While it isn’t time for the Class of 2018 to panic, there is some concern with National Signing Day just five days away.
The reality is once again sinking in – as colleges make their final push to fill out the current class – while setting the table for the future.
Charles Fishbein of Elite Scouting Services has been at the center of NSD for a number of years is used to coming down to the finish line with the future of many athletes still hanging in the balance. Fishbein, who evaluates and helps place a number of student/athletes, knows that things will work out.
“Funny thing about this year, even though we know everything will work out in the end, is things have been broken up this year,” Fishbein explained. “We had the first signing day where a number of kids signed back in late December, but now, you still have some real good prospects still waiting until Wednesday to announce their decisions.”
For area high school coaches who build their programs on the fact that they can assist in getting athletes into school are also scrambling around the next few weeks to make sure they make good on that promise.
“You don’t want to start telling a mom or dad that you will get their son a scholarship if you can’t make good on that promise,” former Champagnat Catholic head coach Dennis Marroquin said. “No matter how many people you know, it’s never wise to tell anyone something that may be out of your control.”
While National Signing Day will come and go, the process of athletes finding schools to attend will go on right until the end of the summer.
“Coaches never stop working for their kids,” South Broward head coach Keith Franklin said. “The way we have always done it, is if a college is looking for a certain kind of player, and we don’t have one, I always look out for the kids down here. That doesn’t always happen everywhere.”
There are a number of football players looking for a place to go – and have grades as well. Here are some of them:
Chaii Bland, Slot, Miami Central. There should be no reason that this speedy and sure-handed slot receiver doesn’t have coaches knocking down his door. What colleges are looking for are reliable playmakers who have big game experience and grades. Both boxes checked, here. You get a smaller receiver and you take a chance, but Chaii has already proven that he is ready for that next level.
Lavontae Decius, WR, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons.
Tavontae Decius, WR, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons. If you have watched these twins, from the beginning, you can understand how these young men feel, heading into NSD. Both are skilled football prospects who have worked hard to get better and improve, qualified in the classroom – and are now waiting for a college to step up and reward both of them for getting the job done.
Justin Hill, Athlete, Miami Northwestern. How many times are we going to hit college coaches over the head with a frying pan? This young man is a difference maker. He came to high school as a heralded quarterback, but helped the 6A state champion Bulls in so many other areas. Was easily one of the most well rounded and respected players on the team. FAU, FIU – you need to step up and keep and hometown kid where he belongs!
Andrew Reese, S, Miami High. Every time we had the chance to watch this gifted football talent, he was making plays and helping to lead the Stingarees to a playoff appearance. Was one of the more skilled prospects in the secondary, and he turned heads all season long. Impressive talent who will only get better. Someone will get a complete football player.
Matthew Toribio, TE/DE, Weston Cypress Bay. Whether it’s tight end or defensive end/outside linebacker – it makes no difference where this quality talent lines up. Just get him on the field. This is one of those athletes who has a chance to blow up. As a tight end, he can catch and run – but most importantly – he can block, and do it with plenty of power behind it. Defensively, he will eat you up – because he is big and physical – but there is still room for improvement. Strange that some college coach wouldn’t have looked into the future with Matthew. He is indeed a project, but one that could end up doing some great things!
Nikosi Williams, OL/DL, 6-2, 270, Miramar. Here is a very gifted line prospect who has tremendous feet and worked hard to get better. This is one of those football players who had the opportunity to showcase his football skills – as well as work in the classroom, which has to open some eyes with a 3.94 (GPA). You have absolutely nothing to lose, here!
ORANGE BOWL SENIOR SHOWCASE, FEB. 17
In addition to what high school coaches are doing, The Orange Bowl is also hosting its Second Annual Orange Bowl High School Senior Showcase on Saturday, Feb. 17 (9 a.m. – 3 p.m.) at Nova Southeastern University in Davie. If you are a qualified student/athletes, check them out at: http://community.orangebowl.org/highschoolfootballshowcase/
Catch the South Florida High School Sports Radio Show each week 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!