By Larry Blustein

larry block6 Area Athletes Pull Early Signing Day Surprises

If you wanted to know how the new early national signing day would fair in South Florida, all you needed to do was head to one of the 60 schools that hosted events.

From South Miami to Deerfield Beach – and just about everywhere else in between – Wednesday kicked off a new era in football recruiting.

With a number of quality talent signing on the dotted line on Wednesday – and have the chance to do – through tomorrow – it was a day of laughter, tears and a change of direction.

Two of South Florida’s most talented football prospects made a switch on Wednesday. Deerfield Beach linebacker Rosendo Louis, who had been an FSU commit for months, cited: “that he wanted to come early and felt that South Carolina was where he would fit.”

Miami Northwestern standout defensive back Divaad Wilson, committed to Florida for a long time, then backing away after Mullen got the job, inked with the University of Georgia, ending speculation he would join his friends at Louisville.

Speaking of Louisville; the Cardinals really made a splash in the Sunshine State, bringing in 11 players – 7 from South Florida.

In Miami-Dade, head coach Bobby Petrino landed Miami Northwestern 6A State Championship-winning quarterback Tutu Atwell. They also brought in Robert Hicks (LB, Central), cornerback Chandler Jones (Central), receiver Tyler Harrell (Christopher Columbus) and Carol City linebacker Yasir Abdullah.

In Broward, St. Thomas Aquinas standouts Trenell Troutman (safety) and defensive tackle Dejmi Dumervil Jean also will head to Louisville.

SOME STILL NOT SIGNED

A program that was missing from the early NSD was two-time defending 5A state champion American Heritage.

Head Coach Pat Surtain’s son didn’t sign. Neither did cornerback Tyson Campbell, linebacker Andrew Chatfield, Vanderbilt commit Miles Jones, speedy receiver Anthony Schwartz or Miami commit Nesta Silvera.

LOCAL STARS MAKE THEIR CHOICE

While a few of the elite prospects opted to wait before making their decision, there were some quality prospects who did sign early.

Once committed to FSU, James Cook decided not to follow his brother (Dalvin) and will attend Georgia, which is loaded with talent. Asante Samuel Jr. (DB, St. Thomas Aquinas) will go to FSU, Al Blades, Jr. (DB, St. Thomas Aquinas) follows his family’s legacy and will stay at home attend Miami.

OFFENSIVE STARS MAKE THEIR DECISION

With so much talent to choose from, colleges from across the country headed to this region – and came away some big time offensive standouts:

WR – Marvin Alexander (Chaminade-Madonna – Kentucky)

WR – Kevin Austin (North Broward Prep – Notre Dame)

TE – Daniel Barker (Deerfield Beach – Illinois)

OL – Kahric Belle (North Miami Beach – North Carolina State)

TE – Chris Carter (South Dade – USF)

RB – Johnny Ford (Miami High – USF)

WR – Stanley Garner (Dillard – Kentucky)

WR – Akeem Hayes (Chaminade-Madonna – Kentucky)

RB – Dawson Hill (South Plantation – Georgia State)

WR – Terrance Horne (Miramar – USF)

WR – Tavares Kelly (St. Thomas Aquinas – Virginia)

WR – Corneliuys McCoy (Deerfield Beach – Georgia State)

WR – Elijah Moore (St. Thomas Aquinas – Mississippi)

RB – Jakari Norwood (Deerfield Beach – Illinois)

WR – Bryce Oliver (Dillard – Kentucky)

WR – Terrell Perriman (Central – Utah)

WR – Mark Pope (Southridge – Miami)

PK – Javan Rice (Belen Jesuit – Vanderbilt)

ATH – Yanez Rogers (Blanche Ely – Cincinnati)

OL – Sebastian Sainterling (Chaminade-Madonna)

WR – Carlos Sandy (Cardinal Gibbons – Illinois)

OL – Delone Scaife (Miami Southridge – Miami)

RB – Shaun Shivers (Chaminade-Madonna – Auburn)

WR – Jordan Smith (Western – Temple)

OL – Tyler Steen (St. Thomas Aquinas – Vanderbilt)

OL – Jason Swann (St. Thomas Aquinas – Tulane)

WR – Tyquan Thornton (Booker T. Washington – Baylor)

RB – Keyondre White (Dillard – Akron)

WR – Daquris Wiggins (Southridge – Miami)

WR – Xavier Williams (Chaminade-Madonna – Alabama)

DEFENSE RULES THE DAY AGAIN

Take a look at any team in South Florida that had success this past year – and you will see some defensive prospects. Colleges flocked to the region for quality football talent:

DL – Desplado Alexandre (Deerfield Beach – Georgia State)

DB – Arthur Brathwaite (Central – Western Kentucky)

OLB – Dwayne Broyles (Central – USF)

LB – Carlton Cleophat (Blanche Ely – Central Michigan)\

LB – Grayson Crozier (St. Thomas Aquinas – Naval Academy)

DB – Miguel Edwards (Deerfield Beach – Oklahoma)

DB – Gilbert Frierson (Coral Gables – Miami)

DB – Derek Gains (Miami High – UCF)

DB – Hunter Goetz (Central – Liberty University)

DB – Rich Hall (Coconut Creek – Akron)

DB – James Harris (Blanche Ely – Bowling Green)

LB – Calvin Hart, Jr. (American Heritage – North Carolina State)

DB – Ron Hardge (Cardinal Gibbons – Illinois)

DE – Davoan Hawkins (Chaminade-Madonna – Kentucky)

DE – James Head (Southridge, Indiana)

DB – Ginial Isma (Stranahan – Western Michigan)

DB – D.J. Ivey (South Dade – Miami)

DB – Nadab Joseph (Norland – Georgia)

DE – Patrick Joyner (South Dade – Miami)

DL – Demetrius Mayes Jr. (Northwestern – UCF)

DL – Davontae McCrea (Northwestern – North Carolina State)

DB – Jermaine McMillan (Booker T. Washington – UCF)

ATH – Michael Nesmith (Hallandale – UMass)

DB – Malik Occiur (Northeast – Western Kentucky)

DE – Kayode Oladele (Champagnat Catholic – Auburn)

DB – Kewan Parker (Carol City – Northern Illinois)

LB – Ashton Pierre (Deerfield Beach – Kentucky)

DB – Noah Pierre (Champagnat Catholic – Indiana)

DE – Gregory Rousseau (Champagnat Catholic – Miami)

DB – Randy Russell (Carol City – Florida)

LB – Rocky Shelton (St. Thomas Aquinas – Duke)

LB – Zach Simmons (Deerfield Beach – North Carolina State)

DB – Teshaun Smith (Western – North Carolina State)

DB – Rachad Wildgoose (Northwestern – Georgia)

DB – Marquis Williams (Cardinal Gibbons – Pittsburgh)

DB – Maxwell Worship (Cardinal Gibbons – Vanderbilt)

FIU BUILDS AT HOME – AGAIN

When some fans noticed last spring that head coach Butch Davis at Florida International University had 55 players on the roster – north of Palm Beach County – it was alarming.

In his first class, last year, Davis and his staff started todo something about it – and this year – the playing field was heavily slanted toward South Florida.

Among the Class of 2018 offensive players included: Ivan Thomas (WR, Palmetto), DeMarcus Townsend (RB, Naples Palmetto Ridge), Zahir Turner (WR, Booker T. Washington) and dual quarterback Shamar Monroe (Palmetto).

On defense, the Panthers also struck local gold with Jamal Anderson (DB, South Dade), Shaun Peterson (LB, Nova), Donovan Georges (LB, Champagnat Catholic) and Marquel Dillard (Athlete, Stranahan).

Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show this Tuesday night (8-9) 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!

PHOTO COURTESY OF MIAMI SOUTHRIDGE ATHLETICS

south florida high school sports Area Athletes Pull Early Signing Day Surprises

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