While it’s the final week of the 2016 season, the action never stops in South Florida.
The moment the Class 8A state championship is complete, many of the underclassmen will be looking toward the offseason, which is always filled with exposure opportunities.
But before we get to the official first week of the offseason, there are players who have the opportunity to play for a state title and get that added exposure that the post season is always reserved for.
Each week during the season – and more and more people have discovered it than ever before – we bring you football talent that many have not watched. We do this for over 400 athletes every year.
Today, we will bring you six athletes who are taking part in this year’s state championships. Some have already been making news – while others are getting a chance to jump into the spotlight for the first time.
Congratulations to Champagnat Catholic (2A), Chaminade-Madonna (3A), American Heritage (5A), Carol City (6A), St. Thomas Aquinas (7A) and Southridge (8A) for reaching the state finals in their respective classes.
2017 – Sean Bouie, CB/WR, 6-1, 165, Champagnat Catholic: One of the prospects who has been getting it done all year, but down the stretch and into the playoffs, more and more coaches and analysts than ever had the chance to watch him and see for themselves. Bouie is a tremendous football talent who makes plays. Opposing coaches have pointed him out that all year – along with the coaches for the Lions. He is a quality athlete who can do it all.
2018 – James Head, Jr., DE, 6-5, 210, Southridge: When the 2015 season ended, the coaches had talked about some of the promising athletes returning to the team for the 2016 season. Even though he had just finished his sophomore season, this was one of the elite performers they had all spoke so highly about. He’s a gifted playmaker who continues to receive more and more attention. Head has the chance to be one of the best nationally over the next 10 months. He can be an unstoppable force up front.
2019 – Vincent Murphy, OL, 6-4, 260, St. Thomas Aquinas: There is no doubt that when football experts speak about this football team, here is one of those positions they talk about. One of the best young line prospects to come along in this gifted class. Earning himself a starting role with this national powerhouse, everyone had the chance to watch this impressive football talent. Coaches have talked about how technically sound he is and how you can see improvement over the start of the season. Murphy is definitely one of the next great football players for the Raiders.
2017 – Laress Nelson, WR, 5-10, 175, Plantation American Heritage: Here is a football player who has been on the radar, but after watching him during this football season, you can see why all the players and coaches have been talking about his many contributions during a season in which the Patriots were looking for playmakers to lift the team. Nelson has speed, athleticism and the ability to turn a game around. Every opponent that lined up against him spoke very highly about his ability to play this game.
2017 – Terry Straughter, LB, 5-11, 215, Carol City: How many games is this young man going to take over before everyone starts to realize that he is indeed one of South Florida’s top linebacker? Straughter has been playing at a high level since starting as a sophomore for the Chiefs. He’s a big-time talent who has turned a few games around this season. The coaches all speak about how he comes to play every game and never complains about anything. He is a true game-breaker in every sense of the word. Look back at every game this team played the past two years and see what he does to help his team better.
2018 – Jordan Williams, LB, 5-11, 195, Chaminade-Madonna: Another of those football players that may not get the spotlight and headlines, but if you watch him play this is one of the catalysts on a team that truly turned heads this season. When you talk to the opponents about his play, they all feel that he is always around the action and became one of the best tacklers on a unit that improved so much during the course of a season. This is going to be one of the top playmakers for the Lions next season.