Published March 12, 2011 - 8:30pm
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With the 2011 class out of the way, it’s already time to take a look at the next crop of high school talent that will force many grown men to become enthralled with 17-year-old kids.
Most of the players we watch every Saturday in the fall come from our own backyards. And since most of the talent in the SEC is homegrown, we’re taking an early look at the top 100 southeastern prospects in the 2012 class. We’ve already taken a look at the guys from Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, South Carolina, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia, so go check those out if you missed them.
To finish up this early look at the 2012 crop, we’ll focus on Florida, the state that routinely produces the most elite football talent in the southeast.
Nobody really knows which position Nelson Agholor will play at the next level, but everybody thinks he’ll be great at it. Agholor showed that he can do great things with the ball in his hands by accounting for around 1,400 yards last year, but he can also get it done on the defensive side of the ball.
Chris Black is smaller than the typical wide receiver, but he’s quick enough to more than make up for the difference. His offers from schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, and Miami really confirm his abilities.
After a season that saw him notch over 100 tackles to go with his four interceptions, Travis Blanks has become one of the most highly regarded prospects in Florida. He’s a big guy that can lay the wood in a big way. Florida State offered the home-town kid while he was in 8th grade, so there’s a good chance he ends up there.
Do yourself a favor and watch a highlight video of Marvin Bracy. The guy is lightening in a bottle, and that’s pretty easy to see. He returned four kicks for touchdowns last season, and he has the special kind of speed to take it to the house from anywhere.
Deon Bush is a big defensive back prospect from Miami. He picked off three passes as a junior, and it seems like every school he’d think about attending have taken notice of his crazy skills.
Tyler Cameron only played what amounted to half of a season last year due to injury, but at least seven schools saw enough to offer him a scholarship. With a nice 2011 campaign, the 6-3/210lb signal caller should see his stock really start to rise.
Even after being suspended for a good part of his junior season due to some off-the-field issues, Bennie Coney is one of the top quarterback prospects in the state. The 6-2/205lb passer is leaning to Florida State at this point, but things like that can often change in a hurry.
With over 15 scholarship offers at this point, Ty Darlington has the makings of a great offensive lineman. He comes from Apopka High School, a program that has provided a decent amount of football talent over the years.
Jessamen Dunker is a 6-6/315lb offensive lineman with offers from most of the big boys in college football. He’ll probably stay in the SEC to play his college ball, so the Gators might be in the best position to land the big guy.
Try to find a defensive lineman with a better stat line than that of Daunte Fowler: 107 tackles, 33 tackles for loss, and 20 sacks. And he did it going against some of the best talent in the country. The 6-3/240lb stud has been committed to Florida State for a while, and he could make a real difference for the Seminoles early on.
With offers from Florida’s big 3 to go along with others from around the country, Jelani Hamilton is one of the best defensive end prospects in the southeast. He comes from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, so there’s no doubt about the kid’s ability.
After accounting for four interceptions as a sophomore, ball hawk Tracey Howard’s recruitment has really taken off. The 6-0/170lb defensive back has offers from all the Florida schools to go with his already impressive offer list.
When Angelo Jean-Louis gets the ball in his hands, he usually makes the most of it. He might be one of the most explosive players in the state, and schools like Florida State, Clemson, Miami, and Ohio State have taken notice.
Being the brother of former LSU stud Patrick Peterson, it was an easy choice for Avery Johnson to commit to the Bayou Bengals. But lately, Johnson has said that his recruitment isn’t over. He’s caught nearly 100 passes in each of the last two seasons, and he’s probably one of the top receivers in the state.
Randy Johnson (not that one) has already committed to the Hurricanes, and Miami is getting a good one with him. The kid isn’t very big, but he has speed to burn, and that should make him a great fit for Al Golden’s offense.
This is just my opinion, but if I have to pick one running back to build my team around, I’m picking Matt Jones. He’s a big back, but don’t let his great size fool you. He also has pretty good speed and can stop on a dime. He’s committed to the Gators, and he’ll be a great fit for Will Muschamp’s pro-style offense.
Amos Leggett is a pretty confusing guy. He was committed to Miami for a while, but then decided he’d rather play his college ball at Florida State. But now he’s decided that he’s committed to Miami again. If he can confuse quarterbacks as well as he’s confused me, then he has a great future ahead of him.
Ricardo Louis is a big-bodied receiver from Miami Beach, Florida with offers from Florida’s big three. With his big body, he can really overmatch smaller defensive backs
At only 5-9/155lb, Donaldven Manning is probably going to be one of the smallest kids on the playing field. But the Virginia Tech commitment makes up for his size deficiencies with his ability to make plays on the ball.
He’s going to need to add some weight before making his appearance on a college football defensive line, but Tyriq McCord has done nothing but make plays in high school. Last year, he had nearly 20 sacks while leading his team to a state championship.
Patrick Miller isn’t all that highly coveted right now, but that could change in a hurry. The 6-7/260lb offensive lineman has performed well in a few camps, so he could be a rising star in the Sunshine State.
Heterosexually speaking, Dvario Montgomery is a great-looking receiver. He has a big body, and well over 20 schools have offered the 6-3/210lb kid a chance to play at the next level.
Mario Pender is already a commitment to the Seminoles, and they really got a good one. He rushed for nearly 2,300 yards and 32 touchdowns as a junior. He’s in the running for the top high school running back in the state.
Already committed to the Gators, Dante Phillips has a double-digit offer list. The Venice, Florida product is just a very solid lineman.
Omari Phillips is another Gator commitment. He’s a 6-6/270lb offensive tackle prospect with offers from most of the top schools in the southeast.
Florida commitment Latroy Pittman is a great looking receiver with a lot of talent. He was one of the top performers at the recent Army All American Junior Combine.
He’ll be a tight end at the next level, but Kelvin Rainey was a running back, quarterback, tight end, and wide receiver for his Yulee, Florida team. The 6-3/203lb athlete is expecting to graduate early and enroll in college in time for the spring semester. That’ll give him a huge head start in seeing the field early.
Dalvon Stuckey is a big defensive tackle from De Funiak Springs, FL. He’s been committed to Florida State since last September, but he had offers from Auburn and South Carolina among others.
Kent Taylor, the son of former NFL offensive lineman Rob Taylor, has emerged as one of the most coveted prospects in Florida. The 6-5/220lb tight end from Land O’Lakes, Florida averaged over 16 yards per catch and caught nine touchdown passes as a junior.
John Theus is going to wind up as one of the best offensive linemen in this class. The Jacksonville, FL product grew up following the Seminoles, but is reportedly leaning towards the Georgia Bulldogs.
Alabama is the team to beat for massive offensive lineman Colby Watson. The 6-5/330lb prospect is also interested in Florida and Florida State, so his recruitment is going to be interesting. One thing to note is the fact that his former teammate and close friend, Louchiez Purifoy, signed with the Gators. Could that be enough to sway him to Gainesville?
Eddie Williams was a very early commitment to Alabama, and the Crimson Tide got a good one. The jumbo athlete has proven himself on both sides of the ball, so he’ll most likely have his choice of positions at the next level.
P.J. Williams is the kind of hard-hitting defensive back that wide receivers dread. He committed to Florida State way back in July and pretty much shut down his recruitment.
Big offensive lineman Avery Young took a trip down to the Nike camp in Miami and really impressed a lot of people. Unfortunately for SEC fans, the 6-6/273lb athlete grew up following Oklahoma. The Sooners have offered, so Young might be making the move to the Big 12 to play his college football.
It’s pretty easy to see that the talent in Florida is a lot deeper than any other school in the southeast. For whatever reason, these kids can really get it done on the football field. And like pretty much every year in recent memory, the state of Florida will provide a ton of talent for SEC football teams. Over the next few years, we’re going to grow to love watching these kids give it their all every Saturday down here in the south.
Previous 2012 Recruiting Articles:
- Top 100 Down South: Georgia
- Top 100 Down South: Alabama & Louisiana
- Top 100 Down South: Mississippi & South Carolina
- Top 100 Down South: Arkansas, Kentucky & Tennessee