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In less than two weeks, many of South Florida’s top prospects will be signing on the dotted line, completing the mission that the Class of 2017 began four years ago.
While there will be signing parties and celebrations going on from Deerfield Beach to Homestead, there will also be those standouts who are still on the outside looking in.
As many have already made their plans for the future – a rather large group will not sit down with pen in hand and sign on Feb. 1.
That happens every year, and while many are panicking, there are more opportunities than ever before to get some financial assistance and live a dream to play at the next level.
As those who are still without a place to go have done everything possible to turn heads and have colleges looking in their direction – postseason all-star games and additional exposure combines continue to remain a possibility.
The Orange Bowl is doing their part with a free High School Showcase to get many of the athletes exposure, in association with the National Football Foundation (NFF) and its local chapters, that will bring together Florida high school seniors and educational institutions in Division II, III, and NAIA programs from across the country.
A series of tests and drills will be run that will best display each player’s various talents at their respective positions. Following the showcase, players and universities will meet to discuss scholarship opportunities for the participating athletes.
The Showcase will be held on Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale. The Showcase will be organized and managed by quality football coaches hand selected by the Orange Bowl. A series of tests and drills will be run that will best display each player’s various talents at their respective positions.
Following the activities, players and universities will meet to discuss scholarship opportunities for the participating athletes. Admission will be restricted to the athletes, participating coaches, visiting high school and college coaches, college administrators and the media.
For more information on the Orange Bowl Florida High School Football Showcase, please contact Andrew Sommella at email@example.com or 305-341-4740.
This past week, we had the opportunity once again to see some of the seniors who are still looking for a place to play football and receive an education. Here are a few that turned heads in such a competitive area:
2017 – Eddie Brill, QB, 6-3, 190, Miami Beach: The Offensive MVP of the Public vs. Private game, here is a talented young man who has been around for a few years, getting valuable experience and showcasing his skills. Last weekend, he finally had the opportunity to put it all together, get some additional film and gain confidence by playing against some of the best. Brill has arm strength and the ability to find receivers and lead the offense.
2017 – Daniel Crescitelli, LB, 6-0, 215, Parkland Douglas: For the past two years, we have been telling everyone about this complete two-way prospect who has been the heart and should of the Eagles since performing at the varsity level. Crescitelli is a big time tackler on defense with speed and plenty of athletic ability. He was among the top tacklers for a team that was loaded with impressive football talent. In the Dolphins Miami-Dade vs. Broward contest, he was named the Defensive MVP for doing what he has done the past three years. Crescitelli has big-time potential.
2017 – Habujahma Derival, OL, 6-7, 300, Miramar: Another emerging prospect who also had the chance to showcase his skills in the Public vs. Private game. Derival has great size and athleticism. While he lacks experience, when he starts playing more and more, you will see a prospect that has the chance to be very special. His coaches who worked with him every day feel that he is someone who certainly has the chance to mature later. Whatever college gets him on campus may be the big winner.
2017 – Adryan Ellis, LB, 6-1, 205, Coral Gables: Another major prospect that many seemed to overlook. Every time we had the chance to watch him play, he turned up the talent volume and made plays all over the field. Ellis is a super athlete who was one of the catalysts on one of South Florida’s elite defenses. Not only is he a sure tackler, but can also drop into coverage and cover on passing downs. Another prospect who used the postseason and all-star games to his advantage.
2017 – Darious McClain, LB, 6-0, 200, Hollywood Hills: Here is a football talent that we watched after his sophomore year and followed him right up until his final game – in the Dolphins Dade-Broward contest. McClain is one of the top linebackers that very few people talked about in 2016. While he has size, speed and is a tremendous football player, this is a player that will be a difference maker no matter where he ends up. Prospects like this fly under the radar and then take off at the next level. Nobody would be surprised if this quality talent made a huge splash at the collegiate level.
2017 – Xavier Oliver, LB, 6-1, 205, Hialeah: The unfortunate thing about prospects like this is colleges seem to not do their homework and find out too late. Oliver is a very talented football player who has been getting it done since he started playing, received quality coaching and then applied his skills on the field. His play in the postseason all-star game was another plus for a prospect who has everything needed to make a splash at the next level. Keep your eye on this athlete.