Orlando – In a week where much of the high school football focus was on Orlando and San Antonio, Texas – many athletes may have changed their future in just a few days.
With the Army All-American Football Game and Underclass Combine going on in Texas – where a number of very impressive athletes flocked – to the annual Under Armour All-American Game – held at Disney’s Wide World of Sports and Camping World Stadium – there was so much going on for football exposure.
While we realize that there is always going to be talent in Florida, last Thursday afternoon – prior to the senior game – the Class of 2019 showcased some impressive prospects for this coming year.
In a time when recruiting has found a way to spotlight 6th, 7th and 8th graders, it was only fitting that the next class that will be on the recruiting clock joined this tremendous event that was played in cooler weather this year.
Among the national stars that are being looked at by every elite program, there were also a few shining stars for the South Florida area.
As California, Texas and Ohio stars had the attention much of the session – there were three standouts from the 305 and 954 that also grabbed the spotlight as well. Chaminade-Madonna’s Te’Cory Couch (DB), Joshua Sanguinetti (University School) and Miami High standout offensive lineman Dontae Lucas were among the best.
With Hall of Famer Deion Sanders doing some quality instructing and Ray Lewis talking about life and competition, the underclassmen did their thing and were singled out for it.
For Sanguinetti, who is still one of the top football talents in Florida, the decision on what position he will play at the next level will be made by the school he chooses. He is gifted and very talented as a receiver and as a defensive back – where he has long proven that he will mix it up with anyone.
At the Future 50 event, Sanguinetti did both. He caught passes as a receiver and also came up with several key plays on defense – even drawing interest from Sanders, who showed him a few things on the sideline.
Remember, it was Sanders last year who singled out now FSU-bound St. Thomas Aquinas defensive back Asante Samuel as being one of the best he had watched.
Sanguinetti and Couch, who committed to the University of Tennessee last June – way before the fallout – showed who the South Florida teams always grab that edge. It’s all about speed, quickness and if you get beat, don’t get down.
“Different mindset down south,” Jacksonville resident Mark Harris said. “My son goes to high school and plays against those kids from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach. They are at a different mentality – all the way around. They have a hunger like no kids in this country.”
Harris, who grew up in Miami and attended Central, watched the combine and came away impressed by both Couch and Sanguinetti.
But also you had to be impressed with Lucas. The 6-4, 330-pounder, who came in this past year from Booker T. Washington, is indeed a prospect who has impressed since the first time he played.
“Blessed by this opportunity to take part in this combine,” Lucas explained. “There were some very good football players there. The best of the best.”
While Deerfield Beach linebacker Ge’Mon Eaford was selected as one of the elite 50 underclassmen, he sustained a foot injury and could not work out.
Other Floridians invited included:
Noah Cain, RB, Bradenton IMG Academy
Akeem Dent, DB, Palm Beach Central
Evan Neal, OL, Bradenton IMG Academy
Trey Sanders, RB, Bradenton IMG Academy
Charles Turner, OL, Bradenton IMG Academy
Nolan Smith, DL, Bradenton IMG Academy
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