When he looks back at the 2017 high school football season, NSU University School head coach Daniel Luque will smile and know his program continues to climb the ladder.
While they may never be confused with a national powerhouse, this football team may work harder than anyone in the state of Florida – year round, and that is what has brought some impressive athletes together.
While the first loss of the season to Chaminade-Madonna last Friday will sting a bit, it will in no way be an obstacle in getting to where this program wants to be.
Where they want to be this week is hosting a playoff game – as they will as a No. 1 seed in 4A – which caught many by surprise this year.
The Sharks will host Glades Central on Friday night at 7:30. The winner moves on to play the winner of Key West and Monsignor Pace.
Nobody knows more about this program than Luque, who was brought in by Roger Harriott in the very first season of football over a decade ago. This is someone who worked hard to get the head job, and he has let NOBODY down.
What Luque represents, at a school that is geared totally to getting students ready for college, is balance. As families spend a great deal of money and their time at this program, he has given this “Ivy League” high school a release from academics, and he has done it the right way.
“I learned from playing this game and being around great coaches all my life, that you really get what you put in,” Luque explained. “You win at schools like this with people who care and put a lot into what they do.”
No more is that evident than in the offseason, when assistant head coach Wayne Blair, Luque and a number of coaches and players take part in their weekly linemen and defensive skills events. It has caught on like wildfire and is bringing youngsters and their parents in from as far away as Miami and northern Broward County.
The Sharks also travel to everything they can – such as camps, 7-on-7 events and college visits.
HEADLINERS CARRYING THIS PROGRAM
While there are some big time football prospects on this team, there are also athletes who are not getting the attention, but certainly deserve the spotlight as well.
Here is a group of impressive difference makers:
2021 – Emile Aime, LB: From the beginning of the 2017 season, the coaching staff spoke about this young man and what he was capable of bringing to the table this year. A playmaker who has the opportunity to be very special in the years to come – after a very solid freshman season.
2018 – George Bubrick, QB: Everyone knows the story about this quality talent, who came in last year, set all kinds of records, and has followed that up this year and has put this program on the map with his ability to play this game at a high level. His leadership and ability to help freshman standout Nick Vattiato this year, has been huge as well.
2019 – Zay Flowers, WR/CB: Another of those exciting playmakers who has been able to get it done against every level of competition. Combines his quickness with a skill level that many just do not have. Is also a solid defensive back, who will get looks at that position as well. Every successful team needs someone like Zay.
2019 – Michael Hurt, Slot/RB: Here is a football talent that is truly under the radar. A solid running back who can also play the slot position. Has proven over and over again that he can lineup against anyone and get the job done. Solid prospect who should get some college attention!
2018 – Noah Lieberman, OG: Another football prospect who earned plenty of recognition a year ago, and used that to showcase his skills at a number of events and throughout the 2017 season. Colleges love what they see – which is indeed what the coaches had hoped for.
2019 – Kenny McIntosh, RB: This marquee football prospect has been getting it done at this level for three years, improving in each season. Rated among the best nationally.
2020 – Jalen Reeves, DE: Very few sophomores have been able to do what this quality football player has done in 2017. Turned out to be a major force up front for this program. Will be a huge factor throughout his career.
2019 – Johua Sanguinetti, CB: Easily one of the best in the state for his class – and has been a huge factor why the Sharks have been able to turn things around in 2017. Can get it done anywhere on the field.
2019 – Tyler Scott, S: After an amazing sophomore season, this quality talent followed it up with a strong offseason and junior year. Has really continued to make huge strides for this program. Has the chance to really make things happen in the offseason.
2021 – Marcus Tate, OT: From the first time everyone watched this quality line prospect play, there was never a doubt how good this freshman will be over the next few years. Has shown already this season that he is a big time prospect who will get a number of Power 5 offers. Had a very solid first year and learned a lot.
THE NSU UNIVERSITY SCHOOL SHARKS
Here are a few additional prospects to keep an eye on:
2020 – Zach Cowheard, DE
2018 – Jeremy Czerenda, OG
2020 – Noriko Floyd, OLB
2018 – Logan Heller, LS/OL
2019 – Jonathan Higgins, CB
2019 – Jordan Irizarry, WR
2021 – Shai Kochav, LS/OL
2019 – James Larmer, OG
2020 – Christian Morales, OC
2019 – Alejandro Perez, DE
2018 – Tony Revilla, DE
2020 – Cody Smothers, LB
2019 – Moizes Telfort, OLB
2021 – Nick Vattiato, QB
2019 – Christian Wells, WR
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