objective was indeed a simple one. Compete hard and turn some heads.
The top performers in the event on Sunday will make the True19 Florida squad for a matchup with Team Georgia Junior All-American Game, which will be played in Dallas in January of 2018.
“We have always pushed our talent here in south Florida, and throughout the state, to compete against the best available,” Ali said. “The idea for this game was easy since we work with Florida and Georgia at the youth level, and have built up great contacts and relationships.”
With dozens of juniors, statewide, given the opportunity to make this squad, athletes came from all over – with several local prospects taking home MVP awards and gaining roster spots on this quality team.
Among the MVP award winners were:
Nik Scalzo, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons. Solid football player who will be counted on heavily this season.
Jacquez Stuart, Miami Northwestern. With the Bulls always looking for playmakers, here is a quality athlete who will get plenty of chances to use his blazing speed.
Christopher Wilson, Boca Raton Spanish River. One of the other quality prospects who stepped up against some talented football players.
Mike Morris, Jr., Delray American Heritage. Big time talent who is also rising defensive line talent. Quick and very athletic, you can see why all the schools love him!
Zach Bendenbaugh, Lake City Columbia. Yet another talented football player from the northern portion of Florida. Was impressive during the drills and competition.
Calijah Kancey, Miami Northwestern. This is prospect that has been overlooked – with all the talent the Bulls have. But this could be the season he breaks out. Very athletic line prospect.
Jahmar Brown, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquanis. Yet another big time football talent that this program will trot out in 2017. Was singled out by all the coaches for the way he played throughout the showcase.
Clarence Burley, Parkland Douglas. One of the fast rising football players who you will hear plenty about this coming season. Had a solid spring – and is now focused on the upcoming season for the Eagles.
“The athletes that were awarded with MVP trophies stood out all day,” Ali said. “We know that the Georgia squad will be loaded with talent, so we need to do the same thing with the impressive football prospects we have here in the Sunshine State.”
THE TALENT IMPRESSED
In addition to those who won awards, there were other area prospects that stepped up. Check these quality juniors out:
Matthew Akuchie, WR, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Dianjelo Amaya, DB, Parkland Douglas
Ernest Balkman, WR, Miami Northwestern
DeMarquez Brown, WR, South Plantation
Daniel Carter, RB, Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas
Ian Castellanos, OT, Southwest Miami
Guilherme De Olivera, OT, Miami Christopher Columbus
Kervin Dessources, QB, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic
Alejandro Fernández, OT, Miami Christopher Columbus
Kamryn Giles, S/OLB, Plantation American Heritage
Lance Hollis, OL, Davie Nova
Jahday Jackson, WR/FS, Lauderdale Lakes Boyd Anderson
Yahweh Jeudy, LB, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
Mikel Jones, LB, Hialeah Gardens Mater Academy
Demetrius Love, S, Palm Beach Gardens
Keyon Martin, CB, Deerfield Beach
Marcel Martinez, OL, Davie Western
Darius McClendon, FS, West Palm Beach Forest Hill
Brandon Moses, LB, Delray American Heritage
Tiawan Mullen, CB, Coconut Creek
Dominic Padron, S, Southwest Miami
John Panchookian, DE, Davie Western
Charlie Rothkopf, DL, Parkland Douglas
Nico Scheesley, LB, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons
Tyler Scott, S, Fort Lauderdale University School
Harold Sims III, CB, South Plantation
Emmanuel St. Germain, LB, Miami Dr. Krop
Jonathan Weaver, OC, South Plantation
Tracy Young, LB, West Palm Beach Forest Hill
INSTRUCTORS WERE TOP FLIGHT
With former Dolphins Oronde Gadsden, Darryl Porter and plenty of qualified instruction and coaching, this was one event that everyone was impressed with.
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