Juwan Martin is an up and coming star in Illinois high school football. Despite not being the starter as a sophomore in 2008, Martin managed to compile some pretty impressive highlight clips. In only 30 attempts last season, Martin managed to throw 5 touchdowns. Martin also only had 20 rushing attempts but he totaled 300 yards off of those 20 attempts for a 6.0 yards per carry average from the quarterback position. Seven of those 20 rushing attempts resulted in touchdowns. Are you starting to get the point? When Juwan Martin touches the football, big things are going to happen. So far in 2009, Martin is leading his team in rushing (123 yards per game), passing (165 yards per game) and total yards per games (288). De La Salle is 4-1 on the season and averaging 32 points per game. Check out this bundle of explosion on the gridiron. Click here to view Juwan’s highlight video.
Talent is talent and Inglewood High School has it in large supply. The “Ballers” as they are also known by are one of a few teams with updated in-season highlight videos posted on Gridironstuds.com. In their most recent installment, you can witness several top prospects making big plays to carry their team on to victory.
First up is outstanding 2011 prospect defensive back Kyle Evans. Evans is the younger brother of Shaquelle Evans who signed on with Notre Dame in the ’09 class. Evans can be seen making Division-I type plays on the football from his cornerback spot as well as showing some additional skill on the offensive side of the ball. 2012 wide receiver prospect Derrick Woods also opens your eyes with both his aggression on blocking and great pass catching skills. Woods is definitely one for college recruiters to keep an eye on. Woods has a swagger and a little bit of that “it” factor. At 2:23 on the video, he pastes some poor defender trying to pursue one of his teammates. It’s a must see.
2010 TE prospect Marcus Howard puts his stamp on the video with high quality tight end play which we have come to expect but Howard also shows up big time from his defensive end spot wreaking havoc on QB’s and ball carriers alike. The final installment in the highlight video is James Grace, a 6’2″ 200 lb. two way threat from his wide receiver and safety positions. Grace is aggressive and the first clip displays that. What was eye catching was his play making ability from the wide receiver spot. Grace only played in six games due to injury in 2008 and now it seems he’s ready to set the World on fire.
Inglewood is 2-0 to open the season with a 19-13 win over Quartz Hill and forfeit win over Kilpatrick. QB Shaun Alexander was 13 of 20 for 296 yards in the Quartz Hill win with Grace catching six balls for 162 yards. Howard caught three for 52.
The highlight video was produced by Sentinels staff member Stephen Thomas who is also the owner of Under the Radar Productions. His company makes highlight videos for aspiring college football players making big plays on the high school gridiron. Thomas always put together a great product and will keep your head bobbing with West Coast tunes while you watch the players do their thing. Check out Under the Radar Productions, click here.
Playing on one of the perennial top teams in the state and the country hasn’t been enough. Throwing for 26 TD’s as a junior wasn’t enough and taking his team deep into the playoffs in 2008 wasn’t enough. Perhaps starting the season off with 701 passing yards and nine touchdowns with no interceptions will be enough to start getting Leron Thomas the looks he deserves.
The senior quarterback from Glades Central High School in Belle Glade, Florida continues to be under-recruited despite the accomplishments I laid out above. Thomas has a cannon for an arm, displays great decision making on the field and has a great command of the offense. All three of those assets were on display last Friday when Glades Central ripped American Heritage Delray 33-14. Thomas ended the game with 22 for 36 with 382 yards and five touchdowns. Thomas’ five touchdowns were to four different players.
I am not sure what else recruiters want to see but right now, Thomas is hot and continues to produce. Perhaps he is the victim of being surrounded by great talent but that should not be held against him. Thomas may have a few technical flaws but what quarterback doesn’t? I am figuring sooner or later, the college programs will open their eyes and jump on this prospect. Right now, Michigan, FIU, FAU and a handful of others are showing interest but this list should be larger. Perhaps Thomas’ under-recruitment has been a motivating factor and if that is the case, get ready for more fireworks from Thomas and the Glades Central passing attack.
For visual evidence of Thomas’ exploits on the Gridiron, check out his highlight video, click here.
September 21, 2009
Woodberry Forest School (VA) linebacker and Gridironstuds.com member Aramide Olaniyan has decommited from Duke. Olaniyan is being pursued by Clemson, Florida St., Maryland, Michigan, Notre Dame, North Carolina, UCLA, Vanderbilt and Wake Forest. Can’t say that I am surprised by this. Once Olaniyan committed to Duke, it seemed that a host of offers started coming his way. There’s little doubt that these other programs had a field day ripping Duke’s football history. The Blue Devils’ 1-2 start did not help either especially the 44-16 loss to Kansas on Saturday.
The season’s still young but a quick start is always good. A quick start is just what Delray Beach Atlantic High School quarterback Mark Leal is off to. For the second straight game Leal tossed five touchdowns and threw for 268 yards.
Pretty impressive numbers in back to back games especially when you consider that the 10 touchdowns Leal has thrown through three games is just about half of his 2008 total of 21 TD’s. Leal is currently a Virginia Tech commitment but if these type of performances continue, he’s likely to get aggressive action from other D-I schools despite his pledge to the Hokies.
Last night, Leal tossed 5 TD’s in a 33-0 victory over Boynton Beach. Leal did this despite the game being called with 7 minutes left after an ugly brawl in the stands led to patrons spilling onto the field. Who knows, maybe Leal would have chucked a sixth touchdown. Two of Leal’s five touchdowns were tossed to James Louis a fellow Gridironstuds.com member. Louis is an Ohio St. Buckeye’s commit.
Check out highlight videos of both players:
September 17, 2009
Dr. Phillips H.S. (Florida) wide receiver Kenny Shaw has revealed a top 5 as (1) Florida St. (2) Georgia (3) Florida (4) Tennessee (5) Alabama.
Top rated Grandview H.S. defensive end Chris Martin still has the USC Trojans in the mix despite being a Notre Dame commit. Martin is keeping his options open just in case something crazy happens. Along with USC, Martin still lists California and Tennessee as possible options. Also states that he would have an interest in Florida if they were to take an interest. View Chris Martin’s highlight video.
University School (Florida) defensive end and Gridironstuds.com member Max Beaulieu is considering Arkansas, Purdue, South Carolina, Syracuse, Tennessee and Wake Forest. View Max Bealieu’s highlight video.
September 15, 2009
Rumor has it that Florida commit Matthew Elam (Dwyer H.S., Palm Beach, FLa) really loved his visit to West Virginia this past weekend and is really considering the Mountaineers according to the website Eersports.com.
Outstanding American Heritage Delray H.S. (FL) wide receiver Darius Millines has committed to West Virginia. Millines is also being recruited by Alabama, Miami, Florida, Illinois, Rutgers and Wake Forest. Check out Millines’ highlight video.
Central H.S. (Oklahoma) athlete DeMarco Cobbs has committed to Tennessee. Cobbs was Tennessee’s third commitment of the weekend. Cobbs is also being recruited by alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Oklahoma.
Port St. Joe H.S. (Florida) safety and Gridironstuds.com member Darrell Smith has committed to Arkansas. Smith is also being recruited by Toledo, Auburn, Duke, Tulane and Western Kentucky. View Darrell Smith’s highlight video.
Glades Central (FL) safety Travis Bell has committed to West Virginia. Bell is also being recruited by Florida, Florida St., Georgia, LSU, Miami, FL, Rutgers, FIU and Florida Atlantic.
Byrnes H.S. (FL) defensive end Corey Miller has decommitted from Florida St. and has now committed to Tennessee. Tennessee earlier snagged Miller’s Byrnes teammate Brandon Willis.
The word has been out for quite some time on Florida talent in high school football. As a result, out of state teams have been hitting the sunshine state hard and fast trying to snag some Florida speed and improve their teams. One of the teams making some head-way in one of the more important counties in the state of Florida is West Virginia.
Currently, WVU has four commitments from the list of the Top 40 players in Palm Beach County. Pahokee wide receiver Fred Pickett and Dwyer High School defensive back Robert Clark are Mountaineer commits along with Glades Central defensive back Travis bell and Heritage Delray athlete Darius Millines . In addition, West Virginia is in the lead for Glades Central running back Antwan Chisholm.
Compare that to national champs Florida who only have two commits out of that top 40 (#1 Matt Elam RB Dwyer H.S. and #4 Gerald Christian TE Dwyer High School). Miami has three commitments (#5 OL Shane McDermott – Palm Beach Central H.S., #32 Raheam Buxton – DB – Pahokee H.S. and #34 TE – Clive Walford – Glades Central H.S.). Florida St. only has one Palm Beach County Top 40 commit and that’s #7 De Joshua Johnson – WR – Pahokee H.S.
Anderson’s reported 4.29 speed and entertaining highlight video sent him up the charts in recruiting rankings this past spring. While colleges were jumping in making offers for Anderson’s services next Fall, in-state powerhouse Ohio St. hung in the background wanting to see more. More is what they got.
Anderson made a publicized move from St. Edwards High School to Glenville High School in April. Glenville is coached by Ted Ginn Sr. who has obvious ties to the Buckeye’s program (his son Gin Jr. starred at Ohio St.). Then this summer, Anderson went out and lived up to the hype at various camps. He displayed his athleticism, competitive nature and play making ability while standing side by side with some of the other top rated players in the country. His most notable performance came in the Gridiron Kings event in Orlando where he was the defensive MVP in a pool of very deep prep talent.
Since that performance, Anderson has landed an offer from the defending national champion Florida Gators and now yesterday, the Buckeyes landed their offer. With that, Anderson’s list is likely complete. He has stated his list of final schools consist of West Virginia, Georgia, Cincinnati, Miami (FL), Florida and Ohio St. A notable team missing from this final list that was on it before is the University of Michigan.
Northwestern H.S. offensive lineman Torian Wilson has chosen Stanford. Wilson is also being recruited by Miami, Michigan, Georgia Tech, South Carolina, FIU and others.
Glenville H.S. defensive back and Gridironstuds.com member Latwan Anderson has released his latest top schools with Florida now being added to the mix. Anderson says it’s West Virginia, Georgia, Cincinnati, Miami (FL), Michigan St., North Carolina and Florida. Says he will take his time with this decision.
Gridironstuds on the Gridiron this past weekend:
- Lakewood, CA Quarterback Jesse Scroggins 17 of 26 with 3 TD’s in 28-27 loss to Crenshaw High
- Cape Coral (FL) athlete Jaylen Watkins rushed for 233 yards and 3 TD’s playing QB in a 35 -14 win.
- Stanhope Elmore (AL) defensive back Demarcus Milliner returned a kick 88 yards for a TD in a 40-27 loss.
- Skyline H.S. (WA) QB Jake Heaps was 17 of 33 for 152 yards and 2 TD’s in 17-0 win.
- Pahokee H.S. (FL) WR Chris Dunkley caught 5 passes for 158 yards and 2 TD’s in 13-6 victory.
- Dr. Phillips H.S. (FL) WR Kenny Shaw caught 5 passes for 113 yards and 2 TD’s in 24-0 win.
- University School H.S. (FL) Douglas Cook was 10 of 16 for 120 yards and 3 TD’s in 20-8 win.
- Pahokee H.S. (FL) WR DeJoshua Johnson was 12 of 21 passing for 218 yards and 2 TD’s.
- Treasure Coast H.S. (FL) LB Jeff Luc 12 tackles (2 for a loss) and a blocked field goal in 19-14 win.
- Treasure Coast H.S. (FL) LB Ed Foley 8 tackles, INT return for a TD (35 yards) and sack in 19-14 win.
- Jupiter Christian H.S. (FL) Will Powers 15 tackles and fumble recover. Also 101 yards rushing in 21-14 win.
- Royal Palm Beach H.S. (FL) wide receiver Jared Dangerfield had 5 rec. for 63 yards and a TD in a win.
Anyone who knows anything about football can tell you that the state of Florida is rich with talent. The NFL names that have been produced by the state can stretch from the Panhandle to the southern tip of the Keys. Each year college programs from coast to coast slide down into the Sunshine State hoping to stock up on talent like hurricane supplies.
With that being said one would have to wonder how a high school so over run with athletic talent can be overlooked but it’s happening. Tucked in the West Coast of Florida, 30 minutes North of Tampa, lies Nature Coast Tech High School located in a city called Brooksville. Brooksville is all of 5 square miles but even a city that small has managed to produce professional athletes, most notably the late Jerome Brown of University of Miami and Philadelphia Eagles fame.
Nature Coast Tech gears up for it’s sixth season of football this year. They are the first school in Hernando County, Florida to make it to the state playoffs in their first three years and they are also the first school to make it to the state playoffs three years in a row. Last season, their run to a possible state title was cut short by sanctions from the Florida High School Athletic Association after they were involved in a brawl with Groveland-South Lake High School. Despite losing 32 players from last year’s team, Nature Coast Tech boasts some of the most athletic talent in all of Florida.
Leading the way is Tevin Drake, a 6’0″ 205 lb running back that put up 1,200 yards a season ago and splashed into the endzone 20 times. His fullback is a state finalist in the sprint events. Antwan Story can boast a 10.61 100 meter dash time and piled up 688 yards on the ground last year from the fullback spot. Story’s younger brother JuJuan is faster than him clocking a 4.31 in the 40 yard dash. Look for him to make noise at wide receiver. You think it’s easy? Lest we not forget versatile QB C.J. Baker who completed 62% of his passes, threw for 700 and rushed for 441. Tight End Braddie Ellison is a beast and showed it at the Randy Shannon University of Miami camp this spring. Along with JuJuan Story and Ellison, Baker will also find comfort in finding the polished senior wideout transfer Jamal Byrd. Senior Justin Murray will anchor the defense from his linebacker spot and will have help from the wealth of athletes that surround him.
The story here is that Nature Coast is loaded with athletic talent however not many college football programs are aware of it. Perhaps it’s because they are relatively new or because they don’t have the press or have not won a state title. Whatever the case may be, they possess talent that can run up and down the football field and terrorize opponents for the entire duration of a football contest. Many of the kids named do not have the amount of offers that kids with half their talent have. It’s time that a spotlight be placed on this school in the tiny town of Brooksville.
Profiles on Nature Coast’s Top Players along with highlight video links are listed below:
- courtesy of assistant coach Robert Kazmier
RB/LB 6’ 205 lbs
Thus far in his high school career he has rushed for 3,580 yards on 458 carries – an average of 7.8 yards per carry and he has accumulated 53 touchdowns in the process. Tevin has proven he can start on both sides of the ball so he will be starting at a LB spot as well during his Senior season. Tevin was named the Overall Most Outstanding Performer at the University of Miami’s Football Camp this summer. Tevin currently holds offers from: Miami, Memphis, FAU and FIU. View his highlight video
RB/OLB 6′ 180 lbs
-As a Junior Antwan used his explosive speed to rack up 687 yards on 84 carries with 6 touchdowns (over 8 ypc). He also averaged 32 yards per return on kickoffs. On the track Antwan is the reigning district champ in the 100m (10.61) and 200m (21.93) and also anchors the champion 4×100 team. His speed translates to the field really well. He hits the hole extremely fast and once he is past the first level the defense is not likely to catch him. He will also be starting at OLB on the defensive side of the ball during his Senior year. View his highlight video
TE/OLB 6’3” 240 lbs
-Braddie knows that we don’t throw the ball much and he does not have a problem with it. He has learned to love blocking and does it extremely well. When we did throw he had 8 receptions for around 200 yards and 1 TD. On the TD catch caught the ball in front of the safety and got hit at the 15 yard line but proceeded to score while dragging the safety across the field. Braddie will also be starting at either LB or DL during his senior season also. He was named the MVP of the Tight Ends at the University of Miami’s Football camp this summer. Braddie currently holds an offer from FIU. View his highlight video.
DL 6’3” 255
-The work he does in the weight room shows on the field. He is strong and physical at the line of scrimmage. He explodes off the ball and he can blow up plays and has enough speed to terrorize the opposing QB. John had 58 tackles and 3 sacks as a Junior. As a Senior John should be unstoppable and the numbers will show it.
LB/DL 5’11” 205 lbs
-Justin gets after it in the weight room. He comes in on his free time to get extra workouts in and loves being there. During drills he is always a great example and he leads by it. His strength and speed is utilized on the defensive line and on special teams. He made one of the biggest hits I have ever seen during a kickoff return last season. He sprung our return man with it but just about gave himself a concussion in the process. I can’t wait to see what his hard work this offseason translates to on the field this upcoming season. He works as hard as he does in the classroom as the weight room as he also carries around a 3.5.
DB/DL 6’ 190 lbs
-Avery is highly athletic and very strong. He will have every opportunity to use those assets this fall as he will be playing some d-line where he can use both to his advantage to make a lot of plays. If he becomes as dangerous as he is capable down there the entire defense will benefit.
OL 6’4” 265 lbs
-Corey is our only returning offensive lineman. He is very athletic and has good feet due to also being a basketball player. He used this summer to add some strength and speed. It should really help him hold down his Tackle spot. He is the leader of our O-line and has a good head on his shoulders. He takes care of business in the classroom also with a 3.5 GPA.
QB 5’11″ 165 lbs
-CJ is 9-0 as a varsity starter. He has done a tremendous job running our offense. For his size he runs hard and is also very elusive. He also is not afraid to lead up in the hole and take a linebacker head on. When we throw the ball he does a good job making a decision. He also does a great job in the class room as he carries over a 3.2. Though he is a solid QB due to his size he could easily be converted a WR and has the athletic ability and ball skills to do it! View his highlight video.
TE/LB 6’2” 210 lbs
-Mike Lynch has all the athletic ability that you could want in a football player and he has a big frame and is absolutely solid. He works hard in the weight room and is very strong. He made a lot of improvement last season and did a lot of learning behind Braddie. He has recently been moved to the O-line so we can utilize his speed and strength to improve that area. He is strong enough to push the bigger guys around too. He will also be seeing a lot of time on the Defensive line.
WR/DB 6’2″ 180 lbs
-Another great athlete that has the chance to start on both sides of the ball, Byrd has really worked hard this summer and made himself an asset to his team. He has shown a lot of potential and will be in position to make a huge impact during his first and only season in NCT uniform.
WR/DB 6’4″ 182 lbs
- Ridiculous athletic talent with a 4.31 forty yard dash time on his resume. JuJuan is a 2011 prospect that scouts are sure to be drooling over. View his highlight video.