Larry Blustein SFHSSports: Twitter | Facebook

TAMPA – When Quinton Flowers was recruited to the University of South Florida as a quarterback, there were many who doubted this one time Miami Jackson standout.

Over the past two years, as Flowers continued to re-write records and lead this program to bowl games and huge wins, those same voices are no longer being heard.

Over the years USF’s attempt to get athletes from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties never really caught on. It wasn’t the fault of any of the coaches, it just was a tough sell.

Having a Flowers certainly helped, but there had to be more of a reason to come to play for this program – and while Willie Taggart set the tone with a number area prospects – it was Charlie Strong who came in and infused the team with athletes he was familiar with. Remember, he was the one who came in hard while at Florida – and then turned up the volume when he landed at Louisville and had 37 Florida players on the roster.

“There is a lot to be excited about ,” Flowers said as he spent some time at the high school Sling & Shoot event at the school. “There are a lot of very good football players coming back, so we all feel real good.”

As this program begins the 2017 season as one of the teams to keep an eye on – with Strong a new coaching staff – there is reason to believe that the Bulls are starting to turn the corner.

As Flowers will be a centerpiece from the South Florida, defensive back Deatrick Nichols from Miami Central, is also a talent that has received plenty of attention, being regarded as one of the best in the country.

With former Miramar head coach Damon Cogdell on staff along with former Miami High standout Blue Adams, the recruiting has certainly picked up – in a major way.

Having prospects from the 305 and the 954 have now become a priority. During the summer camps, dozens of teams and players headed to Tampa – and came away impressed by what they watched.

Miami-Dade prospects on the team include: Darnell Salomon (WR, Miami Central), Darius Rice (RB, Miami Northwestern), Khalid McGee (DB, Miami Northwestern), Trevon Sands (RB, Southwest Miami), Emilio Nadelman (PK, Miami Central), Glen Bethel (OL, Hialeah Champagnat Catholic), Jernard Phillips (WR, Miami Central), Stanley Clerveaux (WR, North Miami), Florida transfer Jordan Cronkite (RB, Miami Westminster Christian), Naytron Culpepper (DB, Miami Carol City), Donelle Thomas (DB, Miami Carol City), and freshmen receiver Kevaughn Dingle (Miami Carol City), and Randall St. Felix (WR, Miami Dr. Krop).

Broward standouts include: David Small (LB, Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons), Ladarion McBride (LB, Fort Lauderdale Dillard), standout Ronnie Hoggins (DB, Coconut Creek Monarch), Kirk Livingstone (DE, Fort Lauderdale Stranahan) and Duke transfer Brandon Boyce (DT, St. Thomas Aquinas).

Catch the South Florida High Sports Radio Show each Monday night (9-10) 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!


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